Today we have a bonus interview with Nicholas Adams here to tell us about his novel The Angels’ Secret.
What was the most surprising thing you found out while researching/writing your latest book?
My educational background is Pre-Med and architecture. I enjoy world-building (i.e. making stuff up that sounds plausible) that stems from or twists off existing technology. The novel is set in the distant future, approximately 1000 years, after humanity has to rebuild from a devastating plague that wiped out 99% of the population. I assumed that technological advancements would screech to a near-halt, but an article I read after writing the book laid out how it would take mankind less than forty years to get back to where we are now even if we lost everything. We have the knowledge and expertise to rebuild what was lost much faster than it took to develop it the first time. JJust look at how quickly your iPhone becomes obsolete.
Why did you choose this setting?
When I first started dreaming of the world in which my story exists, it always felt more realistic on Earth than on a distant planet or an alien culture. I wanted the setting to feel ordinary and wondrous at the same time. Referring to familiar surroundings, while building up a fantastical possibility, made it all seem more real to me.
What’s unique about your world?
There are three social classes, all based on their level of incorporating technology into their lives. The elites in the high-tech Citadel of Olympus embrace every technological advancement they can. The “Zoners” in the sprawling Low-Technology Zone, shun most technology except when necessary. The Angels, who came to Earth on ships, brought advanced technology but do not incorporate it into their daily lives.
How real do you think the science is in your book?
One of my favorite pieces of future science is the TRTV (Tactical Robotic Telemetrically-Operated Vehicle). We’ve seen them in video games for years; an oversized body armor in which the pilot rides around. I believe there will come a day when we will be able to read the signals of individual nerves running through the body and translate that signal to a piece of technology and give amputees their mobility back. I took it to the next level. By monitoring nerve impulses, I believe a person could control a machine as easily as they manipulate their own body without all the hassle of losing a limb.
What was the most mundane item that you used that really has cool tech behind it? What is the tech?
The Augmented Reality arena. Gamers put on suits covered in sensors and wear helmets equipped with HUD’s and traverse a black-walled maze shooting at each other. I think of it as Paintball after the Borg got a hold of it. Instead of lasers of paint, the players shot steel bearings at each other. The sensors, when struck, would cause the armor joints to lock up and simulate injuries. The helmets projected an artificial environment into the players field of view giving the impression that the arena was something other than a maze of black walls. There’s an AR gaming company called The Void that does this.
What did you include that you wish was real today?
A holographic personal digital assistant. Gideon became a personal favorite once I started writing him. He’s an AI butler that Jack repurposes for less than legal usage.
What technology or science do you think will most affect the world of tomorrow?
The cure for diseases. We’re all on the same playing field when it comes to mortality. One of my favorite movie quotes comes from Patch Adams. I’ll paraphrase: “Improving the quality of life is not merely delaying death.” People go to great lengths and expense to keep themselves looking or feeling younger. If the cost of immortality meant taking the life of another, how many people in today’s society of youth-worshipping would consider that a small price to pay. There are already people in this world who look at others as “not a life” and therefore not worth protecting.
Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
This has been the most interesting interview on my book I’ve ever done. Honestly, I never gave the science behind it much thought because, in my mind, it’s all just science fiction anyway. Nothing is impossible until it’s proven otherwise.