Tuesday, September 10, 2013

VBT - The Dream Metropolis by Miles Cressman with Interview


1) First, tell us about yourself – where  you live, your family, and those sorts of details.

I live in Eugene, Oregon, and have been here for the past few years after graduating from the University of Oregon. My dad died a few years ago, and my mom lives up in Portland, Oregon. I have no siblings. I work as a manager at a hotel that’s closing in a few months, and I spend my time writing as well as hanging out with friends and taking life day by day.

2) How long have  you been writing?

I’ve been writing for about four or five years now.

3) Do you have a favorite place to write?

I prefer writing at home with my chilled-out writing playlist queued up on iTunes.

4) Why did you decide to write The Dream Metropolis?

I was inspired by the film Inception, as well as my own dreams. I thought that film didn’t quite delve deep enough into what dreams are capable of, and what they ultimately mean, so I wanted to explore it myself. I thought a good beginning setting would be an abstract, ever-changing city.

5) Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

Ash is probably my favorite character in the first book. He’s tortured, and his drug addiction makes him interesting to write because of the types of people he associates with and how they’ve shaped his problematic life.

6) How about your least favorite character?  What makes them less appealing to you?

My least favorite character is likely Cleo, mostly because of the religious element as I myself am mostly atheist. However, I thought it would be an interesting angle to tackle within the context of a dream: a crisis of faith.

7) Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

I mostly edit my own works (for now), but I have others who beta read here and there.

8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I like to hang out with people and watch the sun set, sipping on wine. I also like to just unwind, as I work every weekday.

9) Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

I read less than I used to, but I used to be an avid reader. My favorite authors are Kurt Vonnegut, Mark Danielewski, Joseph Conrad, and Frank Herbert.

10) Why did you choose a setting that’s undefined?

The concept of the Metropolis being dynamic and shapeshifting was one I wanted to test out as a writer, because it meant that every time I described the world, most of it would be different every time. There were certain things that I kept permanently static, such as the reflective, grey sky, but everything about the city changes depending on which character I’m viewing it through. I find the fact that it’s never static to be the most fascinating part of writing the novel.

Sci-Fi - Fantasy
Date Published: 8/15/2011

The Dream Metropolis is a science fiction novel that posits the idea of dreams becoming reality, and reality fading away into obscurity. It explores the relationship people have between their real lives and the escape that only dreams can provide.

The Dream Metropolis delves deep into the mechanics of dreaming, all inside of an abstract, ever-changing city of dreams. The people inside this artificial dream world see everything before them as real, even though they do not know that they are dreaming of each other, of other real people.

They are part of a project that works to exploit their limitless, dreaming imagination in an attempt to separate the mind from the body forever, to create a real world inside of the mind.

However, for a drug addict named Ash spending his last moments inside the Metropolis, dreaming forever doesn't sound so appealing.


“Ash fell down from a hazy, overcast sky and he coated the rooftops with a gray thickness; even as the sunlight filtered in it did little to warm the air, warm the people, bring the life back. He could smell fire, an intense fire that roasted and ached and called out to everything around it hoping for solace. He opened his eyes and for a second never thought he could feel alive again. The gunshot? Completely gone, only some residual scar still freshly fading. And even though the memories were hammer strikes upon the anvil, the pain of it all had begun to recede. Had he died? Was he in the afterlife? Nothing gave him an answer.
He stood up to survey his surroundings. The building he was on top of was alone, surrounded on all sides by a thick forest. However, peering deep into their green veils he could see other buildings, like a city.”

Miles Cressman

Miles Cressman was born in Arizona, but raised in Portland, Oregon, where he grew up enjoying complex fantasy and humanist satire such as Kurt Vonnegut. While attending the University of Oregon he started work on his first full-length novel, The Dream Metropolis, which would later go on to be part one of a four-part series entitled A Paean to Dreams, with its final, conclusive novel released in June of 2013. Miles graduated the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Arts in English, and now works on novels in his spare time. He has been featured in the Eugene, Oregon based literary journal, The Watercourse Journal, and has a short story featured in Kindle All Stars: Resistance Front, which also features the talents of Bernard Schaffer and Harlan Ellison.


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