By Steve Pike
Stuart Malin’s home is in the county pocket, but he lives much of the time in a world called Atria. It’s the world of a young man named Ahmenar Ishtam, whose journey ultimately leads him to confront his enemy and his destiny. Along the way, Ahmenar must uncover secrets, fight for a birthright denied, and make choices between love and loyalty.
It’s the world Malin first envisioned in 2002 and like Ahmenar, he’s been on his own personal journey to complete and publish the first in a series of books.
The first book, Rituals, will be launched on its own website, www.ossayu.com, and on Facebook. The first 20 chapters are on the website.
“I’m building an engine using latest and greatest technology,” said Malin, at one time a software developer for IBM at its old Boca Raton headquarters. “I love new technology. I’m a big Java script developer and I’m using Node.js, which is new technology for building a high-performance website. I’m going to build the website so it integrates with Facebook, so you’ll be able to download the first 20 chapters for free.”
Malin is publishing Rituals and its sequels through his own Zhameesha Publishing LLC in Boynton Beach.
Those first 20 chapters are approximately 120 pages. Malin writes in short, concise chapters in order to keep the reader fresh and motivated to remain immersed in Atria, a Tolkien-esque world inhabited by humans who have depleted their natural resources and poisoned their planet’s biosphere.
“Their condition could be our near-term future,” Malin said. “They fell over the cliff of biosphere degradation and resource depletion. Their population went into massive decline.
“Optimists might think that’s not going to happen here on Earth, but I’ve studied a lot of deep ecology. Every species consumes its own resources and produces its own toxins. I’m fearful of what human beings are headed for unless we learn to manage our actions. Right now I see no signs of self-control. Atria is a warning.”
Despite first impressions, Rituals and the Atria series aren’t science fiction. Malin describes his work as “social fiction.” He takes the classic mono-myth (hero’s journey) storytelling of Joseph Campbell and the archetypes of Carl Jung and brings them into relevance of our world — if we were to fall off that cliff.
“I always wanted to build a world,” said Malin, who holds a master’s degree in motion control robotics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. “I have a very creative side. On Dec. 18, 2002, I took out a sheet of white paper and doodled out the social structure of Atria.
“For the next three months I doodled in my notebook. I don’t really know what I was doing — it was kind of like a dissociative split. I would call those sessions downloads — of names, people, and history. I had an encyclopedia; I had maps and a back-story. I was learning science I never