We asked Ben Mariner to share a science fiction quote that inspires him.
“To boldly go where no man has gone before.”
Potentially one of the most quoted lines from arguably the greatest science fiction show ever made. Pretty much everyone knows this famous line whether they know where it comes from or not, whether they use it properly or not.
It’s said that there’s only seven truly unique storylines and everything that’s out there is just a derivative of that. Maybe that’s true. Who really knows? When I sit down to write, I try to think of that quote. I try to go where no man (or woman) has gone before. Maybe that’s a completely futile exercise. Maybe it’s impossible to tell a completely original story at this point in human existence. I do everything I can to think out my stories and compare them to what’s already out there.
Obviously, I haven’t read every book that’s ever been written, and there’s no possible way that I can, but I know enough to know when I’m writing something that’s basically the exact same thing as something that’s already on the market. It’s no easy task. There’s so much to influence the wrong way and create an even watered down replica of something else. Movies. TV shows. Video games. Books. All of it can weed its way into your mind and plant the seeds of a story that will ultimately turn out just like whatever it was that left the idea there.
So when I sit down to write, I keep the intrepid crew of the Starship Enterprise in mind and take a bold step into the unknown. I know I’m on the right track when I write something and get stuck only to realize that there’s nothing out there that I can really reference to help me work things out.
In regards to Apocalypse Wow, so many post-apocalyptic books focus on how harrowing the end of the world would be. They’re intense. They’re depressing. They’re filled with unmitigated gore and brain eating. I wanted to step away from all of that and make the end of the world a light-hearted affair. I know other books have done this before (Good Omens springs to mind). So instead of trying to humor up one or two of the typical tropes of the post-apocalyptic genre, I decided to poke fun at all of them. And so, when you open the pages of Apocalypse Wow you enter a world where literally anything is possible. Zombies. Unicorns. Demons. Lumberjack Pirates. And it’s all wire whisked together with some totally righteous references to 90’s pop culture.
Hopefully, in the end, I boldly went where no man (or woman) has gone before, but only the readers can be the judge of that.
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About the Book by Ben Mariner
Jack Winters is in a bit of a pickle. Things started out just fine. He had a decent job and a few friends. Then he met the woman of his dreams. They go out on a date and things go really well. That’s when things go south. The morning after turns out to be a week later and the world went ahead and ended itself while Jack was far away in dreamland. Now he’s awake in a post-apocalyptic world with no family, no job, and worst of all, no girlfriend. Along with his friends and some other random tag-alongs, Jack will journey cross country to find the woman of his dreams against zombies, heavy metal horsemen, pirates, and a power so immense and evil it will put his very soul to the test.
Reviewed by Felita Daniels/ 290 Pages
I believe Ben Mariner to be quite a talented writer. His descriptions of the characters, settings and situations was very colorful. I could envision his characters whole heartedly. I loved all the cultural references to music, video games, movies and such. This book has a kind of snarky humor to it.
One thing I should note is that the work is all in first person, and not just from one person’s eyes. Every time you started a new chapter, you need to read a paragraph just to figure out which character is speaking/ thinking. There’s nothing wrong with that per say, just a complication in enjoying the narrative.
If you like off the beaten path sci-fi, this is just the ticket for you.
About the Author
Ben Mariner is the author of Apocalypse Wow as well as The Many Lives of Zane Montgomery, which definitely sold some copies to some people. He currently lives in Denver with his wife and animals. He enjoys mozzarella sticks, dunk tanks at carnivals, and solving crime with his psychic powers and best friend/sidekick.