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The Telefax Trilogy by Toni Seger

Published on Friday, October 18, 2013 by

Are machines taking over?

“The Telefax Box” is the first novel in a trilogy that deconstructs every aspect of our modern mechanized lives. A social and political satire, it depicts a technological clash and poses the question: Do machines serve us or are we enslaved to them? No element of modern life, from spy ware to gene pools, is immune from examination, especially as technological development blurs the line between people and machines.

When a scientist, developing fully functional machinery capable of reproduction, is murdered at the most prestigious laboratory under the highest security, a shiver of fear runs through the galaxy. Satire combines with elements of science fiction and mystery to explore a modern Frankenstein.

What are the main themes satirized in The Telefax Trilogy?

The numerous consequences of an overly mechanized life. The dangers of conducting scientific development without a moral compass. The insidious nature of discrimination. The corrupting effect of extreme privilege.

Who or what inspired your story?

E.M. Forster who is most known for his novel “A Passage to India”, wrote a short story called “The Machine Stops”, in 1909, which I read as an adolescent. It really stayed with me as an early and extremely prescient statement of how machines could ultimately de-humanize people. In the Forster story, humans live isolated from each other in cells with all their needs met by an omnipotent Machine which they treat as godlike and shun all those who don’t.

I took that idea and expanded it into a satiric trilogy that pits the dominant machine civilization against one without machines. I also created a fully functional machine that, ultimately, mates with a human to produce a half-machine. The consequences of that strange and perverse union drive the last two books of the trilogy and its commentary on our overly mechanized lives.

What do you like best about your primary characters?

I think they’re very distinctive and very memorable personalities who hold your attention whether or not you like them. I enjoy creating characters with a rich fabric to their makeup that give readers plenty to think about. I’m the author of 16 plays, so dialogue is something I also enjoy writing in addition to description.

What are their worst peculiarities?

A lot of the characters in the trilogy were created to illustrate what I consider to be the most foolish aspects of modern civilized life like pursuing scientific development that shouldn’t be explored, creating products and services we don’t need, producing extreme dependency on mechanical slaves for personal comfort and great quantities of empty ambition that take advantage of the most vulnerable.

How does your main character evolve?

In the first book, my main character is a machine who doesn’t know he’s a machine, but gradually figures out that he is actually not a person. It’s a bit of an eye opener for him.

What’s the principal message you want to send to your audience?

The future is more dangerous than we think it is.

What’s the nicest thing anyone has said about the first book, The Telefax Box?

“The Telefax Box has enough Sci Fi trappings to satisfy the most demanding aficionado of the genre: highly inventive future technology, arcane vocabulary, quotes from various intergalactic sources, and a fascinating array of highly diverse alien races. But it is no space cowboy adventure story. Billed as a “satiric deconstruction of modern life,” it does raise issues about our dependence on technology. But the story is almost entirely moved forward by the dialogue and the complex relationships between the various characters. This gives equal billing to chunky issues like racial privilege and where we draw the line between life and artificial intelligence. Seger has constructed a book here in which the whole is larger than the parts of which it is composed.” B.G. Bell, 5 Stars

Where can we purchase it?

The three books of The Telefax Trilogy at Amazon:

I. The Telefax Box
II. Aurora Rising
III. Telefax Acclaimed

About Toni Seger

Toni Seger is a multi-media artist. She is the author of “The Telefax Trilogy”, a satiric series about our overly mechanized lives, available at Amazon and CreateSpace. Seger has produced and directed professional recordings of poetry and prose by Timothy Victor Richardson as well as producing films for DVD and streaming video inspired by his work. An award winning film maker, her film “The Force of Poetry”, is a reading and lecture on the meaning, mechanics and significance of poetry. In its endorsement, Maine Public Broadcasting wrote, “The effect is to inject life and heartbeat into what is often thought of as an inert, hard-to-read art form, and the result is educational and entertaining.”

Seger is the author of 16 plays. Her plays receive raves whenever they’re performed. Her work has been staged in England, Canada, California, New York City, Maine and other states as well as cable television. From a NYC review: “I was impressed overall at playwright Toni Seger’s ability to dabble in the surreal and the ironic, as in the three short-short one acts we saw that night, and the straight-forward realism of Rope of Sands.” “Rope of Sands” was entered in the Planet Connections Theater Festival in 2011 where it garnered three nominations, including one for Best Playwright. Seger has just launched a new collaboration with famed Mime/Dancer Karen Montanaro.

Social Links: Website | Goodreads

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