Interview Samson Tonauac on Dreamsphere
endev42: You write books to be disliked. Why is that?
ST: The market is flooded with books written to be liked. There are over 1 million indie books published per year. If I started writing books to be liked there would be no point.
endev42: Okay. So then what is the point?
ST: The point behind Dreamsphere is to open people up to various aspects of meaning, or the lack thereof, in their lives. To make them think critically about the life they are living, and how hedo-consumerism gives their life meaning—gives there life meaning rather than say …. family, or work, or religion, or whatever else they tell themselves. Turn on the TV, see advertisements. Drive down the street, billboards galore. Tune into the radio—50% songs, 50% advertisements. Surf the web—10% content, 90% adverts with a side of Malware. We are consumers. People can try to escape that fact by buying books to escape reality, but all they are really doing is buying their way back into the system. But the reality is, we as a society are obsessed with consumption. So much so, the environment be damned. The future be damned. E-waste towns be damned. We be damned, but we have meaning. Consumption gives us meaning, makes the economy strong, makes us patriots and helps us to squash socialism at its core.
endev42: Some people have complained about the advertisements detracting from the story. So why keep them in the book?
ST: (ST grins ridiculously) The advertisements are the story. I say that in the opening terms and conditions. Hedo-consumerism and the consumption of everything the universe has to offer, the experiences … our experiences are the universe’s way of experiencing itself. Sure, some characters will argue that the meaning of life is family or religion—Amy, some will imply that it is work—Dr. Clive W. Rossak, others, like George, believe there is no meaning at all. Those characters are wrong. Plus, the advertisements are the future’s way of helping to keep the book low cost. Books were one of the last great refuges from advertisements, so naturally someone needed to exploit that.
endev42: Do you plan to talk more about the meaning of life in Dreamsphere part 2?
ST: Absolutely. The idea is to delve deeper into the philosophy of meaning. There will be a lot of great new surprises in the upcoming book.
endev42: You told us before that the terseness of the chapters plays a critical role in understanding it. Can you perhaps explain that to the readers?
ST: Well, I think I have already give away a lot above. But, let me just say this, as I have said many times—life is short. We’re constantly zooming in and out of one project or another. Our attention spans are becoming shorter and shorter. More and more people are being diagnosed with ADHD. So much so, that we, in fact, have a bit of an epidemic on our hands. In the end, most of us accomplish nothing at all. Most of us live meaningless lives. Most of us end up with no cohesive story to tell. Most of us end up with memories so damned fragmented by the time we’re 65, if we are lucky enough to make it that far, there isn’t much left to tell. Most of us allow life to pass us by in a blink of an eye. We then retire, fall into depression, wondering what there is left to live for. Various movies on your site (endev42) talk about just this. Does philosophy always have to be about what is written, or can it not also be expressed with what is not?
endev42: In the book God is sometimes spelled with a capital G, and sometimes with a lower case g. What is the difference?
ST: The opening of Chapter 13 explains this. It is not an error or a mistake, but rather intentional. I'll leave it to the reader to make an interpretation.
endev42: Why does Buddha get fatter and fatter at the end of each chapter?
ST: It signifies the reader's progressive consumption of the contents therein and throughout life as one draws closer to the enlightenment of hedo-consumerism.
endev42: Anything else you want readers to know?
ST: No, I think I’ve said enough as it is. More consume.
Readers can download Dreamsphere for free here.