MA: I am delighted to have as my guest-blogger today, Tony Thorne. Tony is an Englishman, born and technically educated in London, England, and now living in Austria; but in the winter, he lives in the warmer Canary Island of Tenerife. He originally qualified as a Chartered Design Engineer and subsequently created a well-known British company specializing in Applied Physics products. For developments in the field of low temperature (cryo)surgery instruments, and very high temperature (carbon fibre) processing furnaces, the Queen awarded Mr. Thorne an MBE.
Well, that’s quite a scientific and technical background. I would have guessed you’d write technical books, textbooks, or articles for scientific journals. Why fiction?
TT: Much earlier in life I wrote and sold some science-fiction and humorous stories, was an active SF Fan, and a spare time lecturer for the British Interplanetary Society. After many business adventures, including the development of AI computer software for business applications, and animated computer graphics set to music, I now write quirky speculative yarns; mostly Science Fiction and Macabre tales, with a novel and over 100 short stories on file. Most of the latter are available in different collections.
I’m really a short story writer but Harry Harrison said I should write a novel if I want to be really successful … so I’ve recently completed one. Incidentally, Harry wrote the introduction to my Tenerife Tall Tales SF collections.
Most of my quirky SF and Macabre Tales are set in, on and even under, that magical Canary Island of Tenerife, where I spend every winter. Apart from those, I like to scan the science news for the latest developments and then write a tall tale about the possible consequences.
MA: So, tell us how you blend your science and technical background into your novel.
TT: In my novel, POINTS OF VIEW, the hero is a young blind boy, named Horace Mayberry, who gets fitted out with some nanotronic eyes. They are intelligent and can develop various functions to suit whatever scrapes the lad gets into. He is recruited into a secret government agency as an assistant to an experienced agent and embarks on a series of adventures, including being abducted twice by an international gang of crooks. Each situation causes his eyes to develop something new, and enables his introvert personality to evolve, too.
The finale covers an attack on the crooks hideout in Tenerife … where else! I had a lot of fun writing it.
MA: I love fiction that embraces technology like this. Tell us about your hero and villain.
TT: Horace is a cautious lad, very introvert initially. Then as his abilities develop he becomes impulsive and somewhat headstrong. The main crook, Rudolph Beckman, is an international billionaire financier who is after the secret of the company that developed the nanotronic eyes. He uses a trio of henchmen to do his bidding.
MA: Now, I’m sure your real-world exposure to emerging technologies influenced the plot in Point of View, but was that all? Did any other life experiences factor into the story?
TT: That’s a very interesting question. Yes, part of Horace’s training mirror’s some of my experiences when I joined the army, so many years ago.
MA: So what’s next in your fiction future?
TT: I’m currently working on a couple of new short stories and also finalizing a collection of quirky short tales and some poems which are to be published in the USA next year, entitled INSIDE INFORMATION. They’re items I’ve performed in costume, at SF Conventions and various other events.
I am also thinking about a sequel to the novel … there’s plenty of scope in the idea. Other than that, some of my short Tenerife tales feature common characters, and will continue to do so.
MA: I know your love of science drives you, but what else?
TT: It can’t be for the money, but more of that would be nice … I guess it’s really an insatiable craving to be recognized.
MA: (Chuckling). Thanks, Tony, for being my guest today. I encourage my readers to visit Tony’s website for more information about this intriguing author: www.tonythorne.com.