It’s finally here, launch day! After working on it for a year, my shelf of Yellow Hoods and Wizard Killer books get a science fiction hardcover to join them. This book’s been a real labour of love, and honestly, terror for me. Here’s an interview breaking it all down.
Science Fiction from the Steampunk meets Fairytale, and Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy guy?
After writing 4 novels and a novelette in the universe of The Yellow Hoods, I needed a break from my steampunk meets fairytale universe. I decided that this year would be about showing two completely different sides of me. I started with The Wizard Killer, which has been called “Harry Potter meets Die Hard” and “Mad Max meets Lord of the Rings.” Whereas that post-apocalyptic fantasy world was an exercise in showing my adrenaline junkie side, The Man of Cloud 9 is a much more cerebral science fiction side of me.
Rather than hard science fiction, I’ve been told it’s more in the vein of The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell. It was wonderful to get such a positive review from Readers’ Favorite right out of the gate.
So what’s The Man of Cloud 9 about?
It’s set 70 years in the future. Civilization has been scared by the effects of climate change, but worse than the toll in human lives, has been the loss of appetite for real innovation. Brilliant inventor Niko Rafaelo finds himself fighting every inch of the way to get people to listen to his vision for resurrecting the banned technology of nanobots, connecting it with the bacteria cloud around people, and taking features like video calling out of the history books and bringing them back.
This is an intimate story, dealing with a handle of characters, and the choices and consequences of Niko’s relentless need to see his vision realized. It’s genius versus conscience versus company.
For those really curious, I’ve got a 5 chapter sample available here.
Your other works are YA, is The Man of Cloud 9?
Yes. While it doesn’t have any non-adult characters, I tried to make sure that a teen reader would be able to relate to the story, even when reading a boardroom scene. A lot of classic science fiction could be categorized the same way, and so I see The Man of Cloud 9 really for those ages 12 and up.
What was your greatest challenge writing the book?
This book was definitely the one that terrified me the most to write. Part of that was because I really reached into myself for core elements of the man character, his issues, and his relationships. There were many times in my life where I went left, and I made Niko go right. Another part was because in some ways, it felt like I was saying goodbye to my technology career. I spent 20 years in software, from Silicon Valley to Toronto, from startups to Microsoft to my own business. Lastly, there was the difference in style between The Wizard Killer and The Man of Cloud 9 that scared me, would I lose readers? It was a risk, a risk I was willing to take.
Where can we get it?
The eBook is on sale ($2.99 instead of $6.99 until Oct 2nd!) at Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble. The paperback will be available on Amazon in the next week. However, signed hardcovers are available from Owl’s Nest books, which is local to me and a wonderful little bookstore.