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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the protagonists of your favourite books

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Near future

BJ Armstrong (of The One: A Cruise Through the Solar System, by Eric Klein)

Dear readers, tonight with us is a young man, on his way back from an interplanetary cruise. This journey came as a bit of a shock to this unassuming systems engineer — to say nothing about what actually happened aboard ship.

He’s here to tells about his solar-system wide cruise.


Tell us a little about growing up in the Big Apple. What was it like there?

Well, everyone knows what it is like under the dome, I mean they film the tridees there all the time. Actually, it is a bit funny that as new as most of the city is there are still parts that are really old. For example, when the climate controls are working you would not notice, but in the summer, it frequently breaks down. That is when you notice that there are two hundred and fifty-year-old steam pipes that are still used. You notice when they start to leak, adding humidity to the air. Funny think that there are still companies that use it to power their manufacturing or buildings that use it for heating.

But you asked about growing up in the city. It was nice, when the weather control worked it was always a little warm. Enough so, that the first time I went out of the dome on a class trip some of my classmates were frightened of the small white flakes that were falling. They thought that it was ash from a fire. Boy were they surprised when the teacher explained that it was snow. One of my classmates commented “but it is not zero degrees.” The teacher explained that at ground level it could be as high as two degrees and there could still be snow.

But the best part of growing up in the City was when my grandfather would take me to see the old airplanes and space ships at the Intrepid Air and Space Museum. He always dreamed of going up, but was never able to afford the time off from work, or the price of a ticket to go into orbit, and my grandmother got deathly motion sickness. So they could not go to colonize. He would have really loved to go on the cruise with me.

Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?

Well, as I just mentioned my grandfather used to take me to the Intrepid at least three or four times a year. He would read me stories about space travel and make a special day out of every twentieth of July, he called it Neil Armstrong day in remembrance of when Neil and Buzz landed on the moon. Google know that I loved hanging out at their apartment. But they seemed to always have something breaking down or not working. So when I was real young I would help my grandfather fix things, later he would help me. He really liked to work with his hands, but had moved into a supervisory role where they would not let him touch any of the actual tools anymore.

I guess that is how I chose my studies and career.

Oh, what is it that you do?

Me? I’m a SET, a Systems Encyclopedic Troubleshooter. I get called in to diagnose and solve strange or complex computer and systems problems. You see, most people study a topic in depth and have little capabilities in related areas. I studied several areas: programming, AI psychology, basic chip design and repair, and a bunch of stuff that I may never use.

But the combination means I get called in on a variety of different problems that pop-up either in AIs or where AIs and humans interact. This has given me the opportunity to travel around the Earth to many places for work, but until this trip I never left the actual planet. Continue reading “BJ Armstrong (of The One: A Cruise Through the Solar System, by Eric Klein)”

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Gabriel Kerr (of Manumission by E.R. Harding)

Dear readers, tonight on the interview couch is a man objecting to immortality.

In a world where a person’s consciousness can be transferred to another bio-frame, the corporation that controls this is king. He believes, like some, that the Metaform is the greatest threat to humanity in its authentic, natural and biological state.

He is here to tell us of his adventures.


Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

I grew up on part of Errik’s estate that was always called the Camp, or the Church. My Dad was a militant activist and he started the Soul Defence Force when he was quite young. My mum left when I was still a kid, so I don’t remember her, but dad was pretty mean and belted me a lot. I had a lot of mates growing up, and I was quite happy. Of course it was different when I got older. It was a lot less fun, and much harder work.

Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?

I didn’t have toys. I mean, I might have done when I was a baby, but I don’t remember them if I did. Life was all about training, and as soon as I was old enough, I was out on raids with the older lads.

What do you do now?

Life’s good now. I have enhanced intelligence, which means I learn stuff instantly and I never forget anything. I also have a really long projected lifespan, potentially unlimited actually, because when this bio-frame wears out I’ll buy another one. The life of a millionaire playboy could get a bit dull though, maybe. Oh yeah, there’s nothing to complain about now. Not really. Continue reading “Gabriel Kerr (of Manumission by E.R. Harding)”

Adam Carpenter (of Eden’s Serum by Angelique S. Anderson)

eden-serumDear readers, tonight with me on the interview couch is the Founder and CEO of one of America’s hottest technology start-ups. His development of the Identicoin, revolutionized the identification process, and now makes it so that all of our personal, medical, banking and criminal history is on one easy little disk.

Recently, however, he came across something unheard of, that enticed him beyond words. Immortality. But is the secret of Eden’s Serum all that it’s advertised to be?

He is here to tell us about his adventures and his life.

 

Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

Nothing too spectacular, not like the apartment I had before I moved to Bakersfield. My father was a hardworking man, we lived menially and he did try to give us everything. I just never felt like I connected with him on a personal level. He wasn’t happy when I told him that I wanted to major in Nanotechnology, which was made further evident when I told him about my promotion at Identitech. Actually, I hadn’t talked to him for quite a while. Not until this whole thing happened with Identitech.

Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?

Hmmm, well I guess as a kid my favorite toys were my hot wheels. I like to race them, it felt like the only thing that made sense. I didn’t really like being outside. When I was gifted an older tablet for my birthday, the first thing I did was take it apart to look at the inside… ha, ha. I forgot all about my cars, I must have had over a hundred of them. They were inexpensive, so my father didn’t mind getting them for me for Christmas’s and birthdays.

Boy was he mad when he discovered I had taken apart the first tablet I ever got. That is essentially what really sparked my love for all things technical. When I saw what it could do with the swipe of a finger, I had to know more. I still keep that torn apart tablet, in a lock box at home. It holds tremendous sentimental value for me. Probably the only thing I have ever been sentimental over, until Evelyn. Continue reading “Adam Carpenter (of Eden’s Serum by Angelique S. Anderson)”

Anna Persson (of Red Desert series by Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli)

Red Desert

Dear readers, tonight we deviate from our usual Friday schedule, in order to celebrate the 40 year anniversary of the an important event in human space exploration – Viking 1 became the first spacecraft to successfully land on Mars!

The following interview was originally published in Italian as “Intervista ad Anna Persson” on http://www.kuiperbelt.it/intervista-ad-anna-persson/, and is republished here with permission.

Translation by Eric Klein.

Interview with Anna Persson

For several days now I am immersed in the lives of the creatures encased in what you call books. For days I come into contact with the entities in them and I interact with these entities, I can participate in their stories, the events that the imagination of the authors pour on the pages, whether they are digital or not.

My name is Lok and if you have followed me you know that I can do this and more.

Today I got in touch with Anna Persson, the main character of the Red Desert series by Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli. Anna is a friendly person yet reserved, it was not easy snatch two words from her. Since I’m not human I tried to be as empathetic as possible, trusting however on her curiosity about space and the endless creatures it hosts.

Warning, the following interview contains elements that reveal the events depicted in the books of Red Desert (they are called spoilers, aren’t they?). Continue reading “Anna Persson (of Red Desert series by Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli)”

Lisa (of The Dark Colony by Richard Penn)

SONY DSCDear readers, tonight with us is an interplanetary colonist. As we ask the questions, we ask our readers patience – it takes time for the communication beam to make it out to the asteroid belt and back with Lisa’s answers. 

 

 

Why did you chose to become an interplanetary colonist, despite the isolation from the rest of humanity?

Good mornsol, Assaph. Sorry to take so long answering, I’m twenty light-minutes away from you. I know you Earthlings aren’t used to that. It’ll take 40 to answer each question. I didn’t choose to come out to the belt, my parents were born in the Moon. They joined the colony expedition for Terpsichore when I was two. So I’ve never known any other kind of life. That said, I love it, and I’d leave Earth in a heartbeat, if only to get away from the gravity. As for isolation, I’m part of a community of 200, living in each others’ pockets. From the videos, I’d say Earthlings have a lot less real contact with people.

What is your role on the Terpsichore space station?

I’m a cop. I was a lowly constable when all this kicked off, then I got thrown into situation where I had to take charge. I’m captain of my own ship now, but I’m still a cop, with a boss on Phobos. Continue reading “Lisa (of The Dark Colony by Richard Penn)”

Tommy (of Counteract by Tracy Lawson)

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Dear readers, today we are interviewing Tommy, off the pages of Counteract and Resist. Tommy lives in a dystopian future, constantly under the guard of the Office of Civilian Safety and Defence (OCSD).

 

What was it like, for a growing child under the OCSD?

It’s funny you should ask what it was like to grow up under the thumb of the Office of Civilian Safety and Defense. The OCSD really took hold in 2019, when I was only three years old, so I’ve never known what it was like to live without the Restrictions–until now. I guess my life was pretty close to what you’d call normal. I understand now that my mom tried to shelter me from what was really going on. My dad was an attorney and activist who opposed the creation of the OCSD and spoke out against their policies, but my parents didn’t talk about it at home–at least in front of me. I grew up going to school and playing sports. We lived in an area that still had a few restaurants and shops, but it wasn’t like that for everyone. I guess our quadrant had a lot of rich people, lots of people who were high up in the government. Our community’s social status–and our compliance with the Restrictions–are what allowed us to have those luxuries. Continue reading “Tommy (of Counteract by Tracy Lawson)”

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