Garlan: I am really excited about meeting today's guest, Abigail Danson.
Ferune: You didn't prepare any questions, did you?
Garlan: What makes you say that?
Ferune: Because, dear brother, you confuse excitement with stark raving terror. For the record, Miss Danson, I am not afraid. I am rather thrilled to interview a supergenius.
Abigail Danson: Just call me Abby, please. I am thrilled to be interviewed by the two of you, though I probably won't be able to answer many of your questions.
Ferune: You don't want to give much away from the Terminals books do you?
Abby: Not really. There are a great many secrets and odd turns in the Terminals Saga that I think it's best for your readers to discover them for themselves.
Garlan: I have read them and I agree completely. How about we discuss a question about genre. From the cover art of the complete saga volume, anyone can see that there is a dragon in the story. Does this mean Terminals is a fantasy?
Abby: I would root it more firmly in mythology, both a mythology of the cosmology of Thomas Cardin's multiverse, and the Greek mythology of Earth.
Garlan: But there's also superheroes and some hard science fiction as well.
Abby: Correct. The genres are rather blended together because of the events which are set in motion. This in not a case of jumping from one to the next, but a true intermixing. It's a very character driven story, and it's one of discovery and growth.
Ferune: I don't think we're going to get much more out of her, at least not any spoilers. What can you tell us about your role in the saga, Abby?
Abby: I'm a lieutenant in the US Army leading a team of special forces made up of lucky ones and specials.
Ferune: Oh, a woman in a leadership position, I like that - a woman of color as well. Do you think Thomas was making a statement?
Abby: (laughter) He discussed this with me at length. There are no shortages of male superheroes. Readers can readily see what categories they fall into from the troubled, conflicted hero to the pure, do-no-wrong hero. With a female hero, there's an open pathway to develop something different, more powerful. None of the female heroes in the Terminals Saga are encoumbered by gender roles, nor, for all their ethnic diversity, are they victims of stereotype. Thomas aimed to set an example with the underlying theme of the story which is that we can all be who we choose to be.
Ferune: So Earth is a world of true equality?
Abby: Far from it, but strong women exist, and Thomas makes a point of not forcing gender roles on his characters. He shows us an Earth that we'd like to see, then fills it with villains and monsters.
Garlan: I loved the monsters in Terminals. They were really brutal.
Abby: Yes, there were a variety of bad guys. By brutal you must be referring to The Balrog, but he is just one of many and some are far more subtle, even misguided.
Garlan: I did prepare one question for you. What is it like to be a supergenius? You seem pretty normal to me.
Abby: Thank you for that, I like to appear normal (Abby winks) keeps my enemies guessing. I suppose you can think of me as the smartest parts of Stephen Hawking and Sherlock Holmes combined. I can look at a machine and understand how it works, I can take it apart and see how to put it back together as a more efficient machine. People are a bit more difficult, but I can see a lot about them from subtle details. I have another ability as well, but I will leave that for readers to discover in the story.
Ferune: You also appear extremely fit - I'm jealous.
Abby: Don't sell yourself short, Ferune. You gotta be knocking them dead yourself.
Ferune: No comment.
Abby: My physique is part of being a lucky one. The Red Event made even the weakest of us more fit than an Olympic athelete, then gave us strength and heightened abilities on top of that.
Garlan: Can you draw the distinction for us between lucky ones and specials?
Abby: Well the specials are the terminals of the story title. They were terminal cancer patients who were subjected to a mutagen compound which turned their cancers into super powered tissues similar to the transformed tissues of lucky ones, only much stronger. Unfortunately, the mutagen is not a cure for cancer, the transformed tissues remain deadly to the host's body.
Garlan: That places quite a short shelf life on the specials. It's sort of a mixed blessing, isn't it?
Abby: I disagree. Before the mutagen, these people were in a great deal of pain, even the attempts to cure cancer do nearly as much damage to the patient as the cancers themselves. With the mutagen, they become strong and healthy. They know they're still dying, but as their cancer spreads, they grow even stronger. If there were no limit to the supply of mutagen, I would have liked to have seen everyone benefiting from its effects - assuming they could pass a psychological profile test - making more villains would not have been good for our health.
Ferune: What's next for you, Abby? I saw that your name is credited to the forward of The Allero Genesis.
Abby: (Nods) Yes, at some point in the future I become curator of the Nexus Library. What I know of it so far is that it's a repository of knowledge for the multiverse. The story of The Allero Genesis came in many forms - it's a very ancient story - and my intelligence was pivotal in digging out the truth.
Garlan: Could not the Lady of Destiny simply have told you the truth of the tale?
Abby: Most certainly, but she doesn't work that way. She recognizes that there is far more to be gained when we discover the knowledge for ourselves. When she tells us, our destiny becomes much harder for her to predict. She did tell me when I got things right though.
Ferune: I imagine this means we'll see you again in Thomas' stories?
Abby: Absolutely. At the end of the Terminals Saga, a rather extensive project is begun. I am really looking forward to it - it may bridge some of the gap between several stories which Thomas has hinted about.
Garlan: Involving dragons?
Abby: I very much hope so. He has a lot of groundwork to lay in a couple stories nearing completion, The Fire of Falraan and Behind the Stars. They will open the door for my team's next adventures.
Ferune: Thank you for joining us today, Abby, I hope you'll be back to share more hints and insights with us in the future.
Abby: It has been a pleasure. You two are very funny in your own stories and in person as well.
Garlan: Thank you! Want to guess who's joining us next week, Ferune?
Ferune: Tornin from the Vorallon books?
Ferune: Lord Aran? Wouldn't he be fun?
Garlan: No, though he's coming up.
Ferune: Is it a sexy person of the male persuasion at all?
Garlan: No, not so much, no.
Ferune: (Sighs) All right, who then?
Garlan: Next week's guest will be the Voice of Vorallon herself, Lady Iris.
Ferune: What a surprise, another smart and powerful woman - I'm sensing a theme here.
Garlan and Ferune can be seen in the humorous, adult, choose-a-path adventure Damned in the Illmire Swamp - Read for free on WriteOn
Be sure to check out Terminals: The Complete Saga - click below for a free sample!