A Human Story: Guest Post with Andrea Flory

After reading Andrea Flory’s book Miira (Innerscape: book 1) , I asked her if she’d be interested in a guest post. I expected a cerebral exposition of the fascinating science of virtual reality. What I got was so much more, a sharing of the true beauty of her work, a human story. My review is below, but before heading there, here’s Andrea:

***

Andrea Flory

Some people know they want to write from a very young age. It’s all they dream about.

That was never me. I did spend a lot of my childhood daydreaming, but those were private adventures, and I never saw them as potential ‘books’. Books were magical portals created by geniuses with towering imaginations.

How could I ever aspire to write stories?

It was true that I liked words and was good with them, but I was too pragmatic, and much too logical to ever emulate gods like Dostoyevsky and Dumas, LeGuin and Herbert. No, daydreams were for that magical time between waking and sleeping. They were most definitely not suitable for the real world.

And besides, I was busy. I rode motorbikes and  went up in gliders, travelled overseas, learned more languages, taught high school French, fell in love with computers, got married, had a child. You know…life.

But neglected passions don’t always wither away, and one day while I was doing tech support, I realised that many of my clients were asking the exact same questions, over and over again.

Ah hah, thought I. I liked writing, and I’d been a teacher, why not combine the two and type up the tech support instead of re-inventing the wheel each time? And that was the start of my technical writing career, but it would still be another ten years before I was brave enough to give fiction a try.

I guess that lack of courage is something I share with Miira, the protagonist in my latest science fiction story. She’s not a coward, exactly, but she’s not brave either, and it’s not until she’s bed-ridden and almost completely helpless that she finally decides to take the plunge and enter the digital world of Innerscape.

At first, Miira only sees Innerscape as a pain free way to die. Once inside, however, she discovers that her healthy young body and the virtual world it inhabits really are indistinguishable from the real thing. But if she has been given this second chance at life, what on earth is she to do with it?

I think this is a question we all have to answer at some point in our lives. For me, the moment came after a brush with cancer some years ago. Until then, I’d felt no sense of urgency; I was learning to write the kind of fiction I loved to read. What was the rush? Besides, I still wasn’t sure my writing would ever be good enough…

After the cancer scare I realised that writing wasn’t a competition. I might never be as good as my heroes, but my best was good enough. For me. The only question that still remained was whether I had the courage to share my best with others.

In 2013 I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and jumped. Four years later, so did Miira Tahn.

My Review

What a beautifully written book. Innerscape is a science fiction story about a middle-aged woman Miira whose disease-ravaged body is dying. She decides to enter Innercape where her body will be pared down to her essential components and preserved while she lives out her life in a virtual world as a younger, healthy version of herself.

The first book in the series covers two aspects of her immersion in Innerscape – first, the preparation of her new body and the tests to prepare for her transition, and second, the transition into the VR world and her orientation. As a series, the story continues beyond the initial book, and Flory hooks the reader with the introduction of several challenging characters, corporate compromises, questionable ethics, and love.

The science is detailed and utterly entrancing, as well as completely understandable to the layperson. The premise and technology also seem entirely plausible, if not now, then in the not-so-distant future. Flory’s writing is meticulous and detailed, and the world she’s created held my fascination throughout.

And all that wasn’t even the best part! Set against the scientific backdrop, is an engrossing human story. Miira is reserved, sensitive, inquisitive, and vulnerable, a beautifully rendered human being undergoing a process that requires complete trust and a step into the unknown. The story is told primarily in her point of view and the immersion in her experience is complete. The Innerscape staff that supports her are multidimensional and believably flawed characters.

The pace is steady and yet I flew through the book because I could NOT put it down. Exquisite writing, gorgeous descriptions, high tech science, and human pathos that grab the reader. I’m a fan and gladly recommend this book to readers of science fiction and anyone who enjoys an unusual human story.

***

If we’ve enticed you to enter the fascinating world of Innerscape and meet Miira, here’s the global link to her story: Miira, Innerscape: book 1

226 thoughts on “A Human Story: Guest Post with Andrea Flory

  1. This book sounds absolutely fascinating. I am not a sci-fi fan but this reads like something Ithat as a woman I could really enjoy and get into. Diane , as always your review is top notch, the author is lovely, and the book cover amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nothing left for me to do but ‘join the chorus’! Just wonderful! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This sounds like a truly interesting book, Diana. You wrote a most thorough and interesting review. It sounds like something different from the usual. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  4. PS: I had a long long flight today and I read Book One in way too short a time. I am absolutely hooked and about to download book two!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. […] https://mythsofthemirror.com/2018/01/25/a-human-story-guest-post-with-andrea-flory/ What a beautifully written book. Innerscape is a science fiction story about a middle-aged woman Miira whose disease-ravaged body is dying. She decides to enter Innercape where her body will be pared down to her essential components and preserved while she lives out her life in a virtual world as a younger, healthy version of herself. […]

    Liked by 2 people

  6. paulandruss says:

    Wonderful story and review Diana. What a remarkable woman

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Silent Hour says:

    Andrea’s story of how she started to write is very inspiring. I too used to be intimidated by the masterpieces of people who seem as if they have been born with a pen in hand. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. reocochran says:

    This book sounds very unique and fascinating, Diana.
    My compliments to Andrea Flory. 🌻💐

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is a wonderful joint post Diana. It was lovely to meet Andrea, and your review certainly makes me want to read her book. Hugs all around.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow, it’s so interesting to see an author whose passion was not books and whose aspiration was not to be a writer one day! And yet she ended up taking up writing many years after, and realizing how important and good she was at it 🙂
    These types of people are always inspiring to those who get into writing later in life, and try a few other things in the meantime. Very unique and interesting!
    Also, wonderful review, Diana ❤ I'm so glad you enjoyed this one. It sounds incredible!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. A very interesting post, Diana. Andrea sounds a bit like me, first meandering through life and then technical non-fiction writing before finally arriving at fiction. This book sounds fascinating.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. What a great introduction! I haven’t read SF for years, but this story is intriguing. My TBR list is growing faster than I can possibly read (and I have to fit my writing in there too 😉 ) Good luck with these books, Andrea!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Steph McCoy says:

    Darn it Diana!!! Here we go again, with a fantabulous introduction and review. Of course, my curiosity won’t let me pass by this series. My one regret is there just doesn’t seem to be enough time to read all of the books I’ve collected. Thank you for this post. ❤

    Liked by 4 people

  14. Annika Perry says:

    Diana, this is a terrific post! Andrea, I loved learning how you came to writing, a bit about your life before and how your brush with cancer focussed your attention to sharing your work. Your book sounds extraordinary and from Diana’s passionate and enthusiastic review, one that I want to read. Thank you both so much! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Lovely review Diana. Wow! this sounds like a fascinating book. Have a beautiful weekend my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. balroop2013 says:

    Thanks for introducing us to Flory and such a fantastic review…you have immersed yourself into reading Diana! New year resolution? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Antonia says:

    Thank you for sharing Diana!

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Candy Korman says:

    So glad you are spreading the word about Innerscape!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Thank you, Diana, for introducing us to Andrea and her work!

    On the topic of virtual reality, I just listened to this fascinating podcast on the nature of immersive technologies and how we might bring our bodies with us into the digital realm. If you’re interested in the subject, it’s well worth your time (I wouldn’t recommend it otherwise).

    Liked by 2 people

    • acflory says:

      Hi Sean, if I understand that link correctly, they’re talking about using technology to augment the human body? I suspect this will become the ‘norm’ in the future as the need to stay ‘connected’ overcomes any fears the next generations might have about implants, etc. Not sure I’d want to but…-shrug- Interesting info. Thank you. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the visit, Sean. Sorry for the delay in responding (I was traveling yesterday). 🙂 I’ll take a look at the podcast. Until reading Andrea’s book I only thought of VR in terms of gaming. The science is interesting and I can see the experience of this character as a reality in the near future. It’s kind of exciting. 😀 Have a great Sunday!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. dvberkom says:

    Love Mira, and AC 🙂 What a great review!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Thanks for sharing dear Diana!

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Mae Clair says:

    Wow, what an intriguing and thought-provoking concept. This sounds very engaging. Congrats to the author, and thanks for showcasing her work, Diana!

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Thank you both for a very interesting interview. Andrea’s book sounds very intriguing. 🌼

    Liked by 2 people

  24. You definitely hooked me, Diana! I went ahead and bought the Kindle version, and will read it next after I finish The Sorcerer’s Garden. I went and blew through your Rose Sheild series (OMG Kari’s Reckoning was amazing!), then gobbled up The Bone Wall (dark and intriguing). I am also a fan of sci-fi, and if it’s got your recommendation on it then I’m all in!

    Liked by 2 people

  25. You definitely enticed me, Diane. What a wonderful option whose time needs to arrive sooner than 2110.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. acflory says:

    Goodnight Diana, goodnight everyone! Thank you so much for making me feel so at home today. I’d love to stay but the tyranny of timezones has me in its thrall. Have a great day. -waves-

    Liked by 2 people

  27. This is a highly accurate review of a novel that – for someone who watches scifi, but rarely finds much stuf she likes to read – opened my eyes to a whole new genre. I inhaled the whole series, and then the rest of the back catalogue and loved them – Innerscape and The Vintage Egg are my favourites.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. dgkaye says:

    Fabulous learning a little about Andrea. And a really fascinating review. It sounds like it could be in a sci-fi niche of its own. Thanks Diana 🙂 xx

    Liked by 3 people

  29. This is an interesting premise because it reflects a choice that some people have already made. I’ve met seriously disabled people who use VR to make alternate lives. One of the most touching explanations came from a woman who lost the use of her legs: “I can come here and dance.” and indeed the brain learns to accept the virtual body as its own. I’m very much interested in reading the book. Thank you, Diana!

    Liked by 3 people

  30. bookgraphy says:

    That’s such a great review and it seems like I’m gonna be adding one more book to my tbr haha.

    Liked by 3 people

  31. […] A Human Story: Guest Post with Andrea Flory […]

    Liked by 1 person

  32. acflory says:

    Hi everyone. Apologies for being late but it’s morning here in Australia and I only just realised Diana’s post was live. I’m also still blushing from Diana’s review. I first stumbled onto her writing via The Bone Wall, which absolutely blew me away so this review is praise indeed.
    Thank you so much for inviting me here today, Diana. -huge hugs-

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Jeez, Diana. I told myself NOT ONE MORE BOOK on my TBR list. I go to bed resentful of needing to sleep, because during the day, I have so many books I want to read, and so many stories I want to write. BUT, and now I’m talking to Andrea, you hooked me before I even read Diana’s (excellent) review. I felt like you were talking to me right here in my writing nook, and I nodded along with you and (a bit scarily) stated asking you questions – out loud. Now, if you can do that from off-the-cuff ‘about me’ writing, your book and main character must be able to do that to me also. VR scares me in many ways, and one of the ways is thinking I’ll never be able to understand it. Maybe as I follow along with Mira, that fear will go away.

    Liked by 4 people

    • acflory says:

      Thank you! I sometimes feel like such an oddball amidst all these ‘real’ writers. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one. As for VR, I haven’t tried it yet because it’s still rather expensive, but having been a gamer for more years than I care to admit, I know what it feels like to become immersed in a digital world. More importantly, I know what it feels like to make digital friends and share ‘adventures’ with them.
      That is the true value of VR, but when you think about it, we’re doing a 2D version of VR already. We meet at each other’s blogs and we make friends with people we may never meet. Adding the 3D part will only make that experience better. 🙂
      -cough- Okay, apologies, the techie geek took over for a minute. 😀

      Liked by 4 people

      • I enjoyed your explanation here, and I agree! I guess the scary part for me (besides the idea that I, and others, could become more enthralled with the VR world and end up sitting like lumps in the ‘real’ world), is that VR could be one more reason that people stop interacting in ‘real time.’ We shall see. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to reading your book!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha ha. I know the feeling, Pam. But this book is well worth making room for in that overflowing TBR pile. The writing, characters, descriptions, science… all wonderful. Andrea is talented as well as a kind person. Enjoy!! Happy Reading…

      Oh, by the way. I think I remember you talking about a fitbit. I got one and funny thing… when I’m reading, it thinks I’m sleeping! My step #s are Not funny. Ugh.

      Liked by 4 people

  34. What a wonderful review, Diana.I always enjoy reading a writer’s path to publication. Thanks for the introduction!

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Carrie Rubin says:

    What a lovely review, and I enjoyed reading about Andrea’s path to writing. I rarely read science fiction, but I just bought Innerscape, book 1 because it sounds really good. I don’t suppose the rest of the unread ebooks waiting for me on my iPad will be happy, but they’ll have to make room for a new friend. 😁

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Another glider driver and author. A rare bunch we are!

    Liked by 2 people

  37. philipparees says:

    More tha persuasive! Ordered and already delivered. Sound very much up my street. Thanks Diana

    Liked by 2 people

  38. davidprosser says:

    Andrea is an exceptional author and Mira a great character.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Wonderful review and guest post!

    Liked by 2 people

  40. rijanjks says:

    What a lovely review. This book sounds like it is right up my alley.

    Liked by 2 people

  41. What a fantastic review and lovely insight into Andrea Flory. Her story gives me so much hope as a writer who came to the art later in life. How inspiring! And her book sounds irresistible.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. Wow! It sounds like Andrea had a great life before turning to writing. Wonderful to get the most of of life whenever you can. Sounds like a beautiful story too! I’ll definitely have to check it out.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Nicole. I was totally taken by this story – fascinating science, amazing visuals, and the touching human journey. It kept me turning the page. Thanks so much for stopping by to take a look. Happy Reading!

      Liked by 2 people

    • acflory says:

      -grin- Very few of my adventures felt like adventures at the time. I was just enjoying life. Still am. But all those bits of living can weave a surprisingly rich tapestry in later years.
      Thanks for reading Diana’s review, and commenting.

      Liked by 2 people

  43. i only read a selective few books in the science fiction genre, but i like your view on this one. Imagine, once we’re old and dying , escaping to a virtual world? would i choose this for myself, i wonder.
    and who know what might happen with technology in a nother hundred, two hundred years?

    Liked by 2 people

  44. I’m so glad Duane led me to you! Your book sounds amazing and it is so nice to get to know you! wishing you all the best!

    Liked by 2 people

  45. Your review is so enticing I somehow found myself over at Amazon and the first part of Miira’s story is now on my kindle. 🙂 I have two more books to go in the Rose Shield quartet however before getting to it. Must make more reading time …….. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  46. Shane Coules says:

    Your review has sparked my curiosity, D – thanks for the recommendation. The Kindle edition of book 1, Miira, is now resting in my library.

    Liked by 2 people

Comments are warmly welcomed. Don't be shy .

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s