Five Questions with: Oleg Roschin

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: True Confessions  |  House: Booksie Classic
An interview with the writer : Oleg Roschin

Submitted: June 23, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 23, 2017



Contrary Motion in D minor


( Key of D )   Year 2121  A.D.

Our voices were no longer heard. And, that old adage that no one can hear you scream in space? Well, on Earth, we simply stopped listening to one another. Our words became a divisive means for further separating us; the irony of this proverbial wedge compromised our peace and our will to simply be. Music in now the common spoken language in the aftermath. Sounds, processed into words, each note or phrasing became a new sentence structure of expression and feeling through noise; without speaking a word. This had required a special technology, ironically discovered in what seemed like a rapturous moment, just before we evacuated Earth; without choice. We had but only one decision, to flee the impending war of nations, before the inevitable fallout of ashes from all four corners of home.

( Key of E )   Escape into Space. 

I found the beacon, blinking with a polarized pulse. I had been communicating with him for sometime, but suddenly our parallel transmission dropped out, due to the nuclear flares whipping away from our home like the tentacles of a fire demon. With the recording now in my protection, I hastily floated back into my vessel and opened the music translator ; a crudely made theremin that only operated so long as their is was external interference.

I began 'conducting' the transcript, and as I played back the sounds, his spoken words began to harmonize the verbal exchange that took place between us a short time ago . He describes to me his own word processor; on the keyboard of a virtual Steinway grand piano, he is playing Brahms. We were speaking two pieces at once, alternating from D minor to B-flat major in melodic lines, counterpoint. BbMajor7. I rewound the conversation back to the beginning, when I had first started asking him questions; 

Question 1 : Who ( of any musician )...upon having the ability to turn your words into musical notes/songs, would you like to hear  "Play " your stories ? ( what would your writing sound like ) ...and...

Who ( of any writer ) would you like to "write" the music you play, into a piece ?  

( what literary genre would your music be if it were put into words.)


Well, I'm a musician myself, and my musical compositions tend to deal with the same themes as my stories: faith, morality, human nature, etc. Actually one of my songs is based on a novel by C.S. Lewis. Of course I'd love it if he just heard another song of mine and wrote a story based on it :-) As for the opposite case - I'll go with Gustav Mahler, he'd be one composer who could capture both the megalomania and the cheesy humor of my stories :-)

If my music were a literary genre, it would definitely be science fiction or fantasy! And if my stories were music, they'd be something overblown-symphonic - possible a movie soundtrack by John Williams! :-)


Cantata ( Key of F )  Faith


As I listened to my theremin translator, it became clear to me; his transport vessel was being guided by a higher power and the pilot had been brought aboard another vessel; by another instrument that originated from the Alpha Centauri system.

A future long forgotten that was in the need of being reminded. Calling now to my vessel, transmigratory white noise dropping in and out at the most unfavorable of time. I adjusted my inner self and played a note of patience. Faith brought back our words and I continued listening to the music of our conversation;


Question 2 : What is your favorite word ?


My favorite word? Love...


 Adagio  ( Key of G ) Gravitation


 A nearby vessel approaches, trying to pull the body I was floating in, away from me; being in the moment, I screamed in silence. Noise reverberated in the hollow of my chest, causing a frequency that tugged at me through the light to fade away, into the darkness; briefly. I adjust the metronome,


Question 3 : When you first started writing your pieces , did you imagine them as having a prequel, sequels or was this all part of your creative evolution ? ( as a side note; your parodies/dedications are insightful and respectful at the same time, with your own twist, when did these ideas first start popping in your head ? )


 Well, my first story was "A Christmas Story", written on the Christmas Day of 2008. It was a revelation of sorts, even though I wasn't a Christian at that time. Shortly afterwards I wrote "Strictly Confidential" and "PC Game", as purely satiric pieces involving the local Shanghai jazz community - but all three already had the same futuristic setting (late 21st century, the world divided between three superpowers, etc.). Then I stopped writing for over 6 years, and returned in 2015 with "Of Dogs and Men" - which, again, was set in the same futuristic world, only this time I expanded to another planet. So yes, the common setting was part of the reason why I started writing in the first place - speculative (science) fiction is a genre where I can express my ideas with ease. Also, I'm a big geek and I like interconnected stories, recurrent characters, references, etc. So I take particular pleasure in writing such stories and then hoping that some of my readers are geeky enough to actually discover those references ("Oh, so that Soviet brother-traitor from 1980 is actually the ancestor of the guy who founded the planet of the dogs 150 years later! This goes on the wiki right now!"). Yeah, I wish ;-)   



About the parodies... I like parodies and I think I'm pretty good at them. I like imitating - writing styles, manners of speech, accents, everything. And I also intensely like my favorite writers. So I guess I've always known that a lot of my works would have a homage, tributes, and literary references. I just want people to be more interested in those writers. So when I annotate that my story pays homage to a famous chapter from a Dostoevsky novel, I hope that, perhaps, a casual Booksie reader who stumbles upon that page would feel inspired to actually check that chapter out.


Rallentado  ( Key of A ) Alternatives


 The honest witness inside me listened with a curious eagerness; the interaction of our two voices play out. Flames and floods mattered not. Love and War would not change the account of the faithful.

We are the equivalent of a human black box recording. Counterpoint continues.


Question 4 : Where do you see some of your current projects going ?  


Well, my number one project has always been a religiously-themed novel, sort of an autobiography of a lifelong non-believer surrendering to God. However, I don't think it will happen any time soon, because: A) I'm too lazy, and B) I still have to fill in the blanks in the overarching plot of my short story collection. Who are the mysterious benevolent octopus-like aliens who discovered the ruins of Earth in the 5th millennium? What will be the end of Cynia, the plane of the dogs, and Voznesenye, the home of tri-gender aliens wearing their livers on their faces and possessing the most advanced technology ever? Are the giant rabbits from "Down the Rabbit Hole" fiction or reality? What will actually destroy life on Earth (we know that in 2200 there were still survivors)? And other questions that I, in my nerdy megalomania, find terribly important! :-)


Tempo primo  ( Key of Bb Major7 ) Counterpoint


The last chord is played, and the triad reaches it's coda. I had learned through the notes in between the notes, a secret hidden song. The place he awaits in, for my arrival, with the others, just as they had awaited for his. I saw there was no need to search anymore, my humility accelerated would no longer weigh down the vessel I traveled in, frozen by time. Cold and heavy no more, the other one had found him; and lifted. Welcomed into a new home with many rooms.


 Question 5 :  Two " Whys "

Why are we so afraid of aliens ?
Why do you think aliens would be afraid of us ?


We are afraid of aliens because we are afraid of ourselves.

Take a look at the old, traditional sci-if stories: technologically highly advanced aliens conquer the Earth, massacre and enslave humans, etc. But the only race that we know that does that is our race. We are afraid that aliens will turn out to be like us - fallen.



In my stories, there are three main alien races: the Nsheos, the sentient dogs, and the Vozs. Of those, the Vozs are a caricature of modern humanity: technologically highly advanced, intelligent and resourceful, yet having little regard of spirituality. The dogs reflect the more spiritual side of the humans - but also warn against the dangers of abusing it. And the Nsheos are what we could have been, and what we should be - humble creatures that walk with God. I deliberately avoided portraying an "evil", utterly merciless alien race. The human race is, actually, the most merciless one in my stories.

That answers your second question - aliens like the Nsheos would have every reason to be afraid of us. We are fallen. Whether we'll be redeemed or not is an open question (see my short story "Redemption", which is a summary of sorts of all my stories). No cruelty, no treachery is alien to us. In one of Voltaire's stories a giant alien looks at the Earth and is horrified by the bloody history of those little creatures. So are the sentient horses in Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels", and the seal-like peaceful Mars race from C. S. Lewis's "Out of the Silent Planet". These are only a few examples from moralistic science fiction, which focuses on our sins first and foremost - as it should!


I closed the translator, slipped back into my pilot's seat, adjusted the pitch and frequency, tuned the metronomic time accelerator and punched forward into the Alpha Centauri system. I was but a simple messenger carrying words to those who listened closely enough, with their open ears, open eyes and open hearts. On the event horizon the other ones waited to welcome us into the home with many rooms; to return with the keys that we carried.


 Fugue  ( Dm triad ) Voices

Fighting with our own words, we made an awful noise, heard by those that did not understand so many voices; self destructing only to destroy one another along the way. The outcome was inevitable .

 Now we have rejected the system, those that dehumanize with a power and hatred. Floating around in our vessels, avoiding annihilation, we still search out that one word that was seldom spoken, with a rapturous sound. The sound and silence of love.

Sounding with our own words, we made a glorious noise, heard by those that understood one voice;  we saved each other. Spoken in the quiet moments of space between our words. To read between the communication lines and listen with the creativity between our ears.

Thank you Oleg,

for the music you make with your words,

your message that carries on, connecting people,

and for your voice;

may it be heard by an audience with love, compassion and understanding.

This song is dedicated to you Mr. Roschin.














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