Authors Laurence Klavan and Susan Kim visit SciFiChick.com today for the first stop on their blog tour, promoting their new release Wasteland!

WASTELAND:
Welcome to the Wasteland. Where all the adults are long gone, and now no one lives past the age of nineteen. Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan’s post-apocalyptic debut is the first of a trilogy in which everyone is forced to live under the looming threat of rampant disease and brutal attacks by the Variants —- hermaphroditic outcasts that live on the outskirts of Prin. Esther thinks there’s more to life than toiling at harvesting, gleaning, and excavating, day after day under the relentless sun, just hoping to make it to the next day. But then Caleb, a mysterious stranger, arrives in town, and Esther begins to question who she can trust. As shady pasts unravel into the present and new romances develop, Caleb and Esther realize that they must team together to fight for their lives and for the freedom of Prin.

Our Visions of the Future:

LAURENCE: The last thing I am is a scientist or sociologist, but I imagine the future will be driven by changes in technology and the disintegration of the environment. Both things will dictate that we spend more time indoors hiding and/or being entertained. This will be bad news for schools, stores, theaters, beaches, sports arenas, restaurants, and dating, and good news for books (or whatever replaces them), television (or whatever replaces it), frozen food and enforced time with your family. I would invest in companies that make entertainment and other content for electronic devices and those that build houses on stilts and reinforced basements.

SUSAN: I just read an article online about predictions made in 1998 about 2013 (which isn’t even that long… I mean, there already was an internet, so big deal, right?) and how they got stuff wrong like assuming we’d all have robot maids by now. But anyway, here are my totally unscientific predictions, based on my own anxieties and neuroses and overall pessimism as opposed to anything REAL.

1) The environment will be beyond messed up. The bad things that happen now every few years around the world will happen all the time, everywhere: earthquakes leading to tsunamis leading to nuclear meltdowns, hurricanes breaching city walls, crop-scorching dust bowls, shrinking arctic shelves. And the creepy stuff re. runoff and chemicals in our water will get even worse…. I predict heavy-duty mutation in our not-so-distant future and a reliance on purely laboratory-made food.

2) There’s going to be an even more gargantuan divide between haves and have-nots… the REALLY rich, the so-called 1% of the country, will own 95% of everything. The rest of us will still be able to buy clothes and entertainment and phony food, but on maxed-out credit; it’ll all be a way to keep us happy and to prevent us from, I don’t take, taking up pitchforks and mounting a revolution or something.

3) There’s going to be amazing innovation re. new technology: not only jet packs, cloned eyeballs with perfect vision, and talking houses, but clean air environments, pure water systems, and incredibly expensive, super-organic food. The only catch is, you have to be in that 1% to afford it. The rest of us will be working our four jobs, if we’re lucky to have them, and buying cheap clothing and eating genetically modified food and watching mindless entertainment. (Or wait… am I talking about the present?)

On the bright side:
4) I think we’re moving toward a more tolerant society in many ways. There’s going to be acceptance of groups that have traditionally had the hairy end of the lollipop: women, people of color and mixed races, gay/lesbian/transgendered people, even atheists, single people, overweight people, folks with disabilities. People are going to push boundaries more with reassignment surgery: not only across gender lines, but age, racial, and maybe even species distinctions, as well. There are always going to be haters, of course, but society will be beyond that and we will have presidents, celebrities, models, and PTA leaders looking vastly different than they do today.

5) The clothes will be awesome and made out of that frozen-smoke stuff, aerogel. (If you don’t know what that is, go Google it now because it’s really amazing. It’s incredibly strong and is one of the best insulators ever invented.)

Why is post-apocalyptic fiction is so popular right now?

LAURENCE: As I demonstrated with my first answer, I think people feel a lot of anxiety now about the state of the world and the future. Reading about characters who battle through these times and triumph over them helps us cope with those fears. At least it does me.

SUSAN: I totally agree. What’s more, I have a theory that whether we think about it or not, we’re all a little freaked out about how dependent we are on technology these days. Anyone who’s been through a blackout knows how disorienting it is to be without phone, internet, or electricity even for a few hours… and that’s nothing, really, when you think about how much we rely on it practically every waking moment of our lives. How can you not be at least subconsciously worried about what might happen if the unthinkable happened and that aspect of our lives just disappeared?

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Giveaway:
Thanks to HarperTeen, three winners will each receive a copy of WASTELAND. Each tour stop will post the same Rafflecopter giveaway for people to enter. US residents only, please.

Wasteland Giveaway

Follow the rest of the Blog Tour:
Monday, March 25th – SciFiChick.com – guest post
Tuesday, March 26th – The Irish Banana – author interview
Wednesday, March 27th – IB BookBlogging – character profile/excerpt
Thursday, March 28th – The Nocturnal Library – guest post
Friday March 29th – Candace’s BookBlog – author interview
Monday, April 1st – The Book Swarm – this or that list
Tuesday, April 2nd – Supernatural Snark – character profile/excerpt
Wednesday, April 3rd – Alison Can Read – author interview
Thursday, April 4th – Bewitched Bookworms – guest post
Friday, April 5th – Alice Marvels – guest post

Author Websites:
Laurence Klavan Website: http://www.laurenceklavan.com/works.htm
Susan Kim: http://www.harperteen.com/authors/38626/Susan_Kim/index.aspx?authorID=38626