Vismay Harani’s The UnRobot is about a time when robots reign supreme, humanity is enslaved and a desperate plan to overthrow the robots is hatched. While he may be Vismay Harani to outside world, those closest to him call him ‘Alienman’. He has tried to provoke a fat spider to bite him so that he could be a friendly, neighborhood somebody. All his life he has dreamed of graduating from Hogwarts and he has entered into Beyblade battles with kids half his age. When life refuses to budge to the pleas of his dreams, he escapes into a fantasy world of make-belief where wishes have wings and have a certain tendency to come true. You may find him at iamalienman.wordpress.com
Humanity strikes back! In the future when robots assume natural precedence over humans when they become the ‘alphas’ of the planet, a desperate plan to save mankind is hatched! But will they succeed?!
What difference does writing make to your life?
The process of writing itself is laborious. But when I have written something, and when I read it – it feels like admiring your own reflection in the mirror. It feels amazing. And when somebody really likes what you have written, I read it again, once again looking in that irresistible mirror. It is my form of vanity and I am an extremely vain man!
When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
As a kid, I never dreamt of becoming a writer. Harry Potter forced me to pick up my metaphorical pen. In my ninth grade, I was obsessed with HP movies and books. I just desperately wanted to meet JK Rowling, Daniel Radcliffe, and Emma Watson. 6-8 months before the book launch of ‘Deathly Hallows’, I along with my cousin wrote a fan-fiction titled ‘Harry Potter & the king of Zephyr’ where we use a time-turner to bring Dumbledore back to life and Dobby gets killed in the process (we skimmed over the fact that all time-turners were destroyed when Harry ran into the Death-Eaters in the Ministry of Magic in ‘Order of Phoenix’). With great enthusiasm, we sent the story to England – to Bloomsbury publication, to be specific. I was hopeful that JKR would respond positively and invite us to London for the book launch. Nothing came of it, I was crushed! In my kiddish anger, I resolved to be a famous author one day, just so that when I stand in line to get JKR’s autograph – she would know my name!
Since then, I have been writing …
What made you write this particular story?
I wasn’t that much into zombies till the time I read Max Brooks’ amazing ‘World War Z’. The rise of the undead is treated like the spread of a contagion, a plague. Like a viral disease, it infects! That got me thinking – what if robots can get sick, very sick?!!! I had the most amazing time making some robots lose their positronic brains in this story!
Do you think science fiction is obsessed with time, and specifically the future?
Science-fiction must be obsessed with time, especially with future. Today is a reality, tomorrow is a suspension of disbelief! It’s either that or the world far, far away. To me that Brooks of romantic optimism – infinite worlds, infinite possibilities & all the time in the world!
Did you face any challenge while writing this piece?
Not just this piece, I have struggled with every piece that I ever wrote. Because for every short story that I have finished writing, there are 3 work-in-progress. I have numerous ideas for novels. I have been writing a blog since last 7 years & it has over 200 posts. But when you hardly have readers, your resolve and discipline go for a toss. It’s like shouting in an empty room, it feels foolish!
Can you suggest some books for our readers that you think are must reads?
To me, the God of science-fiction is Isaac Asimov. You must read his ‘Foundation’ series. I also love Michael Crichton – Sphere, Congo & Andromeda Strain are my all-time favorites.
How was your experience with the Juggernaut Writing Platform?
This is my first story on the platform. And here I am, for my first-ever interview in the 25 years of my life. I have been nursing this dream for so long, you guys just validated it for me!
Lastly, Star Trek or Star Wars?
Star Trek. Exploration of the unknown, to venture into unchartered territories, to embark upon a journey filled with uncertainty! My life is like U.S.S. Enterprise – I don’t know what the future holds, but it sure as hell gives me a thrill!