Q&A with Timothy Burns

1. Tell our readers about your novel, Ghosts of the Void.
"Ghosts of the Void" begins in the relatively-near future, painting a picture of an inhabited Mars and the attitudes and feelings of a population that has to depend on one another for survival in their domed cities. When things start going horribly wrong for no apparent reason, it is up to a small group of friends to discover what is causing the problems and then do what they must to set things right, even if this spells the end for an entire civilization.

2. Do you consider yourself a hard-core science fiction lover? If so, what is it about this genre that pulls you in?
Very hard core. I am interested in anything high-tech, to the point where I spend way too much time every day reading articles about state-of-the-art developments in science and technology. At the same time, I can't help but imagine how these technologies will affect our development as a race and what we can look forward to in the future.

3. What was the first science fiction book that hooked you?
I would have to credit that to Asimov's "I, Robot" and his whole robot series. I absolutely fell in love with his style of combining science with fiction.

4. Tell us a bit about your main character, Jared Miller.
Jared Miller is, like myself, a born and bred Southerner. He isn't willing to let anything stand in his way. If something needs doing he is ready to do it himself rather that waiting for someone else to step up. He is also a kind and compassionate person, very honorable and always wanting to help others. His main flaw is that, because he has such formidable psionic powers, he sometimes jumps the gun and acts too rashly, not giving others a chance to solve problems in their own way.

5. There are mysterious ghosts in this novel that make electronics go haywire. Do you believe in ghosts?
Actually I do. I didn't always, and being a very rational person I like to know the explanation for everything, but after having a personal encounter with what I can only conclude was a real ghost I have come to believe that sometimes the spirit of a person can remain and interact with the living. Now the ghosts in my story are not of this type, they are actually the projections or manifestations of beings who are composed of dark matter.

6. You've stated that you like to "impart accuracy and plausibility" into your work. How hard is that when dealing with fantasy and science fiction?
If I am reading a story (or watching a movie for that matter) and I come across a concept that is way too far beyond what I might consider at least remotely possible, I just can't get into the story nearly as much as when there is some possibility that what is happening could really be done at some point. I guess this is why I try to give some sort of explanation for how things work. And yes, it is sometimes hard to work within this constraint, but I believe that a reader can only suspend disbelief so much.

7. Aliens . . . Do you think they exist?
In all the vast expanse of time and space that surrounds us it would surprise me more to learn that aliens do not exist. However, it would also shock me to find out that another intelligent species developed close enough to us (in both space and time) to make contact.

8. What are you reading now?
I have an admission to make: I ain't reading anything at the moment. I alternate between reading and watching TV, and right now I am in the middle of re-watching Star Trek Enterprise, by far the best series of that franchise.

9. Name three unusual things that you have on your desk?
A small plastic dinosaur that has watched me write and work for several years now, a 28 oz. can of anchovies in oil (which are part of my regular nightly snack, along with crackers), and, until I made him move, my cat Pokey. Now this last is not supposed to be on my desk, but as I am the property of a very insistent feline I often find myself allowing his certain privileges.

10. What are you working on next?
My writing time right now alternates between finishing up a story I began several years ago and laying the groundwork for a new story I was inspired with just a few days ago. At this moment I couldn't say which will be completed first. Readers will have to watch my Facebook page to see.

About the book: When the solar system passes through a vast cloud of dark matter, strange things start to happen. Electronics go haywire, unbreakable materials suddenly break, and enigmatic, ghostly creatures are sighted. To the inhabitants of Earth this is bad enough, but on Mars, where properly-functioning technology means the difference between life and death, this spells disaster on an unimaginable scale.
Jared Miller, a psionically talented problem solver, barely survives his journey to the Red Planet on his mission to discover just what these mysterious ghosts of the void are and what they want. There, he meets Bo Greene, a prospector who scours the barren wasteland in his six-legged walker in search of mroom, the only life native to Mars. Along with Bo's ex-wife Anissa, Anna the witch and several others, Jared and Bo find themselves transported to the distant future where Mars is green and vibrant but the inhabitants are under the domination of alien overlords and their sadistic psionic henchmen.
Survival becomes their primary goal as they seek to save two worlds, but in the end they face the terrible dilemma of having to choose which to save and which to condemn to non-existence. 

Click here to find out more about Timothy Burns and his books.


  1. Hi there, this is Tim Burns. and welcome to this blog,
    I welcome all comments (and questions) about my books. I can be reached at TyrBerBooks@gmail.com


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