Eric Klein Author

 Interview Charissa Dufour

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This week we have Charissa Dufour talking about her Series  Echoes of Sol




What was the most surprising thing you found out while researching/writing your latest book?

Book seven of the series takes the characters outside of our solar system for the first time, therefore I have been doing a great deal of research on exoplanets (planets outside of our solar system). In the last two years there has been a rash of discoveries concerning exoplanets–specifically exoplanets that are within the habitable zone.

There are hundreds of articles you can read about these recent discovery, but these articles tend to barely scratch the surface of what’s really going on with these planets. They make it sound like they have met most of the “habitable criteria” when in fact they are only talking about distance from the star and the planet’s equilibrium temperature. As a result, when you dig deeper, you find out almost all of these new finds are planets who are tidal locked–mean one side is always daytime and one side is always nighttime. The articles give the impression that if we had the transportation issue solved, we’d have these great planets to colonize, which is very very far from the truth.

As we’ve all heard in Astronomy 101: our planet is insanely unique.

Why did you choose this setting?

This is kind of a tough question to answer as each book in the series is set in a different town/planet in the “colonized galaxy.” One book takes place solely on a spaceship, another is set in Johannesburg, another in Seattle (or what’s left of it). So here is what I can say about my setting:

My series is set 300 years in the future, and while they have terraformed some planets and built a few space stations, most of the “global” population still lives a pretty rotten life. A lot of science fiction assumes that before we get real space travel, we’ll have all our other shit taken care of. That is not the case in my series. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The larger the human population gets, the more trouble it has with, well, everything. Overpopulation, crime, slavery, discrimination. All of that is abundant in my world.

Now for the why of it all. First and foremost, I wrote it this way because that is what I think it will be like in 300 years or a thousand years. Star Trek’s idea of a no-money world, or a no human-war world, is ludacris to me. The human race is gritty, broken, and emotional, and we are led by gritty, broken, and emotional people. We may be smart enough to figure out how to terraform Mars, but we will never rise above what it means to be human.

What’s unique about your world?

I could sorta paste and copy the answer from above. I think the idea of a futuristic world where technology is not advanced in all areas is unusual. For example, I one time got a complaint about the cook on my spaceship kneading dough by hand rather than having some sort of fancy bread baking machine (like, you know, the ones we have now). To be frank, I rolled my eyes at the written complaint. Just because the cook was flying through space at who knows how many miles per hour doesn’t mean he doesn’t prefer to make bread by hand “like they did in the old days.”

In short, my world has not lost touch with what my readers know and experience in their day to day lives, and that is unique in many futuristic, science-fiction books.

How real do you think the science is in your book?

I am not a very science-oriented person, and thus my books are “light” science fiction. I can guarantee I have gotten some stuff wrong. In fact, I’ve had some pre-release readers point out stuff that makes me want to slap myself for how stupid it is. Therefore, if you’re into really hard-core science fiction, I am not the author for you. My characters drive my everything!

What was the most mundane item that you used that really has cool tech behind it? What is the tech?

The only thing I can think of is how they deal with getting off planet. This is by no way original or brilliant, though. They have enormous chain driven elevators they take them up to “airports” that hover over the planet near the outer edge of the atmosphere. From there, transport ships taking them up to ports that orbit said planet. The ports run a lot like a shipping port today–large amounts of transportation and economic trade taking place within its boundaries.

What did you include that you wish was real today?

Terraforming, not because I think we need to go off and settle Mars right away, but because Terraforming technology can have a great deal of effect on our own planet. Let’s face it, aside from a few people in the White House, we all know we’ve seriously fucked up our planet. If we can master terraforming a desolate planet like Mars, then we can also fix the damage we have done to this one.

What technology or science do you think will most affect the world of tomorrow?

And once again, I could just repeat my last answer. At the rate we are going, this planet will die long before we figure out how to colonize other planets, much less travel 20-300 light years away.

Anything else our readers might like to know?

I currently have 5 series (two more in the works). At present four of my five “book 1” are free. So check them out risk free!