The Andromeda Connection-A Journey in time
By Rodrick Rajive Lal
The Andromeda Connection is the culmination of the germ of an idea that was sown many years ago, when I was still a student studying in high school. I had always wanted to write short stories and had even made many a false start, one being a story written from the perspective of a deer living in the in the jungles of Africa! I have lost that scrap book, but the desire to narrate a story remains. Many years later, I was able to publish my collection of poems, although I had never dreamed of writing poetry! Poetry somehow came naturally to me and I used it as a suitable vehicle for communicating my perceptions about life. My priority has always been to write short stories and a few novels, but then I ended up publishing a collection of poems!
The Andromeda Connection is however an experiment which involves different genres of writing which include the biography, fantasy, mystery, and finally science fiction. All of these variants are to be found in this book!
Each piece is the result of careful thought, and while many of them might have parallels in real life, some of them have been the result of inspiration and perhaps even stories that were outlined in the vivid dreams that the narrator had no dearth of.
The writer’s experience of life in an African country has been so rich, (what with an amazing culture and a rich flora and fauna, and a society undergoing an upheaval after a revolution that overthrew an imperialistic regime) that it keeps presenting itself in many of the narratives. The Andromeda Connection is the result of a little boy growing up in a small town in Africa, where there was nothing in the form of entertainment except for the reading of a rich collection of novels in the school library, and of course enjoying nature in all its pristine splendour. Also, the book is the result of a desire to narrate something interesting, strange and compelling! Life in India, has afforded the writer the opportunity to introspect and meditate on his past experiences, and to forge from them new experiences and an opportunity to narrate something special.
The Andromeda connection is an experiment in narration. The author doesn’t profess to have written a collection of short stories, or discursive pieces, or even a novel! One can say that the book combines the stream of consciousness genre (where there might be a shifting of perspectives) with a more straight forward narrative having a single plot. The book includes biographical elements which might suddenly move on to the more fictional genre 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 finds the same voice, narrating an adventurous episode in the second part, Titled: The Asian and Western Connection-The Present. The reader comes across the same voice in the third part titled: The Andromeda Connection the Future where the genre changes to that of Science Fiction. The reader may find the shifts in the narrative style sometimes perplexing but interesting as he identifies the familiar voice of the narrator as a presence hanging around in the background. The third part of the book is labelled as The Andromeda Connection-The Future. The stories in the third part of the book follow the Science Fiction genre.
The whole idea of writing The Andromeda Connection is to trace the growth of the narrator who grows up 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 the growth of the child in terms of mental maturity and thought processes.
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