Robert A. Sloan, author

Hello, my name is Robert.

I write science fiction, fantasy and horror. I prefer writing in settings that I create because I’ve got the elbow room to characterize entire cultures and situations as well as individuals. I write escape fiction. Currently I have one book in print, Raven Dance. There will be many more, Sword of Arkatyr will come out in e-book form Fall 2012 and after that, a steady stream of other fantasy, SF and horror books at the speed I can edit them.

Having had a hard life, I know exactly what escape fiction is good for. It shows a way out of bad situations. It scales them up larger than life and gives ways to think about them that may work better. Most of all it’s a distraction against the relentless stress of unlivable situations that can’t be changed or demand long struggles to change.

I write science fiction because I write from life. I’ve seen technology change everything time and again over my lifetime, mostly to my benefit. I could not have survived in most earlier centuries. I’d have been dead by the time I was five years old. In the decade I was born, my physical disabilities would have made me a prisoner for life without parole. That’s just how birth defects were handled.

Today, I’m looking at a computer more powerful than the ones that launched the Apollo missions and I own this little thing. Back in the 1980s I imagined having a personal computer about the size and shape of a ring binder with the keyboard on one side and the screen flipping up, something I could carry around and use on battery anywhere I went.

I’m using that machine now. In the decade and a half that I was completely isolated by physical disability, essentially on medical house arrest, personal computers were the difference between total isolation and having a social life. For the abled, they’re addictive because you can control your social life. You can strictly hang out with people you like and comfortably ignore anyone obnoxious. Most of the Internet is set up that way, easy to filter out the jerks you run into at work or on the bus.

For the disabled, especially those without cars stuck in the suburbs where a car is a necessity, it makes the difference between whether you know anyone besides the people you live with or not. No matter how close you are to the people you live with or how well you get along with them, it’s too much pressure to demand they take the place of a full range of acquaintances, friends, family, community ties. That can distort relationships and damage them.

Back when I first read The Lord of the Rings, it was a cult classic that scared a lot of people. I mean, adults reading these stories with dragons and elves? Now everyone’s seen the movies and it’s part of our culture. Tolkein’s classic saga recreated a genre and it no longer purports to be history. It doesn’t have to be history to be myth and serve the real purposes of myth. Frodo inspires a lot of people.

Heck, I’m about the right age right now for hobbits to set off on great adventures. So here I am starting this one and the old professor’s poetry still moves my heart. The road goes ever on and I have no idea where mine will lead me, except that so far it’s led to much better than what I left behind.

What I write is escape fiction. Think about who doesn’t want anyone to escape – that would be jailers. Escape fiction lets you step aside from your life and see it from a different angle. That can give you heart or give you the idea that lets you change the situation while you’re in it.

8 Responses to Robert A. Sloan, author

  1. Oh yes. My partner and muse, Ari, is a 12 year old Long Hair Colorpoint, a Street Siamese whose mother Snow was a small Lynx Point (tabby points) long hair. She dated “a big black cat.” He inherited his father’s size and his markings are black or dark smoke, while he got his mother’s pattern and beautiful pale blue eyes.

    He sheds Cat Hairs of Inspiration on me and all of my friends and readers. Cats and writers are a natural match because cats don’t let you ignore them for hours on end but have great tact about exactly when and how to interrupt. He’s taken to slithering into my lap and purring while I write, so that the next minor break in the process my hands automatically migrate to “pet the cat” and he helps me think of the next thing to type. Sometimes he’ll sleep in my lap for hours exuding cat hairs of inspiration, only to wake up when I need a break and start purring again.

  2. Robert
    it is good to see the new website up and running. After hearing so much about your novel Raven Dance I have finally got around to buying in eBook form. I will admit that I am having a difficult time giving up my hardcover and soft cover addiction. And it has been an addiction since my much older sister taught me to read at the age of three, she started me on that long road that never ends!

    I have floor to ceiling bookshelves in my home in Scotland, and still they spill over
    And while I am her in Colorado with my son I still keep buying. I do give all the paperbacks to charity now and most of the hardbacks but I can’t resist keeping a few! Anyway I am looking forward to reading Raven Dance , SF and Fantasy have long been a part of my reading lists,.so I will be waiting for your new novel Sword of Arkatyr and I hope that will be in eBook form also.

  3. Hi Robert!
    What a wonderful site!
    Good luck on your novel!
    I live in Greece and I would love to find and read it.
    Kisses on your partner Ari who does not like Pringles 🙂

    With love
    Evie Kounavie fb friend or “Evie from wetcanvas”

  4. Thank you both! I hope you got the book, Evie, I’ve had overseas readers before as far away as South Africa. Good thing Amazon goes everywhere.

    Ricky, thank you for commenting and getting the book. I’ll be putting some new ones out probably in 2014 if all goes well. Starting with short stuff but I will also be editing the big ones…

  5. I’m impressed, you have the touch. I just bought your book and can not put it down. Don’t think I’ll get much else done today! Thanks for the push to get started in DII.

    Mee-kah sends purrs to Ari.

  6. Dear Robert,

    Thank you for your mentoring, that’s the only way I can describe it.
    Thank you also for pointing me in the right direction, I hope I don’t disappoint you.
    I like your site, it’s really cool.
    Good luck with your publishing, I hope you can transition from Ebook to paperbook.
    I look forward to reading your work, avidly.
    Good luck, Take care,

  7. Found this website via a rather twisted path that I don’t know I could recreated if I wanted too, but fascinated by the idea of a parallel universe to Dragaera. Bought Raven Dance on the kindle, I’ll let you know what I think about it after I read it.