Sunday 29 June 2014



Alright Folks, it's 19 days and counting until The Hunt For Tomorrow. From the WHAT TOMORROW BY BRING boxed set is author Joseph Turkot's essay on Dystopian Fiction. Enjoy.

Dystopia, by Joseph Turkot
Think of a utopia, and in your next breath you imagine a perfect society. Harmony unending. The living ideal. And something inside of us says we can never reach such a place by our own efforts. Any attempt at perfection falls short, by whatever degree.
Think of a dystopia, and in your next breath you imagine the worst mankind has to offer—or more terrifying yet—the worst that will still come.
It is within the compromise of both these extremes that we find the dystopian novel. Some kind of hope for progress, contrasted against a great decadence, whether it be man’s own doing, or the nature he is formed from.
It is in such a struggle that our two friends find themselves. They are to each other more than they know, but a catastrophe that has ravaged the old progresses of civilization forces them to find out how much more, and what left of humanity remains alive in them.What does it mean to persevere? To possess resilience? To combat the loss of one’s own values? These are the kinds of questions I am interested in. These are the kinds of questions that Tanner and Russell face.
If everything we suppose to be good about our humanity slowly starts to decay, merely because it has to, what do we throw away first? What do we decide to take with us to our graves?
Some dystopian stories work upon the fantastical, and for that effort, produce a sense of wonder and awe. Some work upon the mundane realities of normal events, but push them so consistently that endurance itself is the last and only virtue. The Rain is a story about endurance in a dystopian world, where nature isn’t the reliable nurturer we egotistically assume it to be. Something awful has happened, and endless rain has drowned most of what was once called civilization and humanity. Russell says it’s the veneer. And he believes there is a place where it’s still thick. A place where it’s stopped raining. But as in all dystopian stories, weakness works ruthlessly upon the characters thrown into such dire hopes, and utopian fantasies are often never what they seem.
I wrote this story as an exploration of the human spirit, and its willingness to find some kind of negative capability within the compromise of two ideals—the utopian and the dystopian—the very reflection of which has more to say about our own society than we might have ever imagined possible.

Thursday 26 June 2014

The Hunt for Tomorrow: Shalini Boland

The Hunt for Tomorrow, a dystopian scavenger hunt hosted by 23 authors from 3 boxed sets.  Author Shalini Boland from the Shattered Worlds boxed set submits to the Voight-Kampff interview. #huntfortomorrow
Wait. You do remember Bladerunner...
Leon: Do you make up these questions, Mr. Holden, or do they write them down for you?
Mr. Holden: They’re just questions, Leon.
Subject: Kowalski, Leon

The Hunt for Tomorrow: Shalini Boland: HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START AS AN AUTHOR? I used to be a singer/songwriter, but after having kids I found writing novels fit in bette...

The Hunt for Tomorrow: Saul Tanpepper

23 Authors, 3 Boxed Sets, 1 Massive Event. On-Line Dystopian Scavenger Hunt July 18-20. From A TASTE OF TOMORROW boxed set here is author Saul Tanpepper on the Voight-Kampff hotseat.
#huntfortomorrow
The Hunt for Tomorrow: Saul Tanpepper: HAVE YOU WRITTEN IN ANY OTHER GENRES BESIDES YA DYSTOPIAN?  WHAT DREW YOU TO THIS GENRE? I actually got serious about writing in 2005,...

Saturday 21 June 2014

The Hunt for Tomorrow: Sarah Dalton




Today's VOIGHT-KAMPFF comes from Sarah Dalton, author of The Blemished series and one of the 23 authors participating in THE HUNT FOR TOMORROW

The Hunt for Tomorrow: Sarah Dalton: HAVE YOU WRITTEN IN ANY OTHER GENRES BESIDES YA DYSTOPIAN?  WHAT DREW YOU TO THIS GENRE? Yeah, I’m a genre hopper. I usually write YA, ...

Tuesday 17 June 2014


The ongoing series of Voight-Kampff interviews with authors from the YA Dystopian Boxed Set WHAT TOMORROW MAY BRING.

DAVID ESTES, author of MOONDWELLERS
HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START AS AN AUTHOR?
Honestly, I’m still trying to figure that out myself! I’m a normal guy, who was working in a normal, boring job as an accountant, and then four years later I’m a fulltime author. My parents think I’m crazy and keep asking “whether I’ll go back to my accounting job.” They don’t say “real job” although I suspect that’s what they mean.
It all started when my lovely Aussie wife, Adele, got tired of hearing me talk about how I wanted to write a book someday. She said, “Then just write one and quit talking about it!” So I did, and I’m so glad I took her wise advice. I’m since written another 17 books, 14 of which I’ve published. The Moon Dwellers, which was my 4th book, is the one that eventually started reaching significant sales so that I could become a fulltime author, a dream come true!

IS THERE AN AUTHOR THAT YOU WOULD REALLY LIKE TO MEET?
Dean Koontz! Although there are many authors who I love, Koontz is my all-time idol. He’s a magician with words and I love how he can be so funny (who doesn’t love Odd Thomas?) during some of the scariest parts of his books.

WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND WHERE DO YOU CALL HOME? WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE?
I was born in El Paso, Texas, but grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Work brought me to Australia where I met my wife. However, after I started writing full time, we decided to travel the world for two years!! It was the trip of a lifetime, but it eventually had to come to an end. We decided to settle in our dream location, Hawaii. My advice to anyone who dreams about living somewhere: live there! This life is too short to not chase after our dreams J

DO YOU EVER WRITE IN YOUR PJ’S?
I think the better question is: Do you ever NOT write in your PJs? The answer to that would be “No.”

WHERE AND WHEN DO YOU PREFER TO DO YOUR WRITING?
In the morning…in bed. I basically wake up, blink a few times, eat a bowl of cereal, drink a cup of coffee, and then write for three to four hours. I do that pretty much every day, which allows me to hit my 3,000 words-a-day goal and write and publish a book every 2-3 months.

DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER JOB BESIDES AUTHOR?
For my first two years as an author, I worked as an operational risk manager *yawn* for an investment manager. Before that, I was an accountant *bigger yawn*. But now, thanks to my incredible readers that are supporting me (18,000 books sold in the last year!) I’m just an author *cheers*.

COFFEE OR TEA?
Coffee—coffee—did someone say coffee? (said with eyes wide open and unable to blink)

SLEEP IN OR GET UP EARLY?
In between. I like the best of both worlds. I don’t have to get up before 7am like I used to when I worked in an office, but I still like to wake up slowly from 8-8:30am and then start writing by 9am.

ARE OUR ELECTRONIC DEVICES STEALING OUR SOUL? AND IF SO, DO YOU MAKE OFFERINGS TO YOUR TOASTER?
Stealing implies they’re in the process of taking our souls. I think “have stolen” would be a better way of putting it, as mine is long gone to my iPhone. But I also do daily ritualistic sacrifices in the form of frozen strawberries, frozen kale, and bananas to my NutriBullet. They’re the tastiest ritualistic sacrifices I’ve ever heard of.

IF YOU COULD BE ANY FAMOUS PERSON FOR A DAY, HOW MANY PAPPARAZZI WOULD YOU KILL?
None! I would, however, nicely ask them to only take shots of my left side—it’s my good side.

WHY DIDN'T HURLEY LOSE ANY WEIGHT WHILE ON THE ISLAND?
Finally, an important question! I’m a huge Lost fan, so this question is near and dear to me heart. The most logical explanation is that the giant magnet caused a whirling vortex of metabolism-neutrality which led to zero changes in his exceptional body weight. It’s either that or he was sneaking all the bananas at night when everyone was sleeping.

HOW IMPORTANT ARE NAMES TO YOU IN THE MOON DWELLERS. DID YOU CHOOSE THEM BASED ON SOUND OR MEANING?
Very important! Well sort, of. They’re just names and don’t carry any more weight than that; however, I’m a firm believer that names aren’t random labels and they need to be right for each and every character. My main character is named Adele, after my wife, not because she’s anything like my wife, but because it’s just the right name for her. Another supporting character is named Roc, which seemed perfect when we were in a store and I saw the Roc beauty products.

WHERE DID THE MOON DWELLERS SPRING FROM? IN OTHER WORDS, HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE CRAZY WORLD?
I really wanted to write a dystopian series, but I wanted it to be very different than all the other ones. Setting is always a key ingredient in a dystopian book, so I asked the question “What would happen if everyone had to liver underground?” And then I asked the question “But what if not everyone was able to fit underground?” So essentially The Dwellers Saga follows what happens underground while the Country Saga tracks the adventures of the people still living aboveground. In the 7th book in the combined series, The Earth Dwellers, the two worlds collide.

JUST HOW FAR IN THE FUTURE IS THE MOON DWELLERS?
Almost 500 years.

IS THERE ANY SUPER-COOL FUTURISTIC TECHNOLOGY/WEAPONRY IN YOUR TOMORROW?

Not really weapons so much, but definitely some cool technology. A lot of it is required for survival as the people living underground have no sunlight. So they’ve created an artificial sun that can be used to grow food.

GIVE US THE WEATHER FORECAST FOR THE MOON DWELLERS.
No sunlight, no rain, a chance of bats flying overhead, and watch out for falling stalactites.

WHAT SORT OF BODY COUNT ARE WE TALKING HERE?
In the first book it’s somewhere in the fifty to one hundred range, with only one hero and one villain dying spectacular deaths. However, as the 7-book series goes on, there are thousands of deaths, and many main characters. No one is safe!

THE MOON DWELLERS GETS MADE INTO A MOVIE. WHO DO YOU TAKE TO THE PREMIERE AND WHO DO YOU SIT BY?
My wife and my wife. Although I’d likely invite my agent to come, too, as she’d be the one making the movie deal!

DO YOU WANT THE MOON DWELLERS TO MAKE IT BIG, AS IN JK ROWLINGS-BIG? WHY OR WHY NOT?
Umm….yes! It’s my dream to have my books read all over the world, and for them to be in bookstores and libraries worldwide. Why? Because I love sharing my stories with as many people as possible!

YOUR MAIN CHARACTER VS BATMAN, WHO WOULD WIN?
Adele is pretty kickass, but Batman’s got mad skills and he’s used to the dark. So I’d say Batman.

IF THERE IS TEOTWAWKI IN YOUR TOMORROW, WHAT CAUSED IT?
DISEASE
ALIENS
MONSTERS&ZOMBIES
WAR/GNH (GLOBAL NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST)
THE SUN
IMPACT EVENT It was a giant meteor. Sometimes it sucks to be human.
ECOLOGICAL CATASTROPHE
SUPERNATURAL/RELIGIOUS
HUMAN DECLINE/MODERN DARK AGE
TECHNOLOGY/CYBERNETIC REVOLT
OTHER
ALL OF THE ABOVE

ON A SCALE OF 1-5 WHAT WOULD YOUR BOOK GET FOR THESE ACTUAL MPAA RATING DESCRIPTIONS?
VIOLENCE 5
LANGUAGE 2
DRUG USE 1
SEXUAL CONTENT 1
NON-STOP NINJA ACTION 5
MILD PERIL 5
SALTY LANGUAGE AND INNUENDOS 1
JUNGLE ADVENTURE TERROR 1
BRUTAL AND BLOODY VIKING COMBAT 2
COMIC HORROR, VIOLENCE AND GROSSNESS 2
SWASHBUCKLING ACTION 3
ABUNDANCE OF OUTRAGEOUS GORE 1
SEXY DANCING 1
INTENSE SEQUENCES OF BAT ATTACKS 3
DEMENTED MAYHEM 3
SCENES OF DENTAL TORTURE 1






Tuesday 3 June 2014

Bladerunner
Leon: Do you make up these questions, Mr. Holden, or do they write them down for you?
Mr. Holden: They’re just questions, Leon.

Subject: Kowalski, Leon


The VOIGHT-KAMPFF Interview with DEBORAH RIX

One in a series from the authors in the YA Dystopian Boxed Set WHAT TOMORROW MAY BRING.

WHAT IS THE FIRST SCIENCE FICTION BOOK YOU REMEMBER READING?
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr. I’m sure I read others first, but that’s the one that stuck with me. As it turns out, I wrote along similar themes to Miller, although my faith lies with science while his was in the Church.
WHAT BOOK WOULD YOU LIKE TO READ AGAIN?
Neuromancer, by William Gibson. It changed science fiction for me, completely. There seemed to be an abundance of epic space fantasy at the time I first read it. Other worlds, other species, other times. Neuromancer was ten minutes into the future and it was exciting. I once stood in a very long line at my favourite SF bookstore to get Gibson to sign my copy. I was the only girl.
WHAT BOOKS HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR WRITING?
From a technical perspective there are two: How Not To Write A Novel, by Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman, and Elements of Fiction Writing by Orson Scott Card. There are others, but those are the two with all the dog ears and sticky notes.
LAPTOP OR DESKTOP FOR WRITING?
Laptop. I like to move around the house, depending upon my mood. But, in the near future, I’m hoping to get an actual writing space that is ALL mine. With a door.
DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER JOB BESIDES AUTHOR?
I have a general store/café called The Lucky Penny, it’s a neighbourhood joint on Trinity-Bellwoods Park in Toronto. It was a long and tortuous process to redevelop the property and open the shop, and ultimately was the catalyst for my writing. I was so frustrated by the process over which I had no control, that I was compelled to create fictional characters so someone would do what I wanted them to do, when I wanted it done.
JUST HOW FAR IN THE FUTURE IS YOUR TOMORROW?
It is one hundred years in the future. I chose that because I knew what one hundred years ago was like and could measure societal changes and how fast they happened. Some changes were revolutionary while other things remain almost unchanged. The rise and fall of dictatorships, for instance, can happen overnight, last sixty years, and fall apart in a matter of days. It was less than six months between the time Hitler became Chancellor and the Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring was passed, so I knew my theocracy with its Genetic Integrity Act was plausible. But our weaponry, while more sophisticated and lethal, is not so completely different from WWI, so I didn’t feel compelled to create any technological wonders. Everything I imagined is an extrapolation of today while using a century ago as a reference point.
DID YOU DO ANY SPECIFIC OR UNUSUAL RESEARCH FOR THIS BOOK?
I spent a day with a Marine Sergeant at the 29 Palms marine base in California and I communicated with an amateur radio enthusiast and satellite specialist who was on a submarine with the Canadian Navy. I talked with a Hydro-electric Engineer until my phone went dead and then continued on a land line for another few hours. My ear hurt, but it was worth it. I spoke with an expert on Roma culture, a room service waiter at Caesars Palace who’d been there about thirty years and knew all the secret passages, and a country-singing cattle rancher from Alberta.
IS THERE A PARTICULAR AREA OF SCIENCE OR SCIENTIFIC PRINCIPLE THAT IS A PLOT FOCUS?
The trilogy is called The Laws of Motion, and each book and title reflects one of Newton’s three laws: External Forces, Acceleration, and Opposition. I based much of what happens on current scientific theory, using my imagination to extrapolate. Genetics plays a big part, both in humans and the environment. Also, Astronomy, theories about time, and Einstein’s Law of Special Relativity come in to play. Plus, I made some stuff up.
ARE ANY OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS FROM THE LGBT (LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER) COMMUNITY.
Yes, yes there are. Two of the main group of characters are gay and in a relationship, one of whom is the main character’s best friend. But not the gay best friend. The best friend who is a pilot, has blond hair, is funny and sarcastic, and gay.
GIVE YOUR BOOK THE BECHDEL TEST
1. IT HAS TO HAVE AT LEAST TWO (NAMED) WOMEN IN IT
2. WHO TALK TO EACH OTHER
3. ABOUT SOMETHING BESIDES A MAN

My book aces this test, didn’t even need to study for it.
PICK ONE OF YOUR CHARACTERS AND APPLY THE SIX DEGREES OF KEVIN BACON. GO!
1. Jess Grant’s boyfriend is Matt Anderson a Special Forces Sergeant.
2. Matt’s squad also includes Sheree LaSalle, a trained military sniper.
3. Sheree and the squad are located on a base that is a fictional version of Fort Huachuca which was also the setting for the film Clear and Present Danger starring Harrison Ford.
4. Harrison Ford starred in Clear and Present Danger with Tim Robbins.
5. Tim Robbins was in the movie Top Gun with Tom Cruise
6. Tom Cruise was in the film A Few Good Men, about the trial of U.S. Marines, with Kevin Bacon.
YOUR MAIN CHARACTER VS BATMAN, WHO WOULD WIN?
Usually, Batman. I mean, c’mon, he’s Batman. But a certain genetic mutation could give my girl the edge.
WHAT FIVE SONGS/ARTISTS WOULD FEATURE ON THE SOUNDTRACK OF YOUR TOMORROW?
Green Day – Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks
Iggy Pop – Lust For Life
Wild Feathers – Got It Wrong
Johnny Cash & Joe Strummer – Redemption Song (orig. Bob Marley)
THE HUNT. IT COMES. JULY 18-20  THE HUNT FOR TOMORROW