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Interview Leland Lydecker

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Today we are have Leland Lydecker talking about his novel Necrotic City





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

That’s a tough question. Generally I come across interesting scientific discoveries and think “That’d be really cool to incorporate into a story!” And sometimes I wind up using them. Often a lot more research goes into it so I can sound like I know what I’m talking about, but I don’t generally discover anything completely new. I did learn quite a bit about trying to resuscitate a drowning victim, though. Approved methods have changed since I completed my first aid training.

Why did you choose this setting?

Necrotic City is set in a not-too-distant future where the United States has been broken by drought, famine, and conflict. The city itself was originally founded by a group of private entrepreneurs to act as an ark of sorts for survivors in the American Southwest.
I chose the setting because I feel that it’s a possible future. The city is a reflection of a lot of problems we’re facing now, only magnified: police brutality, corruption, inescapable monitoring, overcrowding, and crushing poverty.

What’s unique about your world?

It’s a nuanced future. A lot of dystopian writing I’ve read is like “the world has gone to hell and everything is bad.” The city was founded on fairly progressive principles of equality in some regards, so the world within the city is better in certain ways than what we have now. The city’s problems stem from flaws in human nature and our culture; for instance, the tendency to separate ourselves along lines of “us versus them,” and to equate a person’s worth as a human being to their monetary value.

The protagonist, Adrian, is a guy with a conscience who’s just trying to do his job. When that begins to set him at odds with the Company that runs the city and their Enforcers, he stubbornly keeps doing what he sees as the right thing.

Adrian’s story is gritty and dark and violent, but that makes the good people shine all the brighter. In a fictional world full of good, happy people, selflessness and compassion are unexceptional. Among all the corruption, greed, and indifference to human suffering, Adrian and a few others stand out because they refuse to back down or compromise their values even in the face of horrific consequences.

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

Very real. It’s based on things that are in development or are right around the corner. For example, the implanted neural interfaces that allow almost everyone in the city access to the Company network, and which serve all the functions of a smart phone and everything in your wallet all rolled into one, are based on technologies being developed today. Right now those advances are designed to help those with brain damage, paralysis, or amputated limbs; but that’s just the start.

What did you include that you wish was real today?

That’s a tough question because a lot of the really cool stuff is also really prone to misuse. But there is one thing I’d really like to have right now, and that’s the bio printer. If you need replacement limbs, organs for transplant, or skin to cover burns, for example, it can 3D print a replacement that’s a perfect match. It could greatly lower the cost of treatment for major medical emergencies, eliminate the need for immune suppressants to prevent rejection of donated organs and tissues, and prevent hundreds of people from dying while on waiting lists for donor organs.

Anything else our readers should know?

A couple of people have asked and the answer is yes– there will definitely be a sequel to Necrotic City.
I’m also working on another full length novel in the same dystopian future, set in a different part of post-collapse North America. A bodyguard bot who has been recalled due to a lethal defect falls for a beautiful companion bot with aspirations of flight.

Looking forward to seeing what else you can bring us in this setting, both the sequel and the additional novel.