Writing sci-finovels keeps Tofino writer youthful

Westerly News Retirement gave Edmund Ironside time, perspective -and a quest to produce a science fiction trilogy.

Produce he did, and the Tofino resident now has his books on the shelves of local bookstores.

There’s “Faraway” – the first journey, “Island in the Stars” – the second journey, and “Dance with the Gods” – the third journey.

Together they fill up 2,400 pages, all set in a dystopic world in 27,000 AD.

“We’ve developed tremendous technology and gone halfway across the galaxy,” he said of the books’ setting.

Within the trilogy, the characters use ancient writings to discover their true selves, what they really need and want.

But don’t be assuming the books are in the Star Wars league. Written with mature themes, they are directed towards adult readers.

Ironside used science fiction to explore some deep philosophical quandaries.

“I’ve wondered for a long time about the human condition – what we are and where we are going,” Ironside said.

“I had to do some real deep thinking, particularly about belief systems – that’s where

problems all come from, skewed belief systems,” he said, citing issues like overpopulation and a lack of consideration for the earth that have made its dwellers something of a “blight on the galaxy.”

Far from setting down his pen, Ironside has a few short stories he’s contemplating compiling. It’s all light years from his origins as a farmer near Red Deer, Alberta. (He also spent time doing seismic surveying in the oilpatch overseas.) Ed and his wife Mary Ellen have been on the West Coast for 20 years now.

He calls the works his “anti-aging process.”

“I think if I hadn’t undertaken this project I’d really be showing my age now … I think my mind is sharper than it could have been,” he said.