Title: Find out More About the World of FLUFFY’S REVOLUTION by Science Fiction Writer Ted Myers During OWS CyCon 2019
Welcome to another fantastic stop in our World-building Showcase blog hop! On this stop, we’re highlighting a story where the world changes or ends as we know it, but you can find a full list of authors and topics on the OWS Cycon website. Let’s dive in!
Welcome Ted Myers!
1. Before we dive in to the nitty gritty, what is Fluffy’s Revolution about?
THE FATE OF THE WORLD RESTS ON THE HAUNCHES OF ONE SMALL CAT
It’s 2135. Fluffy, a super-intelligent GAB (Genetically Altered Brain) cat, leaves the safety of her home to look for her lost brother. On the way, she falls in with a motley crew of animal revolutionaries. Like many dogs, cats, mice, and the occasional pig, Fluffy’s brain is the product of genetic tinkering by humans that started more than a century ago. With their powers of telekinesis, GAB animals can manipulate physical objects without being able to grasp them. They can speak to each other telepathically without audible voices. Now, humans have begun to fear them and to systematically exterminate them. Will Fluffy and her friends survive the perils of this hostile world? Will they find a way to stop the impending doom that threatens to annihilate Earth?
2. Does language play any role in your world? Does everyone speak the same language, or is there variety? Did you invent any new slang or terminology during your world-building process?
Everyone speaks English, but I did develop a few new terms: The Genetically Altered Brain animals are called GABs (not “gab,” but G.A.B.). The “haves” – those with employable skills – are called the Contributors, shortened to “Cons.” The “have-nots” – those whose jobs have been replaced by robots (the majority) – are called the Recipients, shortened to “Rips.” The self-flying helicopters that the Cons use are “robocopters” and the robotic pets are, of course, “robopets.”
3. What kinds of climates do your characters experience? Do they see a lot of change or is it always the same? Has your world always had this kind of climate, or has it changed over time?
In 2135, fossil fuels have been banned for nearly 100 years and the climate crisis that flooded out New York City and many other coastal cities has begun to reverse itself. The 100-year draught has ended and it rains frequently. The world’s population has decreased and continues to do so, and nature has largely rebounded, at least in the temperate zone of the Western Hemisphere, where our story takes place.
4. Is there any kind of faith system in your world? Did you draw inspiration from any real cultures, living or dead?
The public practicing of all religions has been banned, as that has been identified as one cause of war. People are free to practice any spiritual belief in the privacy of their home, but no public religious displays are permitted. Fluffy, being well-educated by her human “dad,” has read about Mahatma Gandhi and advocates for nonviolence.
5. What do people in your world do for fun? Are there sports, games, music, or other activities they do in their free time?
Because robots are now better than humans at practically everything, the few things humans can still do better are various sports and all of the arts. Consequently, these activities flourish.
6. What kinds of transportation and other interesting technology do your characters have access to? Are they ahead, behind, or a mix of different kinds of tech compared to where we are now?
Besides robocopters, people with means drive cars that are powered by solar fusion turbines. The skateboard has evolved into an airboard.
7. Without giving away too much, what can you tell us about your world-ending event and how it led to the world of your story? Was it a distant event or does it happen as part of your tale?
At one point in the story, Fluffy’s “dad,” Professor James Riordan, uncovers a secret that only the elite corporate “cons” know: a huge asteroid is headed for Earth and will destroy it in 30 days. All the major astronomers and astrophysicists on Earth have been kidnapped by the Triumvirate, the troika of corporations that rules the world, so no news of the asteroid has gotten out. The cons are preparing to evacuate the planet in a gigantic spacecraft that’s anchored on the Moon, leaving the rest of humanity to perish. Riordan has an idea that Fluffy and her friends at Animal U (a secret university for GAB animals) can find a way to avert the disaster. I can say no more!
8. When you build a world, what is your process like? Do you do a lot of research upfront, wing it completely, or something in between?
I did do a fair amount of research because I wanted my near-future world to be plausible. For example, when New York City gets flooded and has to be abandoned, the new New York springs up in Kingston, NY, which is on higher ground in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains. I also researched coming renewable energy technologies to power the carbon-free world. The very concept of GABs is, in fact, based on a real experiment that took place in 2015 in which geneticists injected elements of human DNA into the brains of unborn mice. The brains of the resultant mice were 12% larger than the normal mouse brain.
9. How central is the setting of your story to the story itself? Is it more of an interesting backdrop, or is it integral to the events of the story?
I used the East Coast of North America as a location because I was familiar with it. There are scenes in Kingston (a big city like New York), Boston, Cambridge, and the Catskill Mountains, where Animal U is hidden. That said, the setting is more of a backdrop than a character.
10. When helping the reader get to know the world you built, what techniques do you use? Do you tend to be upfront about things, or keep the reader in the dark and feed them only bits at a time?
Since the world in 2135 is not so radically different from the one we live in, I was pretty up front. The buildings in downtown Kingston are much taller than the ones we have; the JetTrain can get you from Kingston to Boston in 15 minutes. But, essentially, this is a world we can recognize and relate to.
11. How much of a role does realism and hard scientific fact play in your world-building? Do you strive for 100% accuracy, or do you leave room for the fantastical and unexplainable in your world?
I’ve never been a science geek, so I pretty much stayed away from getting into a lot of detail about how new technologies work. I pretty much relied on the audience taking my new technologies at face value: an interstellar spacecraft that carries 30,000 people at half the speed of light, a Telepathy Amplifier and a Telekinesis Amplifier (other than involving Cathedral Quartz Crystals, the reader just has to have faith in the people and animals who built it, and that it works).
12. Do you have any specialized training or background from your “real life” that has informed your world-building?
Nope. I read a lot.
13. How do you keep all of the details of your world and characters straight? Do you have a system for deciding on different factors and keeping it all organized, or does it live more in your head?
It lives in my head, but I have had to correct some dumb mistakes in proofreading.
14. Did you experience any difficulties while building your world? Any facts that refused to cooperate or inconsistencies you needed to address while editing?
As I developed the story, sometimes I needed to go back and make revisions based on going through events in my head and realizing I had not taken one thing or another into consideration.
Where can people find you on the web?
Here’s my CyCon Author Booth (Stop by!): https://owscycon.ourwriteside.com/forums/topic/ted-myers-author-booth/
Fluffy’s very own website: https://fluffysrevolution.com/
Fluffy’s page on my publisher’s website, @BlackRoseWriting: http://www.blackrosewriting.com/sci-fifantasy/fluffysrevolution
Buy link for Amazon: https://amzn.to/2T8QjiZ
Buy link for Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2CGX7xB
My Amazon Author Page: https://amzn.to/2RJM2CD
My Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/Ted_Myers
My Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ted.myers.56
My Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/TedMyersAuthor
My Blog: https://tedmyersblog.wordpress.com/
Many thanks to Alison Lyke for hosting this interview. I had a blast!
For more stops on our End of the World World-building Showcase, visit the tour page on the OWS CyCon website. You can also find more great Sci Fi authors and books on our main Sci Fi event page.