Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Frank Herbert

10 of Literature’s Most Evil Corporations

There’s nothing inherently evil in the basic structure of a corporation.

It’s just a particular type of business organization that’s been too frequently co-opted by folks who just can’t seem to care about their fellow humans

So, it’s no wonder that novelists have crafted some remarkably evil corporations.

I’m fairly sure I don’t need to educate anyone on the ever-present dangers we all face, daily, from real-life corporations.

Yet, I wonder how many of you realize that certain corporations are quite near to completely ruling our world?

I’ll begin the list of 10 literary corporations with FlavorWire‘s, 7 Chillingly Evil Corporations in Literature:

Rachel Cantor’s A Highly Unlikely Scenario — a future where fast food corporations run the world

Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park — a corporation that creates horrifically dangerous beasts

Don DeLillo’s White Noise — a pharmaceutical company that has a pill that makes people lose their fear of death

Any corporation — in any William Gibson book ( making the count more than 10 :-)

Frank Herbert’s Dune — one entity controling the economy of the entire cosmos

Steven King’s Dark Tower series — corporations that produce weapons and/or robots

Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 — corporations that handle defense contracting

Numbers 8 and 9, which I’m rather surprised FlavorWire didn’t mention, are both in David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas — one foisting flawed nuclear plants and another that clones slaves.

The 10th corporation is in my own short novel (though my co-author claims it’s not a novel ), Notes from An Alien, which you can have Free

My corporation is so evil I couldn’t stop writing about it after my novel was finished.

In my special series of posts, Behind The Scenes, where I’ve added material not in the published novel, many of the 38 posts are about various aspects of that astonishingly evil corporate planet.

So, if you know of any other evil corporations from books you’ve read, please share in the Comments
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Author Interview ~ Mary Pax

Since I’m an avowed SpaceCadet, I’m real happy Mary could stop by for an interview.  Let’s get it rolling :-)


Where are you from, Mary?

I originate from the east coast of the US, but have lived in the Pacific Northwest for about 10 years.

When did you begin writing and can you remember how it felt inside, back then?

I wrote my first story sometime in grade school. It was about a horse named Wesco. That’s all I remember about it. I always loved imagining. Still do.

Was there any certain date or time you remember when you began to either think of yourself as or call yourself a “writer”?

When I mailed my first query to an agent. I had no idea what I was doing. That was probably about 3 years ago. That novel has had many revisions since then. I must say he was very polite about the novice schlock I sent him.

Sign of a good agent, eh?

What are your hopes, or dreams, or goals for your writing?

I want to write novels. I have so many ideas/stories swimming in my head. I’d like to earn enough to afford a maid.

Oh, yes, the personal servant that can free up writing time :-)

Have you had any “formal” training in the art of writing?

I have a Bachelors of Science in Journalism and took a lot of literature, English, and humanities classes in undergrad. No formal creative writing though.

Still, that’s some impressive writing experience!

What do you feel has taught you the most about “how to write”?

Writing enough to discover my voice/style then networking with other writers. Getting involved in my local writer’s group [I’m their blog director], attending workshops and conferences, reading my work at open mics, networking on Blogger and Twitter, and acquiring several critique partners.

You’re doing all the right things, Mary, especially, “Writing enough to discover my voice/style…”

Who are your favorite writers and why are they favorites?

I love Margaret George and her historical biographies. I have a thing for history. Peter Mayle. His Provence books used to make me laugh out loud on the subway. Magic. Arthur C. Clarke was my first taste of sci-fi in grade school. He still awes me. He makes me think and I love a story that makes me think. Hermann Hesse. He makes me think, too. Bradbury, Vonnegut [who I met once – he bought cigarettes in the building where I worked] and Frank Herbert for their incredible imaginations and boldness. Jane Austen. Her stories are timeless. Thomas Hardy. He is so poetic and his words drip with so much emotion and nuance–the settings always matched the character’s mood. I’m not sure people get nuance much any more. Too many more to mention.


Where and/or how do you get your ideas for your writing?

I read Scientific American and I’m always on NASA. I read physics books. I work as a star guide at an observatory. The high desert and Oregon inspire a lot of stories. Things I see. Things that happen to me. Conversations with people. If something strikes me, I jot it down in an idea journal I keep. Eventually ideas from different places seem to go together. Sometimes the first line just comes to me, usually in the shower or when I’m about to fall asleep or making dinner. My father tells me his dreams. Those go in my idea journal, too.

Oh, my, your father’s dreams; fascinating

What’s your normal revision or editing routine?

I print out what I worked on that day. I usually leave it alone until after dinner. I read it and hand edit it. In the morning I input the changes and then pick up where I left off. I repeat until I feel happy. Then I’ll move on to the next chapter. Same with short stories.

Are you published?

I had a short story published locally, Beacons. I just had another short story accepted for publication, The Tumbas. I hope to add many more titles to this list soon.

Tell us about your blog: its purpose, how you go about deciding what to post, and what you want to do with it in the future?

I’m just my geeky self on the blog. I post about things which interest me and inspire me. Things I love. Space, sci-fi, writing, art, history, research, weird events, news, etc… If you keep writing your blog, eventually you’ll find things you enjoy writing about and develop a sort of routine. Fridays are usually about inspiration. I try to get something sciency or sci-fi-ish once a week. I talk about my writing journey.

A very interesting journey it is, too

Thanks for taking the time for our interview, Mary.
So, my dear readers, ask Mary a question in our comments :-)
M. Pax
The stars are the beginning … –“M. Pax Works”

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