Risinghadow has the honour of publishing a guest post article by Sean Benham, the author of Blope.

Information about Sean Benham:

Sean Benham is a Toronto-based entertainment industry professional who has worked as an art director, graphic animator, writer and producer on everything from Emmy award-winning children’s television programming to heavy metal music videos.

Blope is Sean Benham’s debut novel.

Click here to visit Sean Benham official website and click here to visit the official book website.

Life (almost) imitating art

By Sean Benham, author of Blope

The internet loves lists, and with good reason. Lists are easier to write than traditional prose; imagine writing a scholarly essay on the ‘Top Ten Mario Kart Race Tracks’ versus breaking it down into bite sized info-chunks. Lists are easy for the reader to mentally digest; imagine reading that essay on the comparative merits of simulated Kart racing course design (or, better yet, don’t imagine it!)  Lists can be spread over multiple pages for increased click traffic, and subjective rankings invariably lead to petty bickering and snide name calling. Message boards couldn’t exist without petty bickering and snide name calling.

Based on my exhaustive research into ‘listing’ on the internet, I have uncovered the two most popular varieties of lists - ‘Sexiest Wives and Girlfriends of Soccer Players I’ve Never Heard of’ and ‘Shocking! Technology Predicted by Science Fiction’. (Full disclosure, I occasionally confuse ‘exhaustive’ with ‘brief’ and ‘research’ with ‘doing a couple Google searches and calling it a day’)

Now, I’m not about to call BS on subjective objectification (that turn of phrase was this close to being clever), but I’ll happily call BS on sci-fi writers being a secret cabal of Nostradamuses. There just a bunch of ‘what if’ guys and gals, and most of their technological ‘what ifs’ spring from the flaws and foibles of the technology of the day.

I’ll reference Star Trek as a basic example. In the Star Trek universe, members of Starfleet use Tricorders - pocket sized computers that are used for communication, scouting and basic analysis. Sounds kind of like the smartphones of today, right? Well, what if I were to tell you Star Trek debuted in… 1966! I’ll wait while you pick up the pieces of your head, when I blow minds I like to be courteous.

See, the thing is, Gene Roddenberry and friends didn’t have a prophetic vision of 13-year-old Jimmy Corncob using his iPhone to text his friends, find the nearest Burger King and use Shazam to find out the title of ‘Rock and Roll (part 2)’. When they were writing their space western, they probably figured that it would be handy to have each of their Adventure Astronauts lug around a rotary phone, a full set of encyclopedias and a pocket full of crumpled space-maps, but it wouldn’t be practical. “What if we squeeze all three into a little rectangular computer thing?” probably seemed like a reasonable solution to this ‘problem’ and they ran with it.

Science fiction predicting technology shouldn’t come as a surprise; it’s a natural extension of the genre. It’s only logical that it takes a while for technology to catch up with imagination. It’s far easier to dream up a flying ice cream delivery service than it is to build and implement one. Trust me.

With my ironclad debunking of technological clairvoyance out of the way, I’ll turn to selfish boasting about my own incredible predictive powers. (You all knew this was coming, right?) Blope, my debut novel (released summer 2012), nearly foresaw the outcome of the recent papal election (spring 2013). Seriously.  It’s one thing to predict something obvious like the flat screen TV, but predicting a whole Pope? Incredible!

Leading up to the election of Pope Francis, bookmakers were busy churning out odds for weirdoes who bet on Popes. One of the frontrunners, according to a slew of gambling sites, was Cardinal Peter Turkson.

Now, I know what you’re thinking - ‘I read Blope, and there’s nobody named Peter or Turkson!’ First of all, thanks for reading it! Secondly, I don’t think you read it very closely. If you had, you would have been at least a little taken aback that the Catholic Church was on the verge of electing a black Pope, one from Ghana no less! To draw a parallel between Blope and real life for the uninitiated, yes, Blope is a contraction of Black Pope, and yes, my fictional Black Pope is indeed of Ghanaian descent. Freaky, right? Right. Superfreaky.

I paid rapt attention to the papal conclave as it took place this March. (Well, kind of rapt. Watching a chimney is pretty dull). Dreams of being written up in conspiracy theory blogs fluttered through my head. “What secret society does Sean Benham belong to?” they would ask. “Bilderburg! Benham! Subterranean Pyramids! Connect the dots, sheeple!” they would proclaim. Better yet, “Buy Blope! That Sean Benham knows what he’s talking about!” would be pounded out on paranoiacs keyboards across the globe.

And then, the Catholic Church elected a dude from Argentina. He seems like a good Pope, as far as Popes go, but he sure doesn’t jive with my narrative. Bummer. Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to get back to work on my Mint Chocolate Chip fuselage.

Sean Benham is a Toronto-based entertainment industry professional who has worked as an art director, graphic animator, writer and producer on everything from Emmy award-winning children’s television programming to heavy metal music videos.

Blope is his first novel, and available for purchase in both paperback and e-book formats via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Lulu, Kobo, iTunes, Sony and Smashwords.

Website: http://seanbenham.biz / http://www.blopenovel.com


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This giveaway ends at May 12th, 2013.


 

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