So the other day, I had a review for you guys. Yesterday, my partner, Kai had the awesome Jay Kristoff over at Amaterasu Reads for a guest post! Today, I have John Bemis, another of our guy authors and the author of a cute, awesome-sounding MG dystopian (I haven’t read any MG dystopian!) and he has a post for us today about dystopia, ideas and imagination. So..my lovelies, aspiring writers and dystopian enthusiasts, I present the post:
For me, interesting story ideas come about when two seemingly unrelated topics collide in my imagination. Think H.B. Reese with peanut butter and chocolate…although in his case, the collision was in his mouth.
I’ve had a life-long love of mythology, especially creation and apocalypse myths, and especially especially Native American legends. They’re often filled with these archetypal animals, not exactly good or evil, whose actions have enormous consequences for the world.
I began The Prince Who Fell from the Sky after reading the speculative science book The World Without Us by Alan Weisman. In his non-fiction book, Weisman poses how the natural world might take back over cities, highways, and neighborhoods in our absence. Something about reading Weisman’s book sent ideas colliding in my imagination with all those Native American animal myths, as well as with some of my favorite animal stories like Watership Down and The Jungle Book.
The Prince Who Fell from the Sky takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where humans are gone and the wilderness covers the ruins of our civilization. Part of what draws me to dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction is seeing how others navigate a terrifying situation. Rather than building a world ruled by sadistic totalitarian regimes or leather-clad cannibals, I imagined what would be scary with the sort of future my vision—and Alan Weisman’s—might hold for my characters.
What if you were a child alone in a wolf-ruled, endless forest? A boy is the lone survivor of a crashed spaceship in this forest-world. Once he’s found by a powerful, motherly bear, she is the only one who stands between him and the armies of wolves that want this ancient enemy dead.
My story is told from the perspective of the mother bear, Casseomae, who finds this lost child. She grows to love him as her cub. As she searches for a safe haven to raise him, she wants to figure out how he arrived in her world where no animal has ever seen a human. But it is her love that drives her to take enormous risks for her adopted cub.
Rather than a twisted dystopian government or a bleak wasteland, The Prince Who Fell from the Sky imagines a future that is a new Eden, a world returned mostly to its natural state. With humans gone, animals—in particular big predators like wolves—have taken back over. The perspective characters are all animals: the bear Casseomae, a rat named Dumpster, and a dog named Pang. Each with their reasons for wanting humans to return, they struggle to understand how this lone human has returned and what his arrival might mean for them and their beloved world.
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John Claude Bemis is the author of the steampunk-fantasy trilogy the Clockwork Dark, which includes The Nine Pound Hammer, The Wolf Tree, and The White City. The Prince Who Fell from the Sky will be released May 22, 2012.