Title: The Autonomy
Author: Jude Houghton
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction, New Adult
Release Date: July 29, 2016
Publisher: Grimbold Books
Balmoral Murraine works in a Battery, assembling devices she doesn’t understand for starvation pay. Pasco Eborgersen is the pampered son of an Elite, trying to navigate the temptations of the Pleasure Houses, the self-sacrifice of the Faith, and the high-octane excitement of Steel Ball. They are two strangers, who never should have met, and now they will rip apart the world.
What happens when ninety percent of the world lives on skaatch – a jellyfish and insect composite?
What happens when mankind spends more time in alternative life sims instead of in the “real” world?
What happens when economic interest is the sole determinant of global decision making?
What happens when a single secret is discovered that calls into question everything we have ever believed?
Welcome to the Autonomy. Welcome to your future.
What is the biggest influence/interest that brought you to this genre?
In terms of inspiring literature that is science fiction with dystopian overtones that definitely had some influence on me in trying to write in this genre:
We - Yevgeny Zamyatin
1984 - George Orwell
Brave New World - Aldus Huxley
Dune - Frank Herbert
The Foundation Series - Isaac Asimov
V for Vendetta - Moore, Lloyd
The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndam
I wanted to write a book that anticipates where the world may be headed in the next twenty years, and in doing so, had many sources of inspiration ranging from large macro issues such as global warming, over population, terrorism, the ubiquity of corporate interests in every aspect of government, to more idiosyncratic but equally pervasive trends; smart screens and technologies designed to both limit and enhance our minds, the willingness to abdicate real life experiences for instant gratification and the insidious manipulation of various media.
2. When writing a book, what is your favorite part of the creative process (outline, plot, character names, editing, etc)?
What I love about writing is the only thing I love about it; and that is that moment of stillness when the characters come alive and begin to talk and act for themselves, propelling the plot forward, and making the words come easily. In contrast, I hate outlines and can’t do them. When I do an outline I lose all interest in the story. Maybe it’s just me, but the outline becomes a series of clichéd events: “and then this happened, and this happened, and then this happened” and it’s one big yawn after the next. So at least for me, I have to start with a premise and a person, and not an outline, otherwise it never gets off the ground. PS. I hate editing too.
3. When reading a book, what genre do you find most interesting/intriguing?
This one is easy. EVERYTHING. I have no preferred genre. My favorite books of recent times have spanned historical fiction, Wolf Hall, Greek mythology, Song of Achilles, and Science Fiction, Ready Player One. If I think it’s good, I read it, if I like the first chapter, I read all of it. The only books I have never really warmed to are romance. I wouldn’t touch 50 Shades of Grey with a 10 foot pole. No entendre intended.
4. If you could co-author with any author, past or present, who would you choose?
What a great question. I think to give an ingenuous answer to this question you have to think not only of who you would be awe of and learn so much from (Austen, Dickens, Joyce, Forster) but who would actually collaborate. In that sense, to me there is one stand out, and that is Shakespeare, not only because he is the greatest literary writer of all time, but because he would have been used to collaborating as a playwright, and would have likely welcomed the process.
5. Have you always wanted to write or did it come to you "later in life"?
I liked to think I was a writer, a long time before I was one, so I think later in life is a more accurate description of the reality. But to put it into context, I remember trying to write a novel when I was eight on an ancient typewriter. It began with a boy walking out of the mist, leaving something dreadful behind him. I didn’t get too far. Then when I was eleven I wrote home made Dungeon and Dragons modules. I wrapped them in cellophane and still have them! Lots of wandering down dark passages and monsters with a severe number of hit points jumping out of the shadow. However, I wrote my first “novel” at twenty-one. It was about seventy-thousand words. I tried to get it published, received some encouraging letters of rejection, and then wrote on and off, mostly off, for the next few years. Life threw me some curve balls; a lot of international travel, a demanding job, a beautiful family. When the children reached an age when they would occasionally go off for day trips with my wife on Saturdays, I began to put finger to keyboard again. The result was Songs of Seraphina which was accepted for publication about a year after I completed it. So…a bit more information than you wanted, but I would say, I have been pretending to write for about thirty years, but only seriously writing for about five or six years.
Jude developed a love of fantasy from a relatively early age after realising an innate talent for making stuff up could result in something other than detention. Working across the globe in fields as diverse as journalism, data entry, sales, management consultancy and babysitting, Jude has partially succeeded in putting an English and History degree from Oxford University to good use. A somnambulist, insomniac, lover of letters, Jude writes late into the night, most nights, tumbling down the rabbit hole to dream of other lives. Jude currently lives in Pennsylvania with an over-enthusiastic family and absurdly entitled dog.