Interview with Anand Purohit, author of historical fantasy XNOR
1759 was a defining year for the colonies that became Canada. It was also the year the British Empire rose to preeminence over other European nations and empires. All that changes when technology deployed in 2047 to shield Canadians from an escalating world conflict inadvertently teleports a group of scientists, engineers, teachers and medical people back to Nova Scotia, 1759. Despite their technological superiority, they, like many new settlers, struggle to establish a homestead, feed their community and deal with the constant threat from a violent world. Established empires with their large populations are not about to let a small group of upstarts interfere in their lucrative slave trade and subjugation of whomever they please.
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Excerpt from XNOR
May 15, 2046
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Chan Wei is skeptical anything important will happen. I’ve been here before. Scientists and engineers are always excited about their latest project or idea. I’m willing to take risks. Sometimes it pays off immensely, but I must avoid the duds no matter how enthusiastic the supporters are.
Peggy Doyle meets him as he walks to the AI & Physics lab. “Hi, Peggy. I hear we’re in for a really big show.”
“So says Neil!” she laughs. “In all my years, I’ve never met a more erratic yet brilliant individual. You’ve given him a long leash. I hope he hasn’t strangled himself with it.”
“Thanks to your sales team, we’re having our best year. We can afford a misstep. What will our revenue be this quarter?”
Peggy smiles broadly. “I predict we’ll pass the billion mark for the first time! Our laser and AI divisions are steady thanks to our military sales. Graphene power storage has really taken off. We’re the world leaders.”
“Fantastic! When we go public, we’ll all be very rich,” Chan boasts.
“I’m thankful for the share options. The salary and bonuses go down well too,” she replies as they enter the lab.
Neil Gargano is bouncing around in his usual style. His project partner, Dr. Wu, is seated, smiling, and displaying more emotion than usual.
Chan asserts a challenge as only a company owner can: “Gentlemen, I’m prepared to be amazed or issue a pink slip. What will you be showing us today?”
Neil can’t contain himself. “Space is alive! We’ll show you proof. Space is alive!”
Chan is amused. “Peggy, is this something you can sell?”
Peggy takes the cue. “Let me see. I don’t see a fit with our laser division. Maybe we can sell the military some Alive Space. They buy some of the darndest stuff and pay well for it.”
Dr. Wu surprisingly backs Neil up, somewhat. “if this demo goes as planned, I think you’ll be recalibrating your expectations.”
“Great!” Chan enthuses. “Blow us away!”
Quick Q&A with Anand Purohit
Q. If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?
A. Meet as many of the 18th century characters as I could while trying to discover how they truly think and feel. Their morals and attitudes seem so alien to ours. Has history given us a real picture of them?
Take George Washington as an example. There is a mountain of evidence he upheld a high standard of civility and duty for himself and those he was responsible for. Yet, my research stumbles across an entry in the accounting books for his plantation showing payment of a few pounds silver to several of his slaves because he ordered them to allow a ‘dentist’ friend and periodic live-in to extract their teeth with crude metal forceps. Why? For implant into the mouths of unnamed Virginian elites.
“Listened up slaves. Time to present teeth. I know some of you purposefully darken your teeth with charcoal, tobacco and other substances trying to avoid being picked today. It won’t work! If the ‘good’ doctor chooses you, don’t despair. We have whiskey to dull your pain and a trivial reward for your trouble.”
I just made that narrative up. It’s not in the book. Yet it reflects my wonder how a person could treat another human with such disregard for their health and wellbeing. I found example after example of British paying Natives to scalp French and vice versa, Subjects slaughtered for King and glory.
I don’t believe in denigrating the dead. They are not here to defend themselves. The XNOR story takes the high road and tries to present historical characters in the best light possible while our 21st century visitors confront their own deficiencies. We have our own devils.
About Anand Purohit
ANAND PUROHIT was born and raised in a Caucasian, Christian family. After several years of inexplicable experiences, he travelled as young man to India for insight. The shocking immersion, alone in a chaotic and foreign culture, forever changed him. Wandering among the slums, always on the edge of death and disease, his perception was shattered. He returned to Canada with a new name and legalized it to cement his commitment to a life of mindfulness.
While enlightenment proved elusive, the quest for greater understanding remained strong. Forty years of software design and business ownership did not quell the thirst. Constant study of history, logistics, physics and metaphysics watered the desire to weld a nexus between analyst and mystic.
The days of designing complex software systems have passed. A new door has opened.
CONNECT WITH ANAND
Anand Purohit will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Grimmfay is Live on Patreon!
After 8+ years of working with books, I’m publishing my own work!
Bonus, I’m expanding how I help authors succeed.
Join me at the circus, and let’s get whispering…