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In The Final Wars Rage: Book 2 Bastien finds himself in danger once again and the deposed cyborg queen still lives. What were some new ideas you wanted to explore in this book that were different from book one?
I explore the following three ideas in this book:
1) The concept of redemption is addressed through Bastien Lyons. He ends book one and starts book two as a monster, one ravaged by guilt for the destruction of New Paris. The Final Wars Rage is partly his journey towards correcting his deviated moral compass and better understanding his strained relationship with the memory of Father Paul (and God by extension).
2) What does it mean to be human? Is existence only possible through flesh and blood, or are there other mediums that can allow consciousness to continue? The idea of transcending physical limitations to become something more is a core theme of this book – I don’t want to give away too much, though. Folks will just have to read the book 🙂
3) Cutting-edge technologies can have unintended consequences. In our world, the best example is social media. Who would have ever thought when logging into Friendster or MySpace back in the early to mid-2000s, that one day these applications’ successors (Facebook & Twitter) would wreak havoc on human psychology and political systems. In the world of Bastien Lyons, it’s the green fogs that helped ravage Earth, the AI entity, High Council which took over Port Sydney, and Alic… err… can’t give away too much.
This is an intriguing novel that is high in social commentary. Was this intentional or did this happen organically while writing?
Intentional. Writing, irrespective of genre and theme, presents an excellent opportunity to shine a spotlight on humanity, in my opinion. When a story effectively addresses more than its immediate characters and plot points, it can be very satisfying.
If Hollywood came knocking who would you cast as your main characters?
I’d strive for cultural authenticity, so here’s my list:
- Bastien Lyons – Stanley Weber
- Belle Dubois – Léa Seydoux
- Marie Dubois – Eva Green
- Frank Crone – Hugh Jackman
- Reo Honda – Ryo Yoshizawa
- Alice Smith – Margot Robbie
Are you working on book three in the Final Wars series?
Yes – trying to aim for early next year. Folks can sign up for my mailing list to keep in the loop here: SAwritesSF.com
BASTIEN LYONS CAN’T MOVE ON WITH HIS LIFE, AND THAT MIGHT KILL HIM.
Despite escaping to the moon’s Nippon One colony with a new identity after a failed effort to save New Paris from destruction, he finds himself amidst danger again. The brutal world of the twenty-third century has dark plans. Parisian ruins send shockwaves through the remaining two civilizations of the solar system, Nippon One and the Port Sydney colony on Mars, shaking the tenuous peace between them. Bastien understands political tensions all too well and knows something terrible is about to happen. Trade wars erupt to signal deeper conflicts to come. Pirates lash out in revenge at Port Sydney for wiping out Parisian euphoria drug factories. Yakuza wage gang wars to control the remaining euphoria on Nipponese streets. If that wasn’t enough…
MARIE DUBOIS LIVES, AND HER SURVIVAL THREATENS HUMANITY.
The deposed cyborg queen has escaped the destruction of her New Paris, and Martian General Frank Crone recognizes her menace could rip apart the fragile peace. His digital overlords, an AI construct that enforces treaties, cannot learn she’s alive and ready to return to mayhem. He’ll do whatever it takes to rid the world of the defrocked demagogue before she is discovered, even if it means tilting his moral compass. Frank’s deadly goal not only demands the skills of his petri-dish humanoid Lieutenant General Alice Smith and the Nipponese royal police chief Reo Honda, it also needs an outside killer. Bastien wants to stay alive by staying away from that work and far from Marie. But he needs to rescue civilization in a world where…
THE FINAL WARS RAGE.
The Final Wars Rage: Book 2 is a thrilling and intriguing science fiction book that will make you fall in love with the author’s mind. The book is the second novel in ‘The Final Wars’ trilogy. One of the most stimulating things in how the author writes is how keep makes your mind occupied throughout the book. I was always kept at the edge of my seat waiting for the next, sure to come, plot twist. S. A. Asthana showcases their creativity and imagination in this book, creating some of the characters so adeptly that I became attached to them. The book does not start with intense action, but rather a slow and simple introduction that prepared me for the events that were to follow.
Bastien Lyons had escaped from the filthy and unforgiving streets of New Paris to live on the moon colony Nippon One. Bastien had chosen a different identity. But even with the new identity, he is still in danger. It was a shame that even with all the efforts, Bastien could not afford to save New Paris from getting damaged. The shockwaves of the damaged civilization were spreading through the solar system. I appreciated the palpable friction between the two. The damage was bigger than all could have imagined.
Bastien is prudent and sharp-eyed in his own unique ways. He could see the tension and was aware that something terrible and destructive was bound to happen. Profession wars occurred, thus indicating the possibility of extreme and intense battles. Pirates hit back to avenge the elimination of Parisian euphoria drug factories and gangs. The Yakuza started wars to be in charge of what is left on Nipponese streets. Meanwhile, cyborg queen Marie Dubois survived on. All of this goes to show how deep the backstory goes, and how intricately all of these different ideas interweave in a captivating way that kept me glued to the pages.
The Final Wars Rage: Book 2 places you in a dystopian world where anything is possible. The technology combined with Japanese culture, war, Artificial Intelligence, violence and belligerence in characters made the book a unique read that is high in social comentary. The conversations between allies and enemy camps were entertaining. S. A. Asthana has written a book that will leave science fiction fans yearning for more.
Pages: 313 | ASIN: B07WV5ZRWM
Malthus Revisited is a genre-crossing novel with elements of science fiction, thriller, and religion as well. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?
It’s interesting that you see elements of science fiction in Malthus. I have not been read that comment from another reviewer nor did I see it as science fiction while writing it. When I began the story, the main character, Dr. Lindsey McCall was well established because this is the 4th in the medical mystery series. The antagonist had been very briefly introduced in the previous novel, A Price for Genius. To me, the story is apocalyptic, ergo the title, even dystopian. The religion… well, I am a midlife convert and know well what life without faith feels like, so religion is a part of every story I write.
Some things in the book come off as possible, if not already happening. Did you take any inspiration from real life when developing this book?
My background is academic medicine and public health so yes much of what is in the book is not just possible but probable.
How did you create Lindsey and Rich’s characters in a way that contrasted yet still supported the characters development?
Although I never planned to write a series when I wrote the first Lindsey and Rich novel, The Fragrance Shed by A Violet, that first story cemented them in my mind. In each of the subsequent books they have enjoyed taking me on their roller coaster lives.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be published?
I, Claudia A Novel of the Ancient World was published in December of last year.
Currently I am writing, My Name is Saul also a novel of the ancient world. I expect it to be published by the end of this year.
Eighteen-year-old Morgan Gardner did not seem like someone who could save the world—unless you took the time to notice her eyes. And most people didn’t.
Morgan’s exceptional gifts were known only to her and to the animals she could understand better than people. For a long time, she told no one about her nightmares. Embarrassed and afraid that no one would believe her, Morgan waited until it was almost too late. Then she confided in her mom’s best friend, Dr. Lindsey McCall.
Lindsey and her husband Rich had worked hard to reestablish their lives and careers after their last harrowing escapade. Relocated in a beautiful California home and newly reunited with Lindsey’s biological daughter LJ, all seemed to be going smoothly—until an enemy from their past returned with as deadly a plan as they could imagine.
The fourth novel in Lin Wilder’s popular Lindsey McCall series is her best one yet—combining the innovative medical research her readers have come to admire with a new and terrifying threat to the world’s population: a biological timebomb. Vivid characters old and new rampage across the continents of Europe, Asia, and the U.S. to stop the contagion, picking up steam as they head toward a life-or-death climax in the remote Qinghai province of China.
Malthus Revisited adds a dystopian element to Wilder’s evolving Lindsey McCall mystery series, and is guaranteed to captivate both her loyal fans and eager newcomers to its last riveting page.
In Experiment X: Exposed Dr. Thaddeus unveils his plan to create an army of super-humans and the masses rejoice. This seems like an easy reference to many terrible things throughout history. What was your inspiration for this moment?
For this moment, I was inspired by how easily influenced masses of people are, and how quickly they can become terrified of something that probably isn’t true. We are told that we have these enemies when we’re just the least bit scared of something so that we have a finger to point at someone, even if that enemy is false. Too many people believe their ‘leaders’ when they tell them who to blame and that they need protection from something that likely doesn’t even exist.
I find that authors sometimes ask questions and have their characters answer them. What were some questions you asked yourself while creating your characters?
A big one that I had asked myself and my characters is actually addressed in the very beginning of the book, ‘who are you?’. Generally, people ask only about your job and/or school as if that’s all we are. But, it’s not. Shed away the layers that are on the surface of yourself and find out what’s left. What can you survive? Who do you love? Who would you die/kill for?
What can readers expect in book three in the Experiment X series, Experiment X: Revolt?
Readers can definitely expect some more bloodshed, war in both the Lab and on the streets, revenge, friends and allies in unlikely places, redemption, new abilities/powers, and some gruesome satisfaction.
They were dead!
I watched one of them die!
Doctor James Thaddeus just presented them as Captains on live TV. Right after he informed a brainwashed world that he was accepting volunteers to expand his super soldier army.
It’s been nearly a year since I helped release imprisoned Subjects from the Lab and the last thing I want is to see is that horrid ‘Doctor’ create more human weapons to treat like rats.
Shawn and I need answers to what we are if we’re going to attack the facility again and stop Thaddeus.
Although it would be easier if Lab-loyal Subjects didn’t capture us, dragging us back to the Lab like criminals.
We’ll just have to take them down from the inside this time.
We can’t let Thaddeus win.
He’ll kill us.
Posted in Interviews
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It has been a full trilogy of books, since we have come back to the main timeline of Joshua Landeros’ Reverence series. Having established an entire prequel series to flesh out his world, Landeros has come back to deal with the fallout and what is left of the UNR. Both sides have taken huge losses, but neither will retreat. And it will be up to the last Marconi, Damien, to rally the surviving UNR Cabinet to lead the country into this brave new future. Meanwhile, the Crimson Angels are in a difficult place, despite their successful strike on the International Summit. Gabriella will have to pick up these pieces and decide who she trusts more. All of this coming to a head to see who will end up in a grave or standing astride it, in this new installment of an epic military science fiction saga.
It is refreshing to be back in uncharted waters, having spent so long in the past, and Landeros ensures readers hit the ground running and wondering where all of our heroes of the past have landed after the last battle. The tension ramps up with little effort and with trademark pacing. The story unfolds with our cast of characters struggling against one another as they seek to either win the upper hand or to make sure they enforce justice.
Landeros’ prose continues to improve with each installment and his stories are becoming more and more complex, rather than a simple military sci-fi thriller they initial books were when the series began years ago. It is a pleasure to see how an author has not only grown, but developed his own flavor in the genre as well. This is another solid entry in the ongoing series and it shows little sign of slowing or stopping anytime soon!
Fans of military fiction or military science fiction should already have Avenge the Silenced on pre-order. Readers, who enjoy gritty action among thought provoking themes would also find themselves quite intrigued with this book.
Pages: 366 | ASIN:B07NNV7GKB
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The Final Wars Begin is a thrilling science fiction novel following Lieutenant General Bastien as he sets in motion the collapse of a civilization. What was the inspiration behind the plot to this novel?
I’m fascinated by the butterfly effect and its examples in history. Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination leading to WW1 or Genghis Khan’s invasion across Asia sparking the decline of science in the Islamic world & introducing the black plague to Europe – these types of scenarios have always captivated my attention. That plus my love for science fiction and technology (my day job) led to The Final Wars. I wanted to show that small things/events/people can have profound impacts on their surroundings.
You’ve meticulously built an intricate world and backstory in this novel. What were some driving ideals behind the development of the world your characters inhabit?
The main goal was to create a realistic world. Often, science fiction introduces a new world to its readers but isn’t able to convince them of the setting’s realism. That can thoroughly sour the reading experience. I wanted to explore how humans separated by vast distances developed in terms of technology, morals, and economics after an all-out nuclear war, and I wanted to do it in such a way that readers wouldn’t question the future setting’s plausibility.
I enjoyed how the characters were well defined and contrasted each other. What were some themes you wanted to explore with the characters?
Great question. One theme I wanted to examine was the existence of morality in a world seemingly devoid of any morals. In the story, Bastien’s mentor, Father Paul, says, “Just because we are surrounded by monsters, doesn’t mean we have to become one ourselves.” – this is a significant part of Bastien’s inner conflict. How do you survive in such a dark world without turning into a monster yourself?
This is book one in the Final Wars Trilogy. Where will book two pickup and when will it be available?
Book two will pick up with Bastien struggling to survive in Nippon One. It will be available on February 1st, 2020. Readers can join my email distro on SAwritesSF.com for further information.
ONE MAN SETS IN MOTION THE COLLAPSE OF CIVILIZATION.
It’s 2209. World War III has left humanity fragmented. Three colonies survive, each on a different world – Earth supports New Paris, its moon has become Nippon One, and Mars has Port Sydney. Trade and tensions bind them, keeping peace balanced on the edge of a precipice. A cruel dictator rages on one world. A failed experiment plunges another into financial ruin. Diplomatic pressures bear down on the third. All it would take is for one man to tip everything over into conflict.
ENTER BASTIEN LYONS.
A man on the run, Bastien’s moral compass has made him a fugitive in the colonies. The odds against his escape are stacked high – a military robot built to erase outlaws hunts him. So do bounty hunters. What’s worse: Bastien finds himself caught in a deadly political chess match between Earth and Mars. He must not only outwit those threats but also create alliances to live. In doing so, Bastien will push the world towards…
THE FINAL WARS.
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Experience the domed city called Tranquility, where emotions are monitored by electronic Alts. You dare not step out of line. Follow an unlikely trio of friends, as they undertake a dangerous quest together: Ember Vinata, a shy, sixteen-year-old Empath, who has a secret ability to see and feel people’s emotions. Will Verus, a reluctant but loyal eighteen-year-old celebrated hero bound for greatness, and Xander Noble, a rebellious, cocky nineteen-year-old exile. As they and their companions form an alliance to expose an evil plot in the otherwise “Perfect”.
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The Final War Begins is a dystopian sci-fi novel of a fractured society and the people trying to bring peace to the colonies. The story starts as Lieutenant General Bastien is running from the law. He’s wanted for murder and is running to avoid execution. Bastien is an easy character to root for and he had me empathizing with him right from the beginning. He’s a soldier, but one with good and careful judgement.
Queen Marie Dubois was a character I did not like as much but still loved how fierce and determined she was. Marie’s voracious nature had her kill her father so she could assume the throne. She then turns to Bastien to get rid of her sister Belle. With an exciting plot twits, Belle tries to do the same thing her sister had in mind and turn Bastien against Marie. This turn of events makes the book thrilling to say the least and shows how unpredictable this novel is, which keeps you on the edge of your seat.
There is a strong theme of technology throughout the book that is used deftly and subtly so that you always know this is the future and you can’t wait to see what things S.A. Asthana has dreamed up. Cube the robot is tasked with hunting down Bastien. Cube has a few human features and qualities, like familiarizing himself with emotion through music, which made him endearing. Every character we’re introduced to is developed thoroughly, leaving you with complex and intriguing characters. Marie had extraordinary physical abilities, General Crone is as firm as his job required, and Belle brought balance to the story when other characters appear mean. The main character, Bastien, was everything I would want to see in a protagonist in a fantasy novel.
If you enjoy thrilling fantasy novels, then you will love this book. The author has given the characters contrasting roles that make the plot unfold easily and builds tension organically. Every chapter focuses on a single character; which helped me follow the plot. The adventure, shock, politics, murders, tension among characters and the suspense after every chapter will give you an adrenaline rush. The Final War Begins is a top notch dystopian science fiction novel.
Pages: 287 | ASIN: B07LD73841
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Project Purple follows volunteers on a broadcasted experience to recreate American colonization that turns deadly. What was the inspiration behind this unique idea?
“Project Purple” Is about thirteen Americans who recreate the lives of the early colonials for a worldwide on-line audience. They don’t know their ordeal has been gradually, brutally altered by their organizers, and a struggle for food, shelter, and survival turn deadly as an Arctic winter approaches.
The seed of this idea emerged from a conjoining of two mediums—the first being a PBS TV series called Colonial House back in 2003, and the second being an extraordinary novel about the harrowing saga of the Donner party called “The Indifferent Stars Above.” Somehow, the ordeals of these people from different centuries fused.
I think “Project Purple” seeks to understand what it takes to draw on one’s inner survivor. I just started thinking: What could a writer do to give this story more adversity and more propulsion?
Rigor is a detective from Las Vegas who sets out to help the volunteers. What were some driving ideals behind his character?
I wove Rigor into the story to give it another layer of depth. On the surface he’s an upstanding guy. He’s initially driven by noble ideals, but as his story unfolds, we see the darkness within him, too, and that’s why he’s been selected for new “projects”. The Rhizome, the shadowy multi-national underground faction, knows his history.
This novel is able to capture the history of American colonialism and modern dystopian ideals. What were some ideals you wanted to explore in this book?
I guess I wanted to capture the idea that civilization is a thin veneer we lay across the bubbling magma of nature, including human nature. Occasionally, like a volcano, the magma erupts, and we fall through the crust, scratching and gouging for our lives. Then a new world order begins, with an entirely new language, and with an entirely new taxonomy: a new way of ordering and naming things in life—the Rhizome.
The thirteen Americans are under the impression they’re showcasing the early seventeenth century colonial way of life for a worldwide audience; that they can teach others by reenacting “a simpler, purer time in their national experience, to the roots of the nation they are today, to the infant of America.” Of course, the Rhizome isn’t impressed by any of that. What it wants to learn from the Americans is all together different.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
The project I’m on now, “Assunta” is a three-part trilogy about a man who comes to believe in the divine. It’s a physical and spiritual journey from the gates of Hell to the highest portion of Heaven. The story is built on a framework of references to the great poem “The Divine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri. There are three books: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. I’ve just finished Book 3, and will publish them in one month intervals, starting in early March with the first Book, Assunta: Inferno.
After I finish the Assunta trilogy, I’m returning to sequels of The Cuckoo Colloquium —about six teens lost in the rain forest of Borneo, because the characters have so much depth and the story so much fuel remaining. I hope to have book #2 of what I’m calling the Cuckoo series out by autumn, 2019.
I believe that memorable characters make memorable tales. One of my favorite writers, Samuel Becket, for example, shows us lunatics in trashcans, or characters who set themselves on fire. He had great insights into what is true, and he makes it funny. I think that’s my job, my goal—to write characters and stories that are absurd, violent, childish, but that resonate with truth.
Thirteen Americans volunteer for a unique three-month project to recreate America’s early colonial experience for a worldwide on-line audience. The colonists have been deceived. They don’t know their ordeal has been gradually, brutally, altered by their organizers, and a genuine struggle for food, shelter and survival turns deadly as an Arctic winter approaches. Is there some point to this insanity? The besieged Americans (including a police detective who throws his world away to rescue a colonist he knows only as the Goatwench) must find the primal survivor within themselves to counter the ever-increasing violence they face—all to the attentive schooling of their multi-national audience.
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