Songs of the Zhongzi: The Books
The books and videos together invite the reader on a trip to the planet of Shianshenka with its strange and lovely life forms, a planet with no predators. Humans have seeded the wild planet, poisonous to humans but breathtakingly beautiful, with an intelligent life form: the seed-like Zhongzi. The books tell how the Zhongzi overcome the limitations placed on them by their physiology; how they learn to ride the geysers and harness the winds; how they interact with the weird and delightful endemic life forms of the planet; how they create a culture and communities radically different from anything known by their human creators. But not all is perfect. The zhongzi are confronted with all challenges probably typical to intelligent life-forms anywhere in the universe: ideological clefts, boredom, questions of identity and existentialism. Their responses to these challenges have drastic and far-reaching consequences.
The Songs of the Zhongzi cross many genres to draw the reader into strange situations, new sets of rules and a colourful kaleidoscope of strange creatures, all of which is fun. But at a deeper level it parodies very human questions such as how to develop healthy communities, how to cater for a questing intelligence, how to deal with diverging ideologies and how to prevent boredom in a perfect society. Concepts such as identity, religion and purpose are explored in a new context.
The books are part of a multimedia project. At the root of the zhongzi society lie their songs, depicting decisive moments in their development. Taken together with the song videos, and the galleries the result is an unfolding project that captures the imagination of people of all ages from young teenagers upwards.
Projected books (working titles and covers, they may change):
A draft copy of the first book was sent to professional reviewers as a "feeler" under the title The Rise and Fall of the Perfect Creation, to get feedback, and an idea of its potential.
Under the new title, Songs of the Zhongzi, and edited by Heather.E.Saunders, it is now ready for publication. See the author inteview with the editor here. I am looking for an agent.
The second book in the series, Island of Rainbows is completed and under editing.
The third book, Island of Fire is written, but at present undergoing its initial edit by the author.
The fourth book Homeland is projected. The first chapters are written.
Covers and titles above are working covers and titles, and will probably change