Science Fiction for Thinkers

The official website of science fiction author Michael Casher

An evolving self-interview with the author...

Michael Casher is a science fiction author whose nine books include The Evermore Trilogy. Six science fiction novels, two literary novellas and one book of blogs make up the current list for the Science Fiction for Thinkers collection. The author has resumed working on his tenth book and his seventh science fiction novel, entitled "The IIIrd Option"

U.S. Trade paperback editions of the Science Fiction for Thinkers collection are available at online booksellers worldwide. The entire Science Fiction for Thinkers collection is available at Amazon's Kindle Store and at many online booksellers. These eBooks can be read on Kindle or on the Kindle App for Android, Blackberry, iPhone, iPod, iPod touch, PC, Mac and Windows Phone. This includes many wireless devices, like Google Nexus, Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy.

In this Bio, Michael Casher responds to questions that he, in fact, asked himself over the past several years.


 

Why wasn't there a photo of you on this bio page for the first year?

I was hiding.

What is that supposed to mean?

It means that I don't look like a science fiction writer so I used to stay hidden. I look like a farmer, which is just fine with me, but I'm not a farmer. Sometimes I look like a handyman from the 1950s. Quite often I look like the old guy who sells you cracked corn down at the feed store. Actually, I look like all three. At one time I figured, Who would want to read a sci-fi novel written by someone who looks like this? But I don't care about any of that superficial stuff anymore.

Where were you born?

I was born in Philipsburg Hospital, Philipsburg, Centre County, Pennsylvania USA. But Snow Shoe Borough in Centre County was where my parents lived and that makes Snow Shoe my hometown.

What year were you born?

1951. Yes, there was electricity and television and even Kool-Aid.

Where do you live?

I currently live in Snow Shoe, PA. My hometown. I left town when I was 20 but returned here to live when I was 25, 38 and then 49. (There is no accounting for taste or judgment). So, I've lived in this town for more than 35 years, in all, but it seems like I've been here since the dawn of man. Snow Shoe is, unfortunately, my hometown and I've lived here long enough to have the right to express an opinion about it. If people don't like it, that's too goddamn bad. In fact, the best thing Snow Shoe people can do for me is to simply stay the hell away from me and respect my privacy. In fact, that's what I do for them.

It sounds like you're not too happy about being back in your hometown.

Hey, this is my author bio, here. This is about writing fiction -- especially science fiction -- and how I wound up being a writer. This isn't a history of Michael Casher. So, if people want to be snoopy busybodies (instead of readers) and want to pry into my personal life and especially about how I feel about being born and raised and eventually dying in a noisy, hostile, hateful, dangerous, backward, unevolving hellhole like Snow Shoe, Pennsylvania, they can read that story after I'm dead. I've got bigger fish to fry.

OK, then. Why don't you tell us about your ethnic background?

What good would that do?

People are curious. Come on, tell us about your ancestry.

Nope. I already did that once. And I have no intentions of doing it again. Here's the link: My Heritage



Looks like you took up a little more space by 2009. Am I right?

My, aren't you the grownup spy. Yeah, I caught the American middle-aged man disease in 1991, at age forty. An addiction to beer, pizza, and Mexican food. Then I gave up the beer and Mexican food in March 2009 and replaced it with an addiction to ice cream, chocolate and cake. Still, by July 2010, I was down to 185 or so. Still overweight but no longer making cell phone calls with my belly. Are you happy now that you know that my biggest vices are shared by millions of other men?

Sure. If you're happy about replacing two addictions with three more addictions, then I'm happy , too.

Always the wise-ass.

OK, so, what are your hobbies and interests?

Writing, reading, blogging, painting (fence posts, lawn furniture, "Keep Out" signs and things like that), bicycling (no serious stuff, I just jump on the Huffy and start pedalling), target shooting (not so much paper targets as things that splinter and/or fall over when hit), tying yellow ribbons on the tails of stray cats.

When did you start writing science fiction novels?

In 2002. I needed a break from the service industry where I was constantly being downsized. The advent of Windows 95 also had a lot to do with the spiraling demise of my service-industry career. I struggled a lot with DOS before Windows made its debut, barely keeping my head above water with green words and numbers on a black screen. Then along came Windows and chopped it off with a single stroke. Windows spawned multi-tasking which is a slick little service-industry term that was invented to mask the trendy practice of making employees do a lot more things each year for the same pay.

Why did you publish your own books?

Ah, going straight for jugular, I see. OK. I self-published my own books so I could have control over their content, price and distribution. Another reason is so they would be published before the year 3000.

Why was Lulu.com once listed as the publisher of your books instead of you?

Because I decided to reformat my novels in 2008 so that Lulu.com could be the official publisher and distributor of my six science fiction thrillers.

Why did you do that?

I wanted to do whatever it took to get my novels listed by Nielsen Book Services, Bowker's Books In Print and Ingram Book Company so online booksellers like Amazon.com and regular bookstores like Barnes & Noble can sell them.



It looks like you took up a lot less space by mid-2010. Right?

Right again, smart ass. Having a perforated appendix that suddenly bursts one day and leaves you wondering for two days if you're dying or not, and then having one of your mother's friends insist on taking you to the hospital where they gut you like a fish before finding any of that out will make you lose your appetite for a few days.

Then, when you get your appetite back, you're forbidden to eat or drink anything. You may only wet your parched lips with a sponge on a stick for four or five days. Then, when you finally get home all you want is orange juice and fruit. That will turn any 185-pound couch potato into a 168-pound couch potato in about two weeks.

So, you think our lives aren't orchestrated by insensate, evil, invisible beings just for their amusement? Well let me tell you, the day my mother's senior citizen friend took me in her car to the hospital, I told my mother that I felt like I was dying but I had no idea why. Before too long two relatives showed up who only visit us when they want to talk about themselves. On their way into the house they told a Snow Shoe family in a mammoth pickup truck that, yes, they could put two young Canada geese in our pond. I was upstairs � dying from a perforated appendix that was about to burst � and I came down to see what was going on.

I immediately went outside to explain to this Snow Shoe dad and his wife and four or five kids that we don't want any more geese here because I couldn't physically take care of the remaining goose and the ducks that were here now (I have degenerative disc disease, holes in my spine where two discs should be, a partially paralyzed left leg from spinal surgery, torticollis, piriformis syndrome, painful arthritis and the list goes on) and the remaining goose was already slowly dying from the sewage in our pond that runs off the housing development above us. In fact, I found him dead in September 2011. Plus, I feed these animals out of my own pocket and cracked corn is not cheap.

So, for the next fifteen minutes or so, this strutting little patriarch argued with me until he threatened to "wring the male's neck" in front of me. But I was dying and, believe me, there's a lot of pain and anguish associated with this kind of slow death. I'd been dying for two days and I looked like it. I was gray, sweaty and disheveled. But none of them noticed. None of them cared. It was all about them and they argued with me IN MY OWN FUCKING DRIVEWAY over a COUPLE OF FUCKIN' GEESE as I sat on a resin bench in front of my garage, dying in front of them. And yeah, I've "sure got a lot of fucking things wrong" with me, as a relative so rudely pointed out to me one day. Yeah, imagine that. Just imagine how I felt after hearing that.

Anyway, for fifteen minutes or so I was polite to the father of this uninvited family because 1) I didn't want to tell him what I thought of him for not respecting my wishes and for invading my privacy in front of his wife and kids and 2) I was dying from peritonitis and 3) I was beside myself with pain and physical agony and 4) I was trying to act my age (I was at least 20 years older than him). What this strutting little king didn't know is that, if his family hadn't been there, our conversation would not have gone on for more than two minutes and he'd fear me like he'd fear nobody else because he absolutely would not respect me and disrespected me in front of his wife and kids. It must have made him feel like a big fish in a small pond, a real redneck king. Well, too bad I was dying that day because, otherwise, things would have been different. A lot different. Trust me.

Well, these uninvited visitors finally left, with the two geese, mad as hell that I had stood my ground in my own home. Something Snow Shoe people don't understand unless it's THEM doing it. Then, when I went inside, an argument broke out between me and one the more vocal visiting relatives who shouted at me (a man who was obviously dying right in front of them) in self-defense of their ludicrous, farcical behavior and utter disregard for me. Neither one of them asked me if I was alright or even how I was doing. Imagine that. I hadn't shaved for days or bathed for two days. I was on the way out and they sat there, AT MY OWN GODDAMN KITCHEN TABLE and fought with me. I went upstairs to die in peace.

My mother called her friend (one the handful of good people in this backward and hostile town) after the relatives left and she immediately insisted on driving me to the hospital when she saw what I looked like. Like a sweaty, unkempt, dying man the color of pewter. At the hospital they operated on me immediately, doing an exploratory laparotomy and then removal of the perforated appendix. They told me later that I was "a real mess" inside. Well, my spirits were really messed up as well. The surgeon assured me that if they hadn't operated I would have died. Did these two relatives visit me at the hospital or send a card or call? Nope. I haven't seen them since and that was two and a half years ago. One day an aging, female relative called my hospital room and, instead of asking me how I was doing, she started bitching at me about another aging female relative, not caring that I was so miserable and doped up on pain medication that I didn't have the wherewithal to tell her to go to hell. Imagine someone doing that to you at a time like that. That kind of behavior is not only intolerable, it's unforgivable. WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

WHO IN THE HELL DO YOU PEOPLE THINK YOU ARE? On this planet forgiveness is merely empowerment to continue misusing people. I wish I'd died that day because I think I deserved better than the life I'd been dished out by those closest to me. When you're betrayed by those closest to you — over and over and over again — living is worse than dying. These people have NO REGARD for me whatsoever. And you bastards and bitches wonder why I no longer work to aid the human race on Earth. You miscreants don't deserve my help. After 62 years of watching you people serve "Numero Uno" (yourselves) above all else, I can't wait to be free of you all.

One other relative visited me in the hospital, called me there and brought me home afterward and even filled my first few prescriptions out of his own pocket on the way home and I'll never, ever forget his kindness. A volunteer from The Snow Shoe Senior Center visited me on his own and his visit helped cheer me up. A Snow Shoe couple looked in on my mother for the nine days I was hospitalized and I will be forever grateful for their kindness. The local supermarket did my mother's grocery shopping for her (she's confined to a wheelchair and doesn't drive anyway) and brought them to her with NO DELIVERY CHARGE and I thanked everybody who helped privately and publicly (on Channel 4) and I'll never forget their kindness. But, for the people who ignored my imminent death to fuck with me and tongue-lash me for their own pleasure, I have a question for you. My question is this: Who in the hell do you people think you are? Who appointed you to mess with me and why would you want to do this? Now you know why I don't give a shit about anything anymore. If you give a shit, they send someone closest to you or perfect strangers to fuck with you until you don't give a shit anymore. It's now way to live and it's no way to run a world.

Afterlife? Fuck the afterlife. I'd rather be dead and know nothing.

 


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Michael Casher

Michael Casher is a science fiction author, artist and humorist from a small Appalachian town in the eastern United States. The author maintains a YouTube channel called "Science Fiction for Thinkers" and ten blogs at Blogger. He also writes literary fiction under the pen name Jonco Bugos. Michael Casher's official website is "Science Fiction for Thinkers.com" where you'll find links to his books, blogs, photo albums, videos and much more.

Kindle editions by Michael Casher are published by Science Fiction for Thinkers.com. Kindle eBooks can be read on the Kindle wireless reading device and the FREE Kindle app for Android, Blackberry, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, PC, Mac and Windows Phone. If Michael Casher were to write a non-fiction message for people, it would be for every human being on planet Earth and it would read as follows: "Wake Up, Wise Up, and Grow Up."

Michael Casher

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