This is the first stop on Gregg Rosenblum’s blog tour promoting his debut Revolution 19. And SciFiChick.com was granted an exclusive interview with the author.
My review of this exciting YA SciFi novel will post tomorrow, January 8th.
Can you tell us a bit about Revolution 19 in your own words?
Artificial intelligence (bots) that have been used to fight mankind’s wars eventually turn on us, and take over. Most of humanity that has survived the revolution lives in cities tightly controlled by the bots, but small pockets of survivors have remained free in small settlements in the woods. Nick, Cass, and Kevin, siblings, have grown up in one of these “Freeposts.” When their settlement is raided by the bots, and their parents are captured, Nick, Cass and Kevin have to travel to the City with the hope of somehow rescuing their parents. Much action ensues!
It sounds like fans of the Terminator series will appreciate the setting. Were you inspired by any of the scifi classics?
Certainly…it’s impossible to mention killer bots without thinking about the Terminator. A number of movies and books inspired me to think about artificial intelligence growing up…Blade Runner and the I, Robot series (Isaac Asimov, not Will Smith!) come to mind most prominently…Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey…the Cylons from Battlestar Galactica (the cheesy ones, from the original series)…the Borg from Star Trek…even (cringing with embarrassment, but still, gotta be honest) K.I.T.T., the Trans Am from Knight Rider.
What are your robots like?
Most are coming from military design, so they’re efficient and powerful and brutal fighters. The Peteys are the primary ground troops…they’re humanoid, but BIG and STRONG and the Freeposters’ old-school projectile bullets are basically useless against them. There are also small sphere bots, which are mostly scouts…but the ones that I actually think are the scariest, even though they’re the least impressive physically, are the Lecturers. They run the Reeducation centers, where captured humans are taken to be broken down and assimilated into the City culture. They’re quite good at torture. But I actually don’t see the bots as “evil.” They have their reasons, their justifications, for doing what they do. They think they’re saving mankind. Unfortunately, saving us involves killing many of us and carefully controlling the survivors, but oh well…
Since robots took over twenty years ago, Nick, Kevin, and Cass didn’t know the world before. What is their day-to-day life like?
Life in the Freepost is mostly surviving off the land…hunting, fishing, some agriculture…all the while trying to keep a low profile, and avoid the notice of the bots in the cities. They scavenge what they can, so there is some cool tech mixed in…they have solar panels and a lightweight energy grid that runs their lightstrips and cooking panels, and their shelters are an odd mix of low-tech wood and high-tech scavenged plastics. Day-to-day, for Nick and Kevin and Cass, is survival in the forest, filled with chores, and lessons…kind of boring, actually…but that changes early on when their Freepost is attacked.
Is this a standalone novel or first in a series? (How many books are planned for the series?)
Tell us a bit about yourself and your experience in writing.
I grew up devouring fantasy and sci fi novels, and I’ve been writing ever since I could read. For years I worked on “serious” “grown up” fiction, then finally realized I needed to get back to my original love, the stuff that blew my mind as a kid and made me fall in love with books in the first place—fantasy and sci fi. And so, robots!
Who are some of your favorite authors? What books do you love?
Oh man, that’s impossible to answer in less than 1000 words. Okay, here are some authors, and my favorite books by them, in no particular order—Philip K. Dick (A Scanner Darkly), Hemingway (any of his short stories), Vonnegut (Cat’s Cradle), Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash), Susan Cooper (The Dark is Rising series), Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series), Tolkein (Lord of the Rings), George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones series)…I just thought of about a hundred more but I’ll stop…
What do you do when you’re not writing? In your spare time?
Let’s see—when I’m not at my day job, or writing, or sleeping, you can find me: listening to music at irresponsibly high volume through my headphones, playing guitar (the same four songs over and over, driving my wife and daughter crazy), obsessively playing games on my phone (especially Words with Friends), feeding my obese cat, playing golf (think cheap public course, not country club), and feeling guilty and nervous about not writing.
Thanks for your time! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I can be found on Twitter at @GreggRosenblum, and contacted through Goodreads.