The Andromeda Connection is the culmination of an idea that the author had many years ago, of writing interesting narratives in prose. He had always wanted to write short stories and had even made a false start, one being a story written from the perspective of a deer living in the in the jungles of Africa! The scrap book is lost but the desire to narrate a story remains. Many years later, the author was able to publish his collection of poems, although he had never dreamed of writing poetry! Poetry somehow came naturally to him and he used it as a suitable vehicle for communicating his perceptions about life. His priority has always been to write short stories and novels, and this is his first offering in the prose form.
This book attempts to interweave different genres of prose including, autobiography, fantasy, mystery, adventure and finally, science fiction. All of these genres can be found in this book! Each piece is the result of careful thought, and while some of them might have parallels in real life, others have been the result of inspiration derived from varied sources, some of them being actual visions and dreams that the writer set down to write for before they disappeared from memory.
Life in an African country with its amazing mix of a rich culture a varied flora and fauna, and the pangs of a society undergoing an upheaval after a revolution that overthrew an imperialistic regime has formed a treasure trove of experience from which the author drawn freely for this book! These experiences keep appearing in various narratives although the voice remains the same.
A collection of some of the narratives is the result of the memories of a little boy growing up in a small town in Africa, where there was nothing in the form of entertainment except for a rich collection of novels in the school library, and of course, nature in all its pristine splendour. Life in India, has afforded the writer the opportunity to introspect and meditate on his past experiences, and to forge from them new experiences; an opportunity to narrate anecdotes from life that are mystical, spiritual, and somehow exotic.
The author does not claim to have written a collection of short stories, or discursive pieces, or even a novel – the book combines the stream of consciousness with linear narration. The Andromeda Connection – A Journey includes biographical elements which might suddenly move on to the more fictional style of writing. A combination of recollections of childhood memories of life in an African country in the first part titled: The African Connection-Memories of Childhood which is dominated by the autobiographical genre, the reader is introduced in this part with the voice that he will find throughout the book. The second part, Titled: The Asian and Western Connection – describes the immediate past flowing into the present. Although the reader comes across the familiar voice of the narrator, he will notice a clear shift in the writing style from that of the autobiography to that of narrative fiction based on different genres based on adventure, suspense, mystery, and fantasy. The third part titled: The Andromeda Connection the Future where the genre changes completely to that of Science Fiction. The predominant use of the third person narration might suggest a degree of maturity and the healthy detachment of a leader of a group. Readers may find the shifts in the narrative style sometimes perplexing, (The author begs them to bear with him) but here, the author would like to state that the idea is to provide a rainbow experience of reading without being bound to read each story in a chronological order, something very oriental a way of describing the complexities of life with varied themes, stories and writing styles.
A compelling reason for changing the narrative from the first person in the beginning to the third person towards the end is intentional and it serves to describe the transition from childhood to adulthood, a growth in terms of perspective and perception.
Each narrative traces the growth of the narrator from a child living in an obscure town in Africa, (more of a passive spectator of events marching past) into an adult in the later parts, who leads, makes decisions, and is more of an active participant in the events that take place. He has children of his own and discovers lost kingdoms and then goes on to fight cyborgs and aliens on strange planets. The change in narrative style, genre, and form is in keeping with an experiment to connect loosely a set of stories to form some kind of a structure, similar to an extended narrative like a novel, yet distinct from it.