Sunday, July 18, 2010
An anonymous, videogaming girl fan of BIOPHILIA has lovingly made videogame art inspired by BIOPHILIA and paired it with a quote of my novel here. She's illustrated the evil Penumbra and also Gromer the Polar Bear, resplendent in all his Nagy battle gear. She's made the heroine Imogen a tall, Lara Croft booby girl, which is not how I picture Imogen, but that's fine, the guy fans won't complain.
Biophilia is a self-published sci-fi action adventure series. It's Star Wars meets Narnia. And when I see Fan Art like this, I begin to understand how George Lucas must have felt in 1977. And I promise I won't become lame like him. Thank you for supporting my work, you fans!
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Monday, December 07, 2009
The inside of a Nagy spaceship.
Imogen: What’s The Biophilia Omnibus about? Ask Kai to explain, I’m busy.
Kai: I’m sick of talking about it. We had to talk about it during those literary festivals all year.
Imogen: Can we not do this interview now?
Cut. Take 2. The inside of a Nagy spaceship.
Imogen: (radioing) Yo, Orpheus, can you guys back at the HQ stop changing my password on me? It’s bloody irritating, that’s what. How am I supposed to remember different passwords each time I fly?
Kai unbuckles himself from the co-pilot seat, curls up at the back of the ship and goes to sleep.
Imogen: See? You want to know what Biophilia is about? It’s about Kai being lazy. It’s about people not doing their jobs and I have to do it all for them.
Kai: (eyes closed) We’ve been fighting dragons for three days. I’m tired.
Imogen: The Biophilia Omnibus is … about Space. That’s right. It’s about us thirtysomething New Yorkers, we fall into a wormhole into Outer Space, we find ourselves on a planet with talking animals, and we get these great spaceships to fly, see, except that occasionally they don’t work. (radioing) Hello? Orpheus? Yeah. I’m stuck in the Wasted Plains. Yes, with no coffee. And we can’t fly home because you changed the password on me again. What is it?
She types in a new password. The spaceship glows feebly, then winds down.
Imogen: It doesn’t work. Orpheus, it doesn’t work. Great, now my radio’s gone out too. Kai? Kai, fix it. Hello, am I the only person here? (to the camera) That’s what it’s about. Very exciting. It’s about MMOFT, Massive Multiple Organ Failure of Technology. It happens in Nagy. Not often. Mostly to me. And my co-pilot here, Kai Montserrat? He’s my best friend from college. He’s got an engineering degree. He fixes ships, but he’s not that good, you see. Openly admits it. He went to Harvard. If he was a great engineer he would have gone to Caltech or MIT. So there you have it in a nutshell. The Biophilia Omnibus – Kai and Imogen’s planetary adventures. Avec talking animals.
Kai: (sleepily) Just tell them it’s better than Twilight and Harry Potter.
Imogen: Is that true? I don’t know. I don’t read that stuff. Kai, is that true? Why would our adventures be better?
Kai: (sleepily) ‘Cos we’re grownups, we have money, and we get to do drugs. We’re better looking. We have better clothes. And our soundtrack’s better. We have New Order and Bowie.
Imogen: (to camera) Listen to him. By the way, he’s rich. He lives in a freaking castle, he’s got two garages, stuffed full of supercars. We get to drive them a lot in the stories. Biophilia is like Car Porn. That’s all he’s good for, really. The cars. Can’t really fix things.
Kai: I’m also good for the drugs.
Imogen: No way. Pansy’s my drug dealer.
Kai: When are you going to tell everybody about the secret history between you and Pansy? Is that going to be in Book 5? Or 6?
Imogen: What secret history?
Kai: The audience always wants a love story.
Imogen: Why don’t we tell them the one about you and your wife?
Kai: My ex-wife. I made you sign an NDA about that. Stop talking about it.
Imogen: Yeah, well that piece of paper is back in New York. We’re on Planet Nagy. Aside from Kai’s episode with his ex-wife, there is no love story.
Kai: Certainly not between the two protagonists.
Imogen: Certainly not. (looks uncomfortable) Okay, that’s all for now. Turn that camera off. Kai, fix this?
Kai: (gets up wearily and peers into the screen) Don’t touch it. It’ll reset itself in an hour and we’ll be able to fly back then.
Imogen releases herself from the pilot seat, gets up, tears off her helmet and kicks the spaceship. Storms off the set.
Kai: (to camera) Actually, that’s what The Biophilia Omnibus is all about. She’s written five books entirely about her complaining about New York, Earth, Planet Nagy, Planet Alga, and Outer Space. I don’t read these books, ‘cos I live it. Every day. But you might. If you’re a masochist. But at least there are no teenage vampires. And we do have better clothes. And the sex is incredible. Not.
He leans forward and turns off the camera.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
SINGAPORE - Wena Poon signing copies and giving out toys at the launch of the Biophilia Omnibus at the Singapore Writers Festival. Photo by Joelyn Alexandra.
Q: What is Biophilia?
A: A Proustian literary sci fi/fantasy series based on the lives of characters who first met as Harvard freshmen. I'm writing Book 5.
Q: Why Proust?
A: I took French Lit in college. Like Remembrance of Things Past, Biophilia will have seven volumes, and yes, Proust also self-published his novel! Did you know that?
Q: But why are you publishing it yourself? Surely you can find a publisher since your other books have found publishers?
A: Because only I know how to design the cover and cool inside layout. I want it to look like the fantasy books I read growing up, like The Dark Is Rising. I cannot bear to even discuss this project with an agent, an editor, or a publisher because they will ruin it. I might work with a British or Japanese publisher to make toys, collectibles, and a special carrying case for all the books.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
It is 2015. America is fighting two long and boring wars, its troops spread thin across the world. Terrorists have bombed several city blocks in lower Manhattan. The environment is kaput. Everybody hates the government. Worse, Americans have officially run out of gas. This would all have been a terrible bother for car fanatic Imogen Parks, if it hadn't been for Planet Nagy. Thrown through a wormhole onto another planet by a freak terrorist attack, Imogen discovers a world with illimitable energy sources, superb space ships designed by Alien Squids, and - best of all - Talking Animals who need her help.
Monday, October 12, 2009
"You’re gonna love Imogen cause she’s witty, sassy and sometimes you want to just raise an eyebrow at her or go “YES! YES!!! DO THAT BIYAAATCH!” at what she does on Planet Nagy in a world where she has to save talking animals from utter destruction!"
"I loved Biophilia – the punchy, kickass, frenetic, vivid, in medias res feel of it punctuated with moments of lyrical flair. Pretty much like some of the best video games. You’re a fab writer. I’d love to get my hands on the sequel!"
"I really liked the mix of wild fantasy and generational angst. That's not something I've seen before."
"I enjoy the fact that because you are a woman sci-fi writer, you don't care much about how the space machines work, they just work!"
"I finished reading it and for days I went around cursing a lot of giving people attitude like [the character] Imogen. My husband wondered what had gotten into me."
"Absorbing and well-written."
"I started reading a few pages at work and was hooked. Had to stop myself. Can't wait to get into it."
"I just LOVE your book. It needs a sequel. Give me more!"
Monday, September 21, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Monday, September 29, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
"What is the third book about?" asked publicists Toby and Luca (her house cats).
"New York really blows up and the action has to continue in Berlin. Except I've never been to Berlin so all the scenes are dark, at night, in battle, so that I don't have to describe what the hell Berlin looks like."
"Who's the enemy?"
"The Russians. If you don't believe me, go read Financial Times."
Photo: The author writing Biophilia 3 in a 13th century Irish castle ("for inspiration").
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Poon, 34, says, "The trilogy came about one hot summer day when I was lamenting that Hollywood hasn't yet come up with the summer blockbuster action adventure that I really wanted to see (you know, one with a decent plot and really cool characters and non-corny lines), so I decided to write it myself.
"The movie and the video game, of course! I'm looking into making the Nagy spaceship and animal toys to give away with the book. Just try to stop me. I'm going to keep building my Nagy products empire until somebody in Hollywood freaking takes notice!"
Why does she keep saying the Biophilia books are better than the inflight movie?
"My last long flight, I had to watch Stardust on the telly. Enough said."
Photograph: The author doing research on animal sidekicks by flying trained eagle owls.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
San Francisco, California - Wena Poon has finished writing the sequel to Biophilia, called Cryptic Tonic. Journalist Toby Korell sits down with the author about the new sci fi work.
Q: Why the hell write a second book? Wasn't the first one bad enough?
A: Well, it's like if you didn't like Superman, you won't like Superman Returns. It's more of the same. In fact, it's better.
Q: What happens in this one?
A: Imogen fights the Arctic campaign with the Polar Bears in the icy world of Thebes. Kai finds himself confronting a medieval Lucifer in a H.P. Lovecraft type world of volcanic ash. In between the covers of the book, you will find, in no particular order: Snowy Owls, helicopters, narwhals, Giacomo Puccini, demons, ocelots, orange squirrels, John Keats, white scarabs, termite poison, an Arts and Crafts mansion, set to eighties music. Did I give too much away?
Q: Where the hell do you get all this from? Do you take any hallucinogens?
A: No. Sometimes I write that my characters do drugs - pot, mostly - but I cannot stand the smell of smoke and I don't smoke anything.
Q: What's your poison?
A: Bellinis. I drank two of them in a row once and got really sick.
Q: Why do you write such strange shit?
A: I don't think that anything I do is that strange. Especially once I found out that grown men spend many hours playing World of Warcraft.
Q: What are your influences?
A: Biophilia and Cryptic Tonic are what happens when a kid who loves Narnia and Star Wars graduates magna from Harvard in English Literature and has to write a literary space opera because life is otherwise too dull.
Q: Do your friends think you strange?
A: Did anybody think C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein, and Lewis Carroll strange?
Q: Some say that the space technology - the technical details - in your books aren't convincing.
A: And thank God they aren't, because when you try to be convincing, look what happened in Star Trek.
Q: What is your hope for Cryptic Tonic?
A: When I finish the third book, which I'm starting now, I'd like to convince Matt Stone and Trey Parker to make the entire series with puppets like Team America World Police.
Q: Have people asked you if Biophilia is autobiographical?
A: Sure. And I say, yes, of course, I spend most of my leisure hours in intergalactic travel.
Photographs: (left) the cover of Biophilia 2; (right) The 13th century Ashford Castle, part of the inspiration for Penshurst, the estate described in the Biophilia novels ("because Castle Howard is taken").
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Thursday, February 16, 2006
How does it feel like to bring out Biophilia?
"Well, usually when you publish something you give the publisher a manuscript and it's entirely out of your hands," says Wena. "And then after years of waiting it comes out finally and you are, like, eeek! Why did you put me in a book with this kind of cover!
"When you are self directing the entire project, you get to micro-manage the cover, including selecting your own author photo and costume and dog. I mean, I always try to appear with a dog when I can. Dogs are very important."
Wena is featured here wearing the awesome Snow Scourge combat suit (women's) for the Arctic battle campaign at Thebes, which occurs in Biophilia:2, and vintage WWII aviator leather goggles.
Mike wears his own collar.
Photo: Noah Berger Photography
Monday, February 06, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO - Author Wena Poon announced today that she has already started working on the sequel to Biophilia. "Here's artist Bill Smock's tentative drawing of Gromer. Everybody loves Gromer. I should spin him off and license him separately. He's going to be in every Happy Meal."
Drawing courtesy of William Smock
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Monday, November 21, 2005
We received official confirmation that the first Biophilia book has gone into production, with a proofing copy to be expected in the next 2 weeks. Author's message to fans: "Save Narnia! Donate to PETA! Don't eat turkey this Christmas!"