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Patrick Barnes Author Interview

Patrick Barnes Author Interview

The Audric Experiment follows Pierre through an ideal society that quickly has it’s facade smashed leaving Pierre to come to terms with the change. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?

I remember wondering when I was younger about serotonin raising drugs and whether or not it would be possible to somehow inject serotonin into a person’s brain. It was an interesting question to me not just for it’s corrective effects on depression but for the moral and theological questions it raised. This led me to start thinking about dreams and God and if it ever became possible to regulate mood in such a way whether or not the world would go along with it. The purpose of The Audric Experiment was not to answer these questions but rather to bring some hope and intrigue along with them. I needed a story to house this content and that was the inspiration.

Pierre is an interesting character that changes is some big ways throughout the book. What were some driving ideals behind his character?

I wanted Pierre to be a high achiever two reasons. One, was so that I could imbue him with emotion and decency and create someone who is extremely likeable and compelling. Two, it gave him further to fall when the you-know-what hits the fan. What Pierre finds important in life gave me room to experiment with some themes that were personal to me, and I knew that changing those values would be emotionally salient for the reader.

I really enjoyed the world building and backdrop to this story. How did you set about creating the world for your characters to inhabit?

A lot of aspects of the world the characters inhabit surprised me. Because a lot of the details I came up with while I was writing. I thought about what an ideal future would look like, things I that would raise the quality of life, and more importantly, things that connected with criticisms I had always had about the world in general. For instance, Pierre goes to school mainly to learn about his future profession — a change I had always wanted to see instituted when I was in school.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m writing a young adult murder mystery. It will be available in a year.

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The Audric Experiment by [Barnes, Patrick]Can we create a world with no depression?

In 2328 England, they did just that. They call their society Audric – a place where there is no depression because of cybernetics, and where bad decisions are met with a bracelet-shock and a mind-altering dream.

Pierre Morena, the only seventeen year old who has never been shocked by his bracelet, wakes up in an infirmary with no memory of why. It seems a Christian group, permitted by the Audric government, took an interest in him, and the Audric Earnings Authority may want him dead. What follows is his quest to survive, befriending a beautiful mysterious girl who possesses some of the answers he needs, and uncovering secrets that are as close to him as his own family. But before Pierre leaves the infirmary, he may have to cut a secret deal with Audric because Pierre is about to have his first bracelet-shock.

Filled with twists, philosophy, and a story that is as engaging as it is thought provoking, The Audric Experiment will have you reading deep into the night to find out what will happen to the only seventeen year old who everyone thinks has never been shocked by his bracelet.

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The Audric Experiment

The Audric Experiment by [Barnes, Patrick]The story of Pierre Morena, a 17-year-old in the year 2328, when England is ruled by something called the Audric who rule society through neural stimulation, either serotonin releases to reward compliance or shocks to punish anti-social behavior, guided by a manifesto called The Financially Prudent World by the Audric prophet, Genesis Smith.

Pierre is the first person in this Brave New World to make it as far as 17 without ever once receiving a shock, earning him the nickname Pure Pierre. And then, after a strange and mysterious incident on the 13th floor of the Library in the Shopping (called the Athenaeum here), Pierre begins to wonder if he’s really as pure as he’s come to think. And he’s not the only one. Pierre is in for the challenge of his life. He’s always thought of himself as virtuous; but what is virtue, he begins to wonder, if it’s never been tested?

He runs into a group called the Gamblers who dress like bikers and quote Nietzsche but worship Grease-era John Travolta. They reject and resist the Audric principles and have their own currency. They want Pure Pierre to endorse their hair product, but he’s not so sure. A Gambler accidentally blows his arm off firing an unauthorized gun when Pierre stops for a Macchiato in a Gambler cafe.

We don’t learn too much about the world, though it seems to resemble a 1970’s version of the future, like you’d see in Logan’s Run or Buck Rodgers or Jack Kirby comics. But the world we are presented with is immensely interesting and beautifully drawn. People take pictures on their phones and ride in solar pods, but they still read print newspapers and play water polo. The water polo match at the beginning, in fact, is a thing of beauty, and it makes you wonder why there aren’t more books about water polo players. The Big Three manufacturers are Little Amore, Generation Gold and Walden Now, and they take at least some of their ideas from the Entrepreneurial Etiquette class where Pierre had been a star pupil, inventing a solar radio inspired by a 20th Century Orangina bottle. This combination makes a unique world that serves as an interesting backdrop to a compelling story.

Patrick Barnes engages and entertains in this novel and leaves you questioning whether we want to truly be happy or to just be comfortable. He drags Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell, Kierkegaard, even Einstein, into it. It’s like an episode of the TV show The Good Place only with fewer jokes and more suspense. The Audric Experiment is a fun, action-packed read that’s overflowing with great ideas and moral questions.

Pages: 300 | ASIN: B01N313ZXL

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