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Unleash the Vampire Tribes

Rob Bartlett Author Interview

The Wandering Tribes follows an itinerant starship captain as he enacts an intricate plan to manipulate the Mercantile Empire. What was the thing that most excited you about writing this book?

The most exciting thing to me was being in position to unleash the Vampire Tribes.

The first two books in the series laid the background. Wandering Tribes started introducing some of the active plot lines acting within the background. We meet a variety of characters who are unleashed on the Mercantile Empire to implement their schemes. Some are faster and more successful, some take longer to develop, some will fail. Some will have unexpected consequences in the future.

What were some questions that you kept asking yourself as you were developing Milo Sapphire’s character?

Milo always goes through three phases:

  1. I see what needs to be done. I’m the best man (vampire) for the job. Let’s get after it. Who knows, could be fun.
  2. Ohmigod! You want me to do what? This wasn’t what I thought it was. This is way freaking harder than I thought it was!
  3. I don’t like the alternative! You wanna try and force me or manipulate me into doing it? Fine! If I’m gonna do it, then get the hell out of my way! Oh yeah, how can I cheat the system?

The other thing that’s always in the back of Milo’s mind is his insecurity about the absurd levels of personal power he can wield. Without giving too much away, Milo’s past has made him very (overly) sensitive to manipulation of others. If it’s part of the plan, he’ll bull forward. If the other person is overtly challenging him for supremacy, sucks to be them.

In his personal life, he’s always second guessing the responses of the people closest to him, especially in romantic relationships. Are they there because he didn’t give them a choice and they’re just making the best of a coercive situation? Are they there because they really, really want to be?

Part of the growth of his character is learning to actually trust the members of his (growing) inner circle; realizing that he has intrinsic value beyond his capabilities as the First.

It’s also a lot of fun to skewer the current harem fad; Milo thinks he has a harem. Whether every member of the group agrees with his definition remains to be seen.

This seemed like a fun book to write. What scene in the book did you have the most fun writing?

It was a blast! The first scene that came to me was the Emperor’s Ball scene. It’s my favorite scene because it encapsulates everything about Milo’s highly convoluted and overly complex plans. It drops Milo right into the middle of the snake pit and he barely gets out. The ramifications of that scene will extend well into the future.

This is book three in The War Against Infinity series. What can readers expect in book four?

Books 1 and 2 went really fast (okay, normal speed for Milo). Book 3 had to slow the pace a touch simply because a lot of the elements that came into play just took a lot of time. Even Milo can’t cheat the laws of physics (most of the time).

Book 4 resumes the pace. The excrement has made contact with the oscillating air acceleration and distribution device, on a cosmic scale. The schemes introduced in Wandering Tribes impact reality. Milo has to react accordingly, in his own inimitable, convoluted, overly complex style.

Gotta keep things interesting.

You never know who might be watching. Heh.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

Hi, my name is Milo Sapphire.
I’m the CEO of Interstellar Products. We make stuff for Sentient Ships.
I’m also the Chosen of the Deity. I’m supposed to save the fricking Universe.
So I need a little help.

I used to be the leader of all the Vampire Families back on Old Earth.
So I’m gonna invite them to join the party, so to speak.

But vampires need lairs.
And this is space, so lair hunting is a little challenging.
And there’s a lot of’em, so I gonna need a lot of space (see what I did there?).

But it’s kinda boring building a lair from scratch. Lotta planning, lotta zoning meetings, you get the idea.
So how am I gonna keep a lot of extremely competitive, obsessively compulsive, highly energetic, easily bored, apex predators occupied? Hyperactive kindergartners strung out on meth. With flamethrowers?
Well, I’m also taking on the Mercantile Empire.
They’re never gonna know what hit’em.
Heh.

The Wandering Tribes

Rob Bartlett’s The Wandering Tribes sees a bet between God and the Devil begin to escalate while Milo Sapphire, self-styled itinerant starship captain, champion of God, leader of the vampire families, and most dangerous individual in any room, enacts a plan to rehome a sizeable proportion of the vampire families and begin manipulating the huge Mercantile Empire through a convoluted plan. As the First of the vampire families, maintaining the peace and defending his position from challengers who would usurp him takes up much of Milo’s time, but with the assistance of a few carefully selected friends, Milo is able to pursue his personal goals.

The Wandering Tribes is the third instalment in Bartlett’s War Against infinity series, and it is a wild sci-fi tale which develops amidst one of the more creative settings readers will likely encounter. Featuring spacefaring vampires, philosophic velociraptors, graphic scenes of a violent and sexual nature and lots of discussions focused on the galactic economy all of which are seasoned with a liberal helping of humor and mix better than you might expect.

Milo’s frankness and his schemes make him a likeable character, and his chronic need to have most things explained to him in detail, or explain things to the reader in detail, make him the perfect narrator, as his conversational form ensures the reader is never completely lost in the world. Everything is well written and explained. It’s clear that a lot of thought and care has gone into building the universe in which The Wandering Tribes is set. Everything has a logical consistency which helps the plot flow and allows the reader to follow along with relative ease, even if they are starting with the third instalment in a series rather than at the beginning. Why would you do that? Book one is great, go read it.

The Wandering Tribes is an offbeat science fiction story that comes across as deceptively random. Rob Bartlett’s sharp writing and keen sense of humor comes together to create a relentlessly entertaining story with a fully fleshed out universe that is filled with wacky elements.

Pages: 212 | ISBN: 0939479494

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