It was a surprise even to myself, when I realized I hadn’t written a novel in almost 11 years. I enjoy working on a novel, but it always seems to me, whenever I start preparing myself to begin one, that there can never be enough time to finish it. On the other hand, I don’t think I’m the kind of writer who could spend years on a piece of writing. At least so far I don’t seem to be that kind of writer. I’m too fickle.
But I am also always contemplating stories that I want to develop into novels. Maybe because to be able to complete a novel feels so satisfying and rewarding that the urge for it never ceases to disturb my brain.
The original idea for Basement Moon was much more abstract than how it eventually turned out. The whole narrative was supposed to take place in a tiny underground bar and all the actions were to play out entirely through the characters’ inner dialogues. All the characters were supposed to be “artificial minds” that used human bodies as hosts. Sounds suspiciously similar to HBO’s “Westworld”, I know, but the idea came to me before the popular series began, and the actual story was not at all alike.
I don’t claim to be a Sci-Fi fan, as I have not consumed enough of the genre to earn the status. Strangely, however, I often come up with ideas that have some Sci-Fi elements in them. I think in my case I’m drawn more to the speculative part of the genre than the “science” part. I relate more to the Dick universe than the Asimov one, for instance. Or maybe not even the Dick. Maybe closer to Shirley Jackson’s.
Basement Moon is, in the end, a kind of philosophical Sci-Fi thriller set simultaneously in 2016 and 2069, and the story is told by a mysterious revolutionary artificial consciousness trying to bring down the international network of totalitarian regimes through literature and language, and time travel. G.K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday plays a big part in the narrative. So does Jack London’s The Star Rover, but to a much lesser degree. Both of these classics are virtually unknown in Thailand. I was somewhat worried about alluding to works that were so obscure to the Thai readers, but there were no better literature than these two to convey the messages I wanted to get across. The general idea for the story was also inspired by the spirits of Walt Whitman’s poetry.
I enjoyed the Basement Moon journey. I think it’s an unusual work, quite different from all of my previous fiction. The first print run was released in late March, in time for the 46th Bangkok Book Fair. The readers seemed to have welcomed it and the second print run followed in May. I am grateful for the warm reception, which was, to be honest, also a surprise.
I tell myself I’m not going to wait another decade to write the next novel.
Basement Moon (in the Thai language) can be ordered from Typhoon Studio.