In the Wilderness of New Earth

Blair Wylie Author Interview

Tube Dwellers is a fun sci-fi novel following an average couple that are the unlikely heroes of an intergalactic space adventure. What were some new ideas you wanted to introduce in this book that were different from the preceding novel?

Tube Dwellers will be the fourth book in the Master Defiance series when Martian Hermitage is published (shortly?). The first three books in the series are set on Earth, Moon and Mars, and trace the demise and resurrection of human civilization, in spite of natural and man-made calamities, and an attempted invasion by an alien race, the evil Masters. The last three books in the series, starting with Tube Dwellers, trace the migration of some brave human beings to New Earth, where a new civilization emerges in spite of many challenges, and again, an attack by those nasty old Masters. New Earth is 106.6 light years from Earth, so the adventures are interstellar in breadth, not intergalactic. Still, the book does not indulge in the fantasy of faster-than-light travel. The 84-generation journey to New Earth takes 2538 years at 4.2% light speed.

I enjoyed how authentic Smitty and Tara were. What were some ideas that guided you while creating their relationship?

I took a bit of inspiration from a 1973 Canadian sci-fi series, The Starlost. It was low budget, and poorly crafted, but the setting was a generation spaceship, lost in space. The characters are naïve and Amish-like, and discover to their horror that they live on a spaceship that is headed for a star and total destruction. While not Amish-like, Smitty and Tara are everyday working-class people, who transition by necessity from doubting conformists to inspirational leaders. Tube World provided people like Smitty and Tara with pioneering skills so they could have the best chance for survival in the wilderness of New Earth. A basic problem with interstellar travel at sub-light speed is how do you deliver people with pioneering skills to another world? Frozen embryos ain’t going to cut it. Suspended animation or hibernation for 84-generations? Doubtful, without genetic modification like the tri-variant Masters engage in.

I appreciated the technical explanations of different complex concepts throughout the book. How much of it was made up and how much of it was derived from your career as a Canadian oil and gas engineer?

I worked in harsh, remote areas during my oil and gas career with lots of interesting, hardy people. I lean on that experience, and my engineering knowledge, when I write. Many aspects of the Second Chance generation spaceship are within the realm of possibility. The sheer size of the beast is a stretch, but necessary to sustain a healthy gene pool of 10,000 people for 84-generations. Building it in only 100 years or so is a stretch. A ‘magnetoplasmadynamic drive’ (massive ion propulsion system) has been theorized but is definitely a stretch. Building a spaceship that still works after 2538 years is a stretch. Travelling through space at ‘only’ 4.2% light speed is risky business. Space is not as empty as we once thought. You can run into rocks out there! The Oumuamua interstellar asteroid that just visited our solar system is proof of that.

What can readers expect in book five, Tube Survivors?

The pioneers on New Earth are determined not to repeat the mistakes made on Earth. They are naïve in many ways, but they stay true to their principles. They do some exploring by circumnavigating their continent in a catamaran sailboat. They discover to their horror that New Earth is not the pristine wilderness they were anticipating. It has been visited before by other alien races. And then those darn Masters show up again…

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Smitty and Tara live on Tube World – it is all they have ever known. They imagine that getting married and having babies will be their greatest adventure. But they couldn’t be more wrong…

Smitty has inherited more than a parabike from his Uncle Elmo. He has inherited a code which will open a whole new future for them and for all the ten thousand Tube Dwellers who share their world.

By exploring the hidden spaces accessed by the code, Smitty and Tara are bravely flying in the face of laws enforced by the Tube World Council – which encourages its people to live, work, and think in a strictly regulated fashion. But the clock is ticking and Tube World can’t sustain life forever.

Their bravery means that Tube Dwellers have a whole new future to look forward to – a second chance on New Earth. But preparing for a flight to a new planet, and actually building a life there, will be fraught with untold dangers and challenges for Smitty, Tara and their friends – not least from those who already populate the new world.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on September 26, 2020, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thank you! I’m not a purist, at least not completely, but FTL is no different to ‘magic’ and I much prefer a bit of realistic science in my scifi! Looking forward to this. 🙂

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