The Third Awakening
FIRST CONTACT: Dennis Weiser's The THIRD AWAKENING
Writing poems and stories has been my vocation since third grade. To prepare for a writing career in college, I studied with two graduates of the Iowa Writers Workshop, Jay Karr and Wayne Zade. By the time I graduated, I had produced a considerable body of apprentice work: two novels, two novellas, dozens of essays, stories and hundreds of poems. From there, I worked a series of fulltime entry level jobs, devoting an equivalent number of hours to honing my craft as a writer. Each job informed my writing, providing me with fresh insights into human nature and character. 20 years later, I had accumulated 13 large crates of original, fairly polished manuscripts: poems, short stories, novels, essays. I have achieved some recognition. My parable of genocidal terror was the featured original fiction in the April 2004 webzine, The Illuminata (Editor Bret Funk called it “Twilight Zone-esque”). In June that same year, an excerpt from my novel Crash Dummies was awarded first prize for prose fiction at the Printers Row Book Fair in Chicago. In 2007 I gave an invited reading at a prestigious private four-year college and met with creative writing students for a Q&A about writing and publishing.
Just as our world is on the brink of a dramatic transformation, the world of traditional publishing is going through an identity crisis, brought on by the internet and the advent of high-speed, electronic, print-on-demand publishing. The rules of the game are changing, including the way that writers are paid. Enter crowd-funding platform: Unglue.it. The idea is simple: an author invites readers to support publication of his book and if the campaign reaches its goal, a digital version of the book is “unglued,” made available to everyone in the world for free under a Creative Commons license. In exchange for subscribing at a 5, 10, 15, 25, 30, 35, 50 or 100 dollar level, the reader earns rewards called “premiums” delivered by the author. In this way, writers “grow’ an audience of loyal readers who participate in the publishing process by interacting directly with an author.
You see: my goal as a writer was never self-promotion or marketing; I simply wanted to create beautiful works of fine literature; poems and stories and novels that would hold the reader’s interest 50, 100 or 500 years after I’m dead. Ambitious? Yes, but not in the sense of self-seeking or self-promotion. Deluded? You be the judge.
The Third Awakening is a macabre, eco-friendly, erotic sci-fi fantasy satire about corporate culture and the superior beings who come to save Earth from itself and human beings from their dark side. To prevent humans from destroying Earth, the Joracians have just evacuated every man, woman and child on the planet. An advanced race of telepaths who have found a way to live in peace and harmony for 100 million years, they take Sam Marz under their wing. Sam has a special gift—one that’s not only rare in the universe but unique to Earth. As Sam helps the Joracians in their daunting enterprise, he wins their favor and is initiated into the secret circles of Joracian power. But…all he really wants is—to get with Sylvia!
EXCERPTS: THE THIRD AWAKENING
In The Third Awakening, a race of advanced telepaths called Joracians have evacuated every human on Earth for their own good. An underlying premise of the story is revealed as one of the aliens explains to Sam:
“Earth is gone, you may as well face it. The entire framework, secular and political, which made events and actions meaningful—all is vanished! If human beings are to avoid becoming extinct, they will have to be retooled for a higher activity and purpose. The seeds of which, it just so happens, are embedded in your world’s art and literature.”
Uh-huh, I thought: Right. At that moment, I felt as if I knew precisely what he was talking about.
“You, my dear friend, are going to help us to replant those seeds.”
This same alien, Àkbä, takes Sam to the High Tribunal of the Joracian Council.
Àkbä took me on a tour of the basilica. It was a maze of halls, alcoves and atria, winding and interconnected; I was glad I had him to guide me, or I would have been lost for good. He told me the names and purposes of the various rotundas, porticos, vaults and vestibules, but to me they were just big empty rooms. There were no windows and little light, but—curiously, I thought—the walls in every chamber were covered with the same peculiar designs that I had earlier noticed, nonrepresentational images of every conceivable shape, texture and size. At first I thought it was some sort of non-objective art, but in a few of them I could recognize some halfway familiar detail: a human eye, a fingerprint, a numeral or letter of the alphabet. Though I could not exactly decipher their meaning, I felt certain that these were the visible emblems of a truly advanced race, infinitely wise and kind.
“That’s exactly right, Sam,” Àkbä said, as if reading my mind. “Our culture requires us to work in teams,” he added, by way of explanation, “to promote clarity and understanding. Many of these teams produce the icons you see around you.” He stopped and pointed out one design in particular, mentioning that it had taken all the awards at the recent games.
“Games? What are they?” I asked
“They’re special convocations to determine the ultimate constituents of reality.”
I perked up. “When are they held?”
“In principle, they cannot be planned for or scheduled. They occur only under conditions of absolute necessity. When any of a number of things are cosmically suitable, then it happens.”
He must have noticed my puzzlement.
“Of course, in another sense, the Games go on continuously…”
“Where are they held?”
“In the Fifth Dimension, at the Source of Gravity. We call it the G-Spot. You see, Sam, consciousness exists simultaneously on many different levels. Those levels actually comprise fissures leading into other dimensions. Some part of every conscious entity is always present in the Fifth Dimension.”
“How do you figure that?” I asked, somewhat skeptically.
“Because: existence on more than one level is a sufficient condition for existence in the Fifth Dimension.”
This was more interesting than anything I’d ever read in a book and I told him so.
“Sam, your performance earlier pleased me. You’ve earned a reward. So, if you will follow me—”
“You’ll find out, soon enough.”
In episode 13, Àkbä rewards Sam for his dutiful service in preparing the Earthlings by introducing him to a rather unique form of “Virtual Reality”:
“Now, Sam,” Àkbä said when I had finished my drink, “it’s very important that you listen to what I’m going to tell you and that you remember. I’m going to seem to leave you for awhile, but in point of fact I’ll be very close to you. I’ll be in telepathic connection with you throughout, but you’ll feel like you’re alone. Okay?” I had no idea what he was babbling about. ‘You won’t be able to touch anything,’ he mentioned.
‘Why not?’ I grinned.
‘Because we’re out of our bodies.’
I turned around and—sure enough!—there I was, reclining in the lounge chair, my blue hyböl clenched firmly in my claw, a grin plastered on my mug as I stared straight ahead into empty space. Àkbä sat coolly next to me, both of us motionless as ice.
I experienced a pleasant floating sensation as the column of colored lights began to spin, vibrate weirdly and reshape itself. Objects upon which my eyes could focus appeared and I let myself watch with absorbed fascination. Larger than life, like titanic gods and goddesses, their faces like moons and suns, their figures appeared to me; I listened to their conversation with the half-guilty feeling of a spy or voyeur; but this soon wore off, as I was drawn, deeper and deeper into the scenes I watched with increasing amazement and curiosity. Why was the young woman crying? Suddenly, I recognized the face: it was Kirstin! And the woman she was talking to was her mother, I now intuited: they had been reunited! While the great drama unfolded, I recognized others with whom I had worked and slowly came to understand that they had moved on to further stages of the Resettlement Process, were reuniting with loved ones all across the universe. Grasping how important my preparatory work had been, I could feel tears welling up in my eyes, until I realized that—disembodied as I was—these were simply “ghost” tears, like the somatic “tingling” of those with amputated limbs. As I watched the intimate stories of each person briefly unfold, I beheld an extended glimpse of the tremendous harmony and dignity of each life; and I felt an intimate acquaintance and kinship with the Joracian ideals of service and duty, of Clej Ameo. The colorful images and sounds swirling all around me gradually faded away; and I found myself back in my body in the barca-lounger, holding my hyböl. Exhausted, I sat shrunken by this experience of Sublime Encounter. I quickly drained the rest of my hyböl. Àkbä sat serene in his composure. “You see, Sam, your labor has not been in vain.”
I needed sleep. I told Àkbä this and returned to my mini-ship alone.
There are plenty more surprises in store for you and for Sam in the fast-paced episodes comprising The Third Awakening.
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