No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

Yuri Hamaganov Author Interview

Yuri Hamaganov Author Interview

GROND – The Raven High is a sci-fi book set in the future where pollution has caused giant storms across the planet. What was your inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?

I have a lot of inspiration sources, mostly the Golden Age Sci-Fi and the movie of the eighties, from the “Masking” of Henry Kuttner to Thing and Aliens. But most of all I was influenced by the old and almost forgotten Young Adult Sci-Fi – Earth Star Voyager. I saw it when I was at school, and loved much more than Star Wars. This should be a good sci-fi for teenagers – exciting, realistic, without superheroes, but with smart and courageous heroes. And it was Earth Star Voyager that I first saw the idea of a catastrophic climate change and the search for salvation in space. I was so pleased that I decided to create the same story. The same, but completely my own. No sooner said than done.
I recently reviewed Earth Star Voyager for the first time in twenty years. And he’s still good.

So, if you are looking for inspiration for a great space adventure – you are welcome.

Olga’s nanny is an android that I genuinely started to care for towards the end of the novel. What were the driving ideals behind the characters development throughout the story?

Creating Olga, I wanted to get rid of two obsessive stereotypes of teenage literature.

Firstly, the main character isn’t the despised loser or ordinary schoolgirl, who suddenly finds herself in the center of the universal conspiracy.

Secondly, Olga’s superhuman abilities don’t fall on her in one fine morning, free and without consequences. There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch in her world.

The image of Arina combines the features of an ideal mother and ideal teacher. She really loves Olga, so, when necessary, she can be very strict and demanding of her ward, otherwise, Olga won’t stand the load of enormous responsibility.

The story is set in a post-apocalyptic future where the Earth is ravaged by pollution. What were the morals you were trying to capture while creating your characters?

Morality is very simple – dreams and good intentions won’t change the world for the better. But the world can be changed for the better by persistent daily work. There are thousands of brave book heroes who save the world by simply believing in themselves and accomplishing a great feat in the battle against the system. Olga also saves the world, but in a completely different way – just goes on the next shift at her space plant. Day by day.

This story was written in Russian and translated to English. What were the challenges you faced when translating?

Most of the difficulties were caused by two things – compliance with the size of phrases and slang expressions, to which it is hard to make a direct translation.

The Raven High is book 1 in the GROND series. Where does book two take the story?

In fact, the GROND story begins with the second book, GROND: The Blitzkrieg. And at the beginning of this story, Olga will be forced to leave her orbital home, join the gang of space mercenaries and take part in the brutal war of the Martian colonists for independence. It’ll be cool!

Author Links: GoodReads | Amazon

Product Details

In the year 2086, Earth is exhausted. The seas have been emptied, the bedrock and soil stripped of their resources, and the superheated atmosphere churns with terrible storms. Those who can afford to do so live in the limbo of virtual reality, and the billions who suffer in poverty have no work, no clean water, and no security from the chaos.

The only hope for those trapped on a dying Earth are the Changed—the seven bioengineered post-humans who work in their separate manufacturing facilities orbiting high above the planet. Raised from birth for their work and fully matured at ten years old, their genius provides the nanomaterials that have begun to cleanse Earth of the pollutants that have wiped out almost the entire ecosphere.

But for Olga Voronov, youngest of the Changed, the isolation and endless toil are not the greatest of her challenges. Down on Earth there are those who resent and fear her talents—and would prefer that humanity not be given the second chance that only she could make possible …

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About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is a book review website which consists of mostly fiction books, but we do enjoy non fiction works that we're excited about. All reviews are the reviewer’s honest opinion. We love books and read constantly (seriously, it’s an addiction). We're always open to book review requests and have aspirations of one day being sucked into the Twilight Zone episode with Burgess Meredith where all he wants to do is read, but can’t until the world ends; you know what I mean?

Posted on July 30, 2017, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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