Around a month ago, tenth-grader Max Rudin returned home from school to find three copies of the same book on his doorstep. The front of the books had a black background, with half of the moon, glowing with blue city-like lights, taking up most of the cover. A Truly Dead Rock, it read beside the moon, by Max Rudin.
Rudin spent his freshman year and following summer writing and editing his debut novel, “A Truly Dead Rock.” The science fiction book fittingly centers around the life of a high school freshman named Hudson Possaic, but the story takes place 82 years in the future, where Hudson and his brother live on the moon away from their parents on Earth.
“It’s part of a government educational program,” Rudin said. “The lunar colonies they live in are part of America, but they vote to become independent and turmoil ensues. Hudson and his brother have to get off the moon in the midst of this chaos.”
Rudin discovered his passion for writing at a young age, and in fifth and sixth grade, he wrote several short stories with friends. “We would always write around 30-page stories together. They were usually self-insert stories where we were the characters just in different situations,” Rudin said. However, when he came up with the idea for this story, Rudin decided he wanted to make it a full novel. Many components were involved in creating his book, and first on the list was research.
“I always base my stories on accurate, founded scientific concepts,” Rudin said. “There is a kind of spectrum where some science fiction is very fantastical, like Star Wars, and then there’s some more practical and more science-oriented and I try to write like that.”
For “A Truly Dead Rock,” Rudin did extensive research about the various craters and geological formations of the moon. Combined with scientific research, Rudin also had to imagine and establish the reality of the world in his book. He went further in-depth with the world-building of the story than any of his previous ones, which allowed him to make it into a full novel. In fact, Rudin created a spreadsheet on his computer filled with “future history,” as he likes to call it, of the world in “A Truly Dead Rock.” With this sizeable amount of research and world-building, Rudin was able to write his book.
“What sets Max apart is his seriousness,” Rudin’s current English teacher, John Shea, remarked. “He is wonderfully creative, well-read, and he makes inter-literary connections more astutely than many of his peers.”
The first drafts of “A Truly Dead Rock” began during the winter break of Rudin’s freshman year. About six months of writing and four months of editing later, at about October of 2019, the final drafts were complete, and Rudin was ready to publish.
“The publishing process was actually really easy because I self-published on Amazon and Amazon is very author-friendly,” Rudin explained.
Amazon, with its own publishing facilities, allows writers to submit a PDF of their work and a PDF of the cover, set a price and fill in some extra information, and then have their book on the website. Books are published on-demand of an order and the price of printing is factored out of the price of the book. Now, anyone with access to Amazon can order Rudin’s “A Truly Dead Rock.”
Although Rudin does not want to make writing a full-time career, he does see himself writing more books in the future.
“I don’t just like science fiction; I actually really like science itself, so I want to work in physics, but I still want to publish books on the side as a hobby, just because I like writing,” Rudin said.
The rewarding feeling Rudin received from holding his own book in his hands will perhaps encourage Rudin to keep writing, but it is clear that either way, his future is as bright as a full moon.
Featured image provided by Max Rudin