So, your book Three is set in a post-apocalyptic world. This is a world where some kind of technological destruction has been wrought, leaving it suicidally dangerous to be outside after dark.. Tell us – and our readers – a little more about it.
JP: The story follows Three, a reluctant gunman, as he escorts a dying woman and her son across an urban wasteland, pursued all the while by dangerous elements from her past. It’s sort of a post-apocalyptic western with a cyberpunk edge and a splash of anime influence. Or, as a friend of mine said, kind of like the result of throwing Mad Max, Neuromancer, and Metal Gear Solid into a blender. I’m pretty sure he meant that in a good way.
I really liked how the exact type of apocalypse was left pretty mysterious – what caused it, what the Weir were and the like. How did you decide how much to reveal and what to leave out?
JP: For Three, I really wanted to focus on the core of the story; it’s a pretty small tale, really, just three characters reaching a distant sanctuary, with danger ahead and behind. I also wanted to avoid dumping a lot of information on readers, since I wasn’t really sure how much people would be interested in as far as the history of the world was concerned. So my goal was to give readers all the information they needed to understand the heart of the story, and then focus more on creating the proper impression of the world rather than detailing How We Got There.
How did you build your post-apocalyptic world?
JP: I kind of half-jokingly refer to the Duskwalker series as a post-post-apocalyptic tale. If you take our world, advance it a few decades, throw it into a complete meltdown, and then give it a few years to recover, that’s more or less how I arrived at the world of Three. I wrote a short story several years ago that had a lot of the future-tech angle to it, and while I was trying to find the right setting for Three, I had the crazy idea of throwing that world into an apocalypse and seeing what came out the other side.
I loved the extra details of the world – Brain Hacking, The ability to upload your consciousness at Death, the fact that the tech had become hereditary. How much will those play into future books in the series, or can you not tell me?
JP: Those elements will all continue to play a significant role in the series.
Can you give me an idea about book two?
JP: I’m not sure how much I can say without spoiling things from the first one, but suffice to say Book Two picks up not long after the end of Book One, with a number of returning characters and a bunch of new ones.
OK, so here’s the stuff we ask everyone:
What do you think the most likely apocalyptic scenario is?
JP: Well, the most likely one is obviously Angry Robot’s plan for world domination, but I’m not supposed to talk about that. So, apart from that, I think the most likely apocalyptic scenario is more of a cascading series of events rather than a single Big One; you know, something like a war that leads to a humanitarian crisis that gets complicated by a biological event, that in turn creates an economic issue, that’s maybe compounded by an environmental one just for fun. Not necessarily in that order, of course. Whatever the case, I tend to think people’s tendency to overreact and panic will make things worse than they need to be.
Can you give our readers some survival tips?
JP: Have a plan, and don’t wait until the apocalypse to practice your skills. It’s tempting to think that if you read enough survival books, you’ll know what to do When the Time Comes. But you don’t have to break a leg to practice splints or basic first aid, and there’s no reason you can’t spend a couple of minutes trying to start your fire without matches before you resort to the lighter.
How happy would you be to serve for your natural lifespan under the benevolent dictatorship of myself or the other two fine ladies who run ICoS? Just asking.
JP: I’m pretty sure I’m contractually obligated to my Robot Overlords, but perhaps an understanding could be reached …
Now you can tell us anything you like about anything you like.
JP: First off, thanks so much for having me here and for reading the book! Secondly, I’d like to mention that 10% of my royalties from the sale of Three go to a great organization called Hope For The Warriors®. The mission of Hope For The Warriors® is to enhance the quality of life for post-9/11 service members, their families, and families of the fallen who have sustained physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty. They’re an amazing group doing some very important work, and I encourage everybody to check them out at: http://www.hopeforthewarriors.org/
Three by Jay Posey is the first the Legends of the Duskwalker series. Published by Angry Robot, You will be able to buy it from the 30th of July (US and Canada) or the 1st of August (UK and RoW)