Control: Crafting a Sci-Fi Universe, Part One

Daniel Trump
3 min readJul 6, 2020

I, Dalton Lewis, am creating V Max One — a universe full of alien people, artificial intelligence, and the most wonderful and terrible people you’ll ever read about. I’m started the novel, V Max One, during NaNoWriMo last year. I remember working frantically to finish the damned thing. That exhausted me beyond comprehension, and it took time to process the novel. It had to be put aside for a while, during which I wrote 75 pages of a literary novel about middle school and religion. Now I’m finishing V Max One — and it fills me with excitement. Having a chance to craft an entire reality and have anything show up at any time really entertains me.

Reflecting the problems and tensions of the current era remains the top priority for me when writing about different time periods. In this book I want to talk about incels. Incels are people who are involuntarily celibate. They are young men who want to date but don’t have the social skills or real-world prowess to date anyone. These people are angry and have not had the real-world success that other people have experienced. They don’t all have high-paying jobs or careers in fields that they want to pursue. Take me — I don’t date, and my career options mostly include bringing in shopping carts at a grocery store. I did that during high school. I can’t believe it — in high school I dreamed of being important and famous before I turned thirty. I have to face not even having a career at forty-two. Life sucks, huh? So some people with my set of circumstances lash out and attack people. They hurt people to show how badly they are hurting. They complain, they hurt, stalk, and kill people. I decided to write a novel about this very theme.

I also wanted to include the successful nerds and geeks: the ones who learned how to navigate society and become successful internet millionaires and billionaires. They are smart, clever, appear on television shows, win Nobel Prizes, and generally take over the planet in a metaphorical sense. They are impressive and make people swoon. I don’t know what to say, but they don’t represent all geeks. I just wanted someone to show people this type of geek or nerd. I wanted to show all kinds of outsiders, the ones who make it and the ones who can hardly finish sentences.

I remember a dream I had once. I dreamed of a guy who walks into an area and is completely unafraid of naked women and women in general: someone who doesn’t feel anything sinful or shameful about beautiful women, someone who doesn’t judge, and someone who loves them without doing anything wrong. It occurred to me that the journey to that place would make for a neat story.

I also wanted a strong female force who would be a rock for the main character. The interactions between wonderful people are a mainstay for effective fiction. In the Marvel movies the main characters fight, bicker, argue, betray each other, and so on. Batman and Superman fight as often as they work together. I wanted a female character who was on the main geek’s side. I remember that I had that growing up, and I thought that the character should have that too.

If you want to look at broken people just look at the Guardians of the Galaxy. They fight, bicker, and fail. They are people who are hurting and have damage, have problems, hate their lives. Still they make a family, the only family that they can have. They work together and learn to love each other. That’s the sorts of interactions necessary to write effective fiction. That’s the sort of story one needs to write.

I still sit in my room, reading and writing and watching and playing video games. This persistence has to pay off sometime, right? I think that I have to write a successful book sometime. I hope that people will give me a chance with my writing.

Thanks, and take care, friends.