Mr. Raven Q & A I
Q: Why Virtual Mirrors?
A: It’s a tie-in with a piece of technology that actually exists today. Also called smart mirrors, they are digital screens that show the image of a person as if it was a mirrored reflection. However, the image can be altered to show a reflection of different background settings, different attire, or even show you as an avatar. In the context of a science-fiction story, I am sure these capabilities will be expanded into the future and grow beyond the borders imposed by the mirror frames. In a play on words, the definition of a virtual mirror has other meanings. In Gemma’s case, she reflects on who she really is, and who she wants to be. She also sees her ideal match as a mirror of her own ideals.
Q: Tell us about some of the custom sci fi tech in VM.
A: Almost all of the tech that appears in the story are only one or two generations away from what is already either being used today, or on the drawing board. Drones, Hyperjets, AI robotics, nanotechnology, and such are all making rapid advances. My favorite custom contribution was the nano-zipper. As the story unfolded, I realized that characters would need quick and seamless costume changes, so an advancement over current metal zippers and buttons would have to be invented.
Q: What was the inspiration for Gem?
A: Gem is inspired by every human being that feels they are never going to meet their ideal match. She has everything that money can buy, except for the one thing that is priceless. One of her main inspirations was a recent trend towards overpowered female protagonists surrounded by male buffoons. The term “Mary Sue” was used to describe characters such as Rey in the newer Star Wars sequels. This would be a person who skips so many steps of the hero’s journey that they strike us as undeserving the praise and rewards they receive. Gemma is the opposite of this.
Q: Modern day relevance?
A: The savvy reader will quickly observe there is no attempt to place the events of this story in a year on our current calendar. Invariably, these dates always turn out to be hilariously wrong. Take the classic 2001: A Space Odyssey, or Blade Runner, which was supposed to be our world in 2019. Our world didn’t reflect those predictions of our future. In Virtual Mirrors, one can deduce that it is the near future, as the characters recall certain specific dates in their past. These are the first obvious clues to modern day relevance, but there are many other more subtle instances. Just as The original Star Trek reflected on social issues of the 1960s, the reader will find many similar implications that mirror our current times. This is yet another play on the term, Virtual Mirrors. It’s a mirror in time.