Curran Geist – The Sity
Early on in my blog days I kept coming across the memorable name Curran Geist and “The Sity” which seemed to reap great reviews and admirati0n everywhere. Not a huge fan of Science Fiction I took some time to finally download the book and read it, but curiosity got the better of me. I am glad I did. Here is the verdict and an interview with Curran.
“The Sity” by Curran Geist is a gripping futuristic, interstellar thriller in which three armed green skinned aliens called Kuljiks are ruling the world. Acid rain is making the word less habitable and our story features a kind of circus where humans are being shown on display and made to fight each other.
Carina escapes and hides in a sanctuary where she learns about a time where humans were masters of the world. Victor has helped her but in the process has become a target himself. The only way is to form an army and fight back.
This is great action with some deeper psychological edge to it. It is not just a well done science fiction opus with action and suspense it has also great characters, depth a message relevant independent of its futuristic setting. I loved the ending and am looking forward to finding out where the series is going from here.
If you love sci-fi…you will love The Sity! This is book one of a planned series of four.
Victor’s memory has been damaged from months of torture and enslavement. But there’s one thing they couldn’t steal from him…the hope of finding his lost family. Carina is haunted by strange visions and the symbols etched into her skin. She will stop at nothing to discover her true identity.
In this tale of survival and vengeance, two young humans fight back against the oppression of an alien race called the Kuljik. Dangers and unspeakable horrors lie around every corner of the Sity, a violent metropolis where enslaved humans are abused for the pleasure of the aliens. Victor and Carina are both blessed with mysterious supernatural powers and represent humanity’s best hope to escape. Will their personal demons cause them to unravel as they forge the destiny of their futures?
Can friendship, community, and even love survive in the darkest of worlds? Dreams are dashed and nightmares are realized in this Sci-Fi Fantasy novel by author Curran Geist.
Curran Geist grew up in the quaint town of Schwenksville, PA. As a home educated student, Curran often lived within books and his vibrant imagination allowed him to escape to fictional worlds beyond the tiny town where he was raised. Writing is and has always been Curran’s passion. By the age of 12, he had already begun writing novels. This included a series called Captured and a children’s book The Ultrasaurus That Was Afraid of Heights. As a teenager, he won multiple youth poetry competitions and started his own independent art newsletter entitled In-Between Dreams.
While studying Religion at Gettysburg College, Curran participated in numerous poetry slams. Human rights has also always been very important to Curran as evidenced through his experience in the Americorps, with Amnesty International, and at the Museum of Tolerance New York. In writing his first self-published novel THE SITY, Curran Geist has merged his love of science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres with his belief in combatting social injustices. THE SITY paints a dystopian, post-apocalyptic, extraterrestrial landscape that mirrors many modern day social issues, including: the exploitation of children, sexual slavery, and cruelty towards animals. The lead characters embark on a harrowing journey of survival and vengeance while trying to unravel the mysteries of their pasts and forge a destiny to save humanity. Curran Geist received his Master’s Degree at Hunter College in New York City.
Interview with Curran:
I am a quirky idealist with lots of different sides to my personality.
People have commented that I have a unique writing style. I love that because I see myself as a unique person. I don’t really fit into any boxes, and I don’t think my writing fits into any one genre or category. My writing does, however, reflect the complexity of being human and the best and worst in people.
What made you decide to write science fiction and The Sity in particular?
I’ve been writing fiction since I was a little kid. I wrote my first sci-fi novel when I was thirteen. I always used to say that the most exciting thing about my hometown was the public library. I lived within the books there and eventually began writing myself. Writing and publishing a novel, whether independently or traditionally, has always been something on my bucket list. Of course, I don’t plan on dying any time soon. Knock on wood. However, I decided a few years ago to really focus my energy and get back to the thing I love most – writing. That, of course, led to The Sity.
Tell us a little about the history of the book. How did you have the inspiration for your story and your characters?
The Sity is considered sci-fi, however, it is inspired by moral issues in the real world, including child slavery, terrorism, and animal abuse. About six years ago, I spoke with a former child soldier by the name of Ishmael Beah. He wrote a memoir of his traumatic experiences. His story resonated with me on the cycle of violence and impact of war on young lives. My own book started out as a three-page comic spread that I drew of an enslaved child. I then decided to turn it into a novel.
How much of the stories was fixed before you started writing and how much changed during the process?
I start with an outline of the major plot points for each chapter. However, the story has changed quite significantly through the writing process. For me, the characters are like real people. So it’s an organic process, where I will let the characters’ personalities dictate the decisions they make. This might cause drastic shifts in the direction of the book. For example, a very early conversation in the novel, which was supposed to be pleasant and civil, turned hostile due to the volatile emotions of the protagonist.
Which of your characters was most enjoyable to write? Who would play them in a film?
It was actually quite fun to write one of the smaller characters, Qhoro. Although he’s only in a few parts, they are all quite significant. I think Ryan Gosling would be great for that role. My wife would be very happy with that casting. She is quite the fan of Gosling.
Are you like any of the characters in the book?
Sure, I am like all the best aspects of the characters. Just kidding. I do think there are aspects of myself in some of the characters. A key theme in The Sity is how people reconcile with their pasts and self doubts. I see a bit of myself in Victor and Logan.
What is your life like? What do you do for pleasure and work when you are not writing?
Right now writing is my priority. However, I also spend my time being a good uncle to a two-year old, taking care of my pets, cooking for my wife, and getting my heart broken by my hometown Philadelphia sports teams.
Who are your literary influences? What are your favorite books/ films/ albums?
Many readers have mentioned that they think The Sity would be great as a comic book. It’s interesting, because my writing is very much influenced by comics, such as the Walking Dead and The Watchmen. I would say one of my favorite films is Lord of the Rings and my favorite album is In Utero by Nirvana.
What are your views on independent publishing?
I think indie publishing is great because it gives more authors a chance to get their stories out into the world. There are just so many barriers to break through in the traditional route. Some really great books would never have seen the light of day if not for indie publishing.
Can you recommend any indie books/ authors?
Any book by Christoph Fischer. Ok, no more kissing up. I recently read a great indie horror book called Small Things by Joe DeRouen.
What would your friends tell us if we asked for your best and your oddest qualities?
Best quality is probably my helpfulness to others, whether friend or stranger. Oddest quality is that I talk to animals as if they are humans. For example, some times I will wave at dogs and say “Hi”.
What are your favorite animal/ color/ outdoor activity?
Otters, purple, tennis
What would you take to a remote island?
I’m not a big fan of remote islands. I prefer to be around people and mountains. I also don’t like the heat and most islands are hot. This might be a boring answer, but I would mostly think of my survival. So number one, I would take some type of water purifier bottle and cutting tool.
Who would you like to invite for dinner and why?
George R.R. Martin. I’m tired of waiting for his next book and hopefully he’ll tell me some spoilers. Plus, his favorite food is barbeque, and I like that, too.
What are you writing at the moment and where would we find out about your next projects?
I am working on The Sity: Book Two and hope for it to be done some time this spring. You can follow my progress on my websitehttps://thesity2012.wordpress.com.
Last year, I also launched an independent art website called In-Between Dreams at http://dreamsinbetween.wordpress.com. This online newsletter includes poetry, short stories, drawings, and photos from a variety of indie artists. I invite you to check it out or to even submit your own work.
What else would you like us to know about you and your books?
Something random about me is that I often get mistaken for Jimmy Fallon. I wish I was as funny as him! Regarding my book, I would just say read it. If Sci-Fi is not usually your cup-of-tea, I think you’ll find that my novel is really a mixture of many different genres. Ultimately, it is about relationships and the power of people to overcome inner demons and achieve their destinies.