Friday, May 16, 2014
CRYO: get ready to embark on a journey into the future with science fiction author Geoffrey Wakeling
Imagine an Earth whose precious resources are coming to an end; an Earth shriveled by pollution and global warming. Food is scarce and the weather unpredictable. The ecosystem is disrupted, species are going extinct. Survival has become impossible.
Unfortunately, this scenario is not too far off. Trees are dying and we are headed towards more and more severe droughts and extreme weather patterns. A dying Earth is not too hard to imagine, yet with his book series Cryo, science fiction author G. Wakeling sets off new hopes for human kind while remaining grounded on what consequences we are facing if we don't act soon.
G. Wakeling lives in London and, as he explains in his bio, he uses writing "as a way to escape the smog and grime." That's something I can totally relate to, and the moment I came across Rise of the Immortals (CRYO 1) and the second book in the series, A Changed World (CRYO 2), I knew I had to drag Geoff to the blog for an interview. Welcome, Geoff!
EEG: I love that you wrote in your bio that you are "animal mad": my dad is a developmental biologist, so I grew up with toads, newts, fruit flies and stick insects. :-) What do you love the most about animals, and about your field, zoology?
GW: I LOVE amphibians! My partner is desperate to get a vivarium... I'm pretty sure I'll cave fairly soon. So, I was that kid in school who didn't have many friends, but who DID have A LOT of animals. I think people were pretty amazed by my bedroom; I had two large inside flights containing parakeets and finches. I had two fish tanks; one tropical, one cold water. My windowsill was clustered with jars of ladybirds, caterpillars and developing pupae. I had stick insects. Outside, I had over 20 guinea pigs.
I'm not quite sure what is about animals, but I have a natural affinity for them. Humans? There's a few I love wildly, but I only need minimal social interaction. Animals? I LOVE wholeheartedly. They're so simple. They have behavioural traits which, as long as you understand, clearly defines how a creature will act. They're much more amenable than most humans. LOL. I'm the guy that steps over ants on the street, picks a worm off the pavement to put back onto a grass verge and allows the bugs to eat my veggie plot because I won't use chemicals.
As for the Zoology....it was the natural progression from childhood into adult life for me. Unfortunately, most of the careers stemming from that either resulted in being a lab geek or going overseas to become a dive instructor. The latter's amazing, of course, but now all my friends are broke, in their 30s and coming back to the UK after what is, essentially, a gap decade. So, I chose the self-employment route, can't stop buying/rehoming pets and include as many creatures as I can in my writing.
EEG: LOL, I can't believe I just found somebody else who grew up with stick insects in their home! Though, you definitely beat us on the guinea pig number. ;-) Was zoology, and science in general, a big part of what inspired your new series, Cryo? If not, what was?
GW: Zoology definitely kicked off CRYO in a big way. I saw an enormous crane pulling down a tower block and thought it looked like a dinosaur. I had no room in my Inside Evil series for such a creature, didn't want to do the whole 'scientists bring dinos back' scenario, so decided they'd be some form of alien creature. As it happened, they don't even appear until book 2. Still... that was the nugget of inspiration that got things started.
EEG: Tell us about your book series Cryo and what your plans are with it?
GW: CRYO's also very much a tale about the human world coming to an end because mankind's ruined the planet. One man, John Carlody, wins a cryonics ticket and heads into the future in the hopes that Earth's been born renewed. He's right, in some ways, and my zoological and conservation background DEFINITELY came into creating the new world, the environments and the ecological systems my characters come across. CRYO sees a group of cryonics lotto winners embark on a journey into the future. Book one is split into two distinct parts; before and after freezing. So we see what the Earth's become and then the mystery and strangeness that the CRYO participants awake to. I'm intending on making the CRYO series extremely expansive.
The first two books are set on Earth, but there's hints towards a far larger galactic community. Book 3 will see John finally get into space and discover that Earth is but a tiny and insignificant fragment compared with what's going on above his head. The series itself will be 4/5 books - I expect - but I've got a HUGE universe created in my head, so I'd like to do associated stand-alones and series set in the same universe too.
EEG: What will come next after Cryo?
GW: I'm just finishing up the finale of my five book fantasy series, Inside Evil. After that's complete, I'll be working on the third series book for CRYO and also some free short stories about life before freezing for some of John's podmates. As you know, authors often discover their characters' true nature as they write. I've created the CRYO cast, but I need to discover more about them, and that's done through writing. I want to know about Anne and her wife when they lived in Seattle, about why Agnes became such a power-hungry and vile person, and what Viktor's life in the Belgrade grime levels was like.
EEG: That's exciting. And yes, the only way to get to know them better is through writing. Last question, but I've got to ask: how do you keep five chickens in your London home??
GW: Where there's a will, there's a way!! I only have a small terraced house in the suburbs, but I have enough of a garden to have a pond, an aviary and my hens. There's the indoor fish, two cats and dog too. I'm moving at the end of this year/beginning of next, so hopefully there'll be a bigger house and garden, and that only means one thing: more creatures.
EEG: Good luck with the moving! And thank you for sharing your world(s) with us!
Find out more about G. Wakeling books Cryo and Inside Evil on Amazon, Facebook and Twitter.