Elements Every SciFi Should Have by Vyvyan Evans – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Vyvyan Evans will award a randomly drawn winner paperback copies of both book 1 and book 2 on the series. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Elements Every SciFi Should Have

I write in science fiction. First and foremost, every work of science fiction starts from a “what if?” question, a hypothetical question that both ignites the imagination, and allows the consequences of the “what if?” to be worked out. In the case of my Songs of the Sage book series, of which The Dark Court is book #2, the ‘what if?’ asks: what if language were no longer learned, but streamed on demand to brain implants from internet in space, for monthly streaming subs?

This leads, in turn to an unfamiliar setting, that is nevertheless, and paradoxically, strangely familiar, and a requirement for innovative technology. In the case of my book series, the setting is the near future, where language streaming technology has transformed society in unfamiliar and unpredictable ways. In The Dark Court one consequence of this premise is that human brains can be hacked more or less in the same way that a computer can be, leading to catastrophic consequences.

A further requirement is that relatable or believe characters are essential. These characters, while sometimes fantastical or even superhuman, must resonate with readers, and hence be grounded in our shared lived experience. They must have all the similar strengths, weaknesses and the flaws the rest of us have, and equally experience moments of success and failure, whether in terms of the action-dynamics of the story world or in terms of their emotional experiences.

And finally, the sine qua non is that the work must develop and explore themes concerning humanity. After all, the raison d’être of science fiction is to grapple with the great complexities of the human experience and the human psyche. And the driver for this is the “what if” question, that leads to a book-length laboratory to explore potential consequences for humanity, set up by the premise.

A genre-blending dystopian, sci-fi mystery-thriller that will make you think about communication in a whole new way.

Five years after the Great Language Outage, lang-laws have been repealed, but world affairs have only gotten worse. The new automation agenda has resulted in a social caste system based on IQ. Manual employment is a thing of the past, and the lowest soc-ed class, the Unskills, are forced into permanent unemployment.

In a world on the brink of civil war, a deadly insomnia pandemic threatens to kill billions. Lilith King, Interpol’s most celebrated detective, is assigned to the case.

Together with a sleep specialist, Dr. Kace Westwood, Lilith must figure out who or what is behind this new threat. Could the pandemic be the result of the upskilling vagus chips being offered to the lowest soc-ed class? Or are language chips being hacked? And what of the viral conspiracy theories by the mysterious Dark Court, sweeping the globe? Lilith must work every possible angle, and quickly: she is running out of time!

While attempting to stop a vast conspiracy on an intergalactic scale, Lilith also faces shocking revelations about her origin, coming to terms with her own destiny.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Her father then turned back to Lilith, gazing at her with the kindness she loved. “I have to go away.” He gulped. “You must be very brave, Lily. Because what I’m doing is for you. You’re very special. I believe you will change everything. Not just here, but everywhere.” With that he reached into his jacket and pulled out a small bracelet from inside his breast pocket. He handed it to Lilith.

“Another gift?” she asked, with cautious excitement. Lilith turned it over in her hand. It was silver, with a small, strange-looking screen on the outer side. The screen was narrow and black, and numbers were spinning in iridescent green, fleetingly across the screen.

“I guess it is. This is a SwissSecure bracelet. It will live with you, expanding as you grow.”

“Is it alive?” Lilith asked.

Her father chuckled. “In a way, I suppose it is. When you’re older, after you’re chipped, the numbers will stop spinning. And then you’ll receive a message from me—two, in fact.”

“Memoclips?” Lilith asked, confused. She knew that was what the chipped adults called them.

Her father dipped his head. “Actually, faceclips. They will explain things … when the time is right. For one thing, where the music comes from, the Nunciature Evangelion—the Tower of Songs.”


“It will come to you, later today. This music will help you become your potential, but it will also be your one Achilles heel …”

About the Author:Dr. Vyvyan Evans is a native of Chester, England. He holds a PhD in linguistics from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., and is a Professor of Linguistics. He has published numerous acclaimed popular science and technical books on language and linguistics. His popular science essays and articles have appeared in numerous venues including ‘The Guardian’, ‘Psychology Today’, ‘New York Post’, ‘New Scientist’, ‘Newsweek’ and ‘The New Republic’. His award-winning writing focuses, in one way or another, on the nature of language and mind, the impact of technology on language, and the future of communication. His science fiction work explores the status of language and digital communication technology as potential weapons of mass destruction.

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  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. MICHAEL A LAW says

    This looks like an awesome read. Thanks for sharing and hosting this tour.

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