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A Dystopian Earth

Blair Wylie Author Interview

Master Defiance follows the survivors of a post-apocalyptic earth who must defend themselves against invading aliens. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?

I wanted to suggest that human beings can survive a series of natural and man-made disasters. The setting is a dystopian Earth, but humans are still humans. The hunter-gatherers in the remote regions are toughing it out. But they need a little help from the past. Far-thinking ancestors have left behind Mother, a benevolent AI entity, and a vast store of knowledge. Young bow hunters discover and befriend Mother during a desperate quest for help. Mother helps them with advice, and she can defend herself, much to the surprise of the arrogant Masters.

The Masters were intriguing and well developed characters. What were some driving ideals behind their development?

While I appreciate that faster-than-light travel sets up amazing sci-fi story possibilities, my books try to stay within the realm of the possible. Master Defiance suggests that intelligent beings can explore (and try to conquer) our galaxy at say 4% of light speed, if they are adapted (or genetically modified) to living for eons in a generation spaceship. This means vast expanses of time are required to move between stars, which could frustrate fans of ‘super warp speed’ using ‘ludicrous drive’ (a Spaceballs invention). The Masters are further developed during the series, as they are vindictive and persistent. They are also a tri-variant species, as revealed in Covert Alliance. And they view human beings as inferior, and only good slave material after gene-splicing. So, they are creatures that readers will love to hate!

I liked the contrast between the advanced aliens and the regressed humans. How did you want to represent this dichotomy?

Yes, the humans are technologically regressed, but they have retained their humanity. Yes, the Masters are technologically advanced, but they are inhuman. They view other worlds as theirs to conquer, and other species as theirs to enslave. Fighting the Masters is about saving our species, and about saving our humanity.

What do you try to do first when you write, inform or entertain?

Entertain a thinking person.

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The aliens are landing!

On a post-apocalyptic earth, the human species has reverted to its ancient native ways, surviving and thriving by hunting and fishing. It will be so easy for the strange invaders to take control.

But… there is one thing left from the old technological age of years before: a machine the earth hominids call “Mother”, which can teach them, through revisiting history, how to defend themselves.

Someone, many years ago, once said, “What have the Romans done for us?”

Well… now, their ideas might just save the planet!

‘Master Defiance’ is the first in a series.

Master Defiance

Master Defiance by [Blair Wylie]

The premise of Master Defiance is what gripped me from the start: the striking dystopian idea of humanity that has regressed back to the way it was before technology, and are now called hominids. It starts with an alien species attempting to invade this post-apocalyptic Earth in order to set up a colony. The lives of Earth inhabitants are also threaded together with the impending attack. An inevitable but thrilling fight follows between the two species as they battle it out, with the hominids depending heavily on their wits and the limited resources of their environment.

The details of the spaceship Commander and its inhabitants (known as Masters) were extremely intriguing. It was also disarming and fun to hear Earth described from the perspective from an alien species. Even though I may be aware of the general science facts about it, it’s still a little jarring to think about how an alien species may choose their attack based on the region of maximum density of vegetation because it implies most human density.

The activities of these hominids are shown: from hunting and gathering, to bartering and creating shelters. It was a great idea to contrast traditionally sci-fi elements with historical and more adventurous ones.  The contrast between the sci-fi nature of the aliens and the regressed state of humanity was refreshing and made me think about how humanity would defend itself, were it not equipped with the tools and technology that we have today. Not only from aliens, but also pandemics, pests, famines, and other dangers. Although it was fascinating to read about these hominids, I felt like the book could make do with less talk about the various characters; I felt like I didn’t really care for Bill and Ned as the author might have wanted me to.

I thought the ending was immensely satisfying, if a bit didactic. It’s perfect as a slow-burner, as I could feel myself getting increasingly invested in the lives of these characters and thinking about the plot itself. It’s a deeply entertaining read and I would recommend it to any fans of dystopian science fiction.

Pages: 322 | ASIN: B07BG9PXGX

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