TheBookStoreConnection.com: Where did you grow up and was reading and writing part of your life? Who were your earliest influences and why?
AL HERR: I grew up in Guatemala and in Spain. In Guatemala I learned about the Mayans, and was always struck by their complete disappearance. I visited several of their ancient cities. In the first book of the Last call from Earth trilogy, via the recordings of the past that are kept in the parallel dimension of reality, we perceive the Mayans when they were in their splendor, in the seventh-eighth centuries. In Spain I became acquainted with Teilhard de Chardin’s “revolutionary” inclination towards intelligent design versus creationism. Take into account that this occurred in the 1950’s when I was a teenager. Still today, yesterday, I read in the news that a history teacher in New Jersey was telling his students that the Big Bang and global warming are myths. I dedicate to Teilhard de Chardin the foundation concepts of my trilogy, the Rupturian Vision of Reality, where I integrate Evolution with Intelligent Design concepts.
TheBookStoreConnection.com: Why do you write?
AL HERR: I’ve been reading and writing all my life. I like to write; it puts me in a special perspective. In order to write, first I have to read, to do research. I prepare a general plan, a table of context, and then I sit down to write with an appropriate music in the background. I have a computer next to my bed; sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and just start writing. I have another computer facing the window in my living room that I also use. An appropriate environment is conducive to writing.
TheBookStoreConnection.com: Who and/or what have been your biggest influences with regard to your writing and why?
AL HERR: In addition to Teilhard de Chardin already mentioned, I was impressed very young by Einstein’s ideas. I wanted to study Physics. But there were no careers in Physics in Guatemala in those days, so I took Philosophy –inclined toward Mathematics and Logic; continued with classical Philosophy in Spain; ended up in New York with Mathematics oriented towards Computer Sciences. All these studies put together gave me an integral perspective. The perspective is the key; it gives vision, and mission. In science fiction I started with Isaac Asimov.
TheBookStoreConnection.com: Congratulations on a fantastic novel “Last call from Earth” -This is a science fiction trilogy- Briefly explain the trilogy and how each story is related to the next. Please tell us a bit about the novel and what inspired you to write it? How is the book different from others in the genre?
AL HERR: Last call from Earth (lastcallfromearth.com) is a saga for survival at a global scale. In the first stage, of biological survival, the normal functioning of the DNA –which we take for granted, is disrupted. We call this deficiency CRDS –Circadian Rhythm Degeneration Syndrome.
People with CRDS become physically, emotionally and mentally deformed in unimaginable grotesque and repugnant ways; people with CRDS can not be cured –and I am talking of millions; their only salvation is to transplant their souls to healthy bodies that we conceive and develop in lab environments. There is nothing artificial in the process. Every thing is natural. We select the best ovules and spermatozoids representative of all races, and do fertilizations in vitro. In the selection of ovules and spermatozoids we filter out those with deficiencies, so that in the end what we create is a path for optimizing our evolution. The human beings conceived this way, since they do not have identifiable parents, are called “Children of God”. The plan is to let them grow until they are 20 or so years old, and then use their bodies as recipients for the souls of those infected with CRDS. It is obvious that when another soul is transplanted into their bodies, they, the Children of God cease to exist. This is where Stage I of the trilogy ends: In finding the solution of what to do to save those infected with CRDS, and in preparing plans for its execution.
In the execution of the CRDS infected salvage plans, in Stage II, Socio-Political survival, there is a group that is against using the bodies of the children of God as is they were “suits”. Their position is very clear: Those with CRDS, let them die…Instead, they want the Children of God to become the Homo sapiens’ path of evolution, with special education, and allowing them to live in a planet of their own: Utopia. Since this is happening within the general context of a precipitated freezing of the sun -so that we have to get out of Earth in order to survive and we will not be able to save everybody on Earth, wars of a global scale arise. With major advances in technology obtained from the Rupturians –a civilization that flourished for over 20 million years in a sea of plasma waves at the other side of the Milky Way, we come to be so powerful in destruction, that in comparison all previous world wars become children play. At the end of Stage I, the bioterrorist organization known as “Bacillus”, in a fraction of a second destroys the entire area of San Francisco without leaving not even a trace. The magnitudes of destruction are big. Hundreds of millions die. Being the trilogy biological inclined, the major wars in Stage II are microbiological.
Stage III deals with spiritual survival. Having survived the biological and socio-political stages, what remains is the destiny of our soul.
What is the soul? What is the essence of our spirit? In stages I and II we do soul transplants in two ways: physically transplanting the brain from one body to another, and transmitting the recordings in one brain to another -cleaning, “erasing”, first, what is recorded in the recipient. In Stage III we go a step further, of monumental consequences: we take a leap step forward. We learn to transfigure our souls’ spiritual energy into soulstrings, and with soulstrings we transmit, “create” life. With soulstrings we transmit the spirit of life. When somebody dies, with soulstrings we can bring him back to life. Of course if somebody dies because his liver is not functioning, if we bring him back he will soon die again. But the point is that we learn to transmit the spark, the spirit of life; we learn to create and to resucitate life.
TheBookStoreConnection.com: What inspired you to write the trilogy?
AL HERR: Before writing the trilogy I wrote essays and articles, but I thought that if would be easier to communicate my ideas if I put action, if I write a story and include within it, as part of the context, my basic ideas, my fundamental paradigms. And this is what makes the book different to others the same genre; that is, in the science-fiction genre. Most of what appears in the book is close to reality; but I prefer to call it ‘science-fiction’ because that way I have freedom: there are no limits, no boundaries to my imagination. In the last 50 years there has been an explosion of discoveries in science, physics and biology, particularly, and there are not too many science-fiction books yet that take into account these discoveries. Last call from Earth is one of the first ones in a world of DNA, quantum physics and integral body-mind-and-spirit perspectives.
TheBookStoreConnection.com: What was the last book you read?
AL HERR: I am reading “Colony” by Ben Bova. It happens in the year 2028; the Earth is poisoned with pollution and overpopulation. Very well written, as are all Ben’s books.
TheBookStoreConnection.com: Do you have any hobbies? How do they enhance your writing?
AL HERR: My hobby is to watch films. I am subscribed to Netflix, and I select films by theme, actor, country, etc.; as I watch them, I relate to what I am writing –or thinking to write.