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The idea for The Boy Who Fell from the Sky came out of another novel I was writing, but I ended up putting on hold. I was originally writing a post-apocalyptic story set 400 years in the future. I built this whole huge world (in my imagination, of course) and peopled it with characters and events. Then I started thinking about the backstory, how the apocalypse had come about.
I spend a lot of time building back-stories and detail, because my worlds are all invented and I would get hopelessly lost if I didn’t write it all down. I created a spreadsheet with a kind of future history, going all the way to 2472, based on research I’d done, reading books by futurologists and various scientists, like Michio Kaku and geopolitics forecasters like George Friedman.
In the backstory, this character emerged, someone called Mathew Erlang, who was this genius scientist, a legend in the future. He started out being just a name and a portrait in an art gallery. I began to imagine his story, from when he was a boy, not that far into our own future, starting in 2055. Then his story gained more and more space in my head until it kind of took over and demanded to be written first. So The Boy Who Fell from the Sky is actually the prequel to that original set aside novel.
But to answer the question, why was I writing this kind of book at all, there’s a longer more complex answer. I studied literature at university and like most literature students read the classics and then what is laid down as modern classics, the kind of books that win the Booker Prize. I always like magical realism, but probably because of the inherent prejudices against science fiction and speculative fiction amongst literary types, I was late to the genre.
The first books in that I read were Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale and Oryx and Crake and I was drawn to Ursula Le Guinn because one of my more enlightened professors had mentioned her name to me. Then I discovered Philip K Dick and Iain M Banks and I was hooked!
Around the same time, I started reading The New Scientist. I worked for many years in online businesses and I love technology – I’m a typical gadget geek. But reading The New Scientist I was being fed this weekly diet of the wonderful and miraculous. Really, before then, I had no idea of the pace of scientific innovation that is going on around us and the crazy stuff that physicists think up, like string theory and multiverses. I just fell in love with the ideas. I discovered there’s this whole community of people who think about the future, the futurists, or futurologists. I started to read their books and their blogs and anything I could get my hands on, really. The New Scientist also covers climate change quite closely. I wanted to know more, so I read a lot about the subject, books by people like James Lovelock and James Hansen and started to become more and more concerned.
As my reading had become broader, I started to enjoy books like The Hunger Games and Divergent. I also love books like Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking and Chuck Wendig’s Heartland Trilogy. They are all exciting, deeply engaging dystopian action adventure series. Literary catnip. So I wanted to write something similar, something fun but also something that brought a bit of this science I’d been reading into the mix. I liked the idea of exploring possible futures based on the non-fiction I’d be reading. Fiction has always been a good way of testing out “what if” scenarios, our old version of virtual reality. In my stories, I am trying to do that. I don’t write “hard science fiction”, but I try as best I can, to explore versions of what might happen based on good sources.
The Boy Who Fell from the Sky is available on Kindle and as a paperback from Amazon.
Author Jule Owen has spent her working life in high tech. Her new novel, The Boy Who Fell from the Sky, explores the paradox of living in the age that will likely see the introduction of miracle technology, find a cure for cancer and prolong human life, but that may also see civilization, as we know it destroyed by climate change.
The Boy Who Fell from the Sky is the first book in The House Next Door trilogy, a series of three science fiction, dystopian, time travel novels for young adults. They are set in 2055, in a world ravaged by climate change and are adventure stories with a serious message about the future we are making for ourselves.
Jule Owen said, “It’s the big issue of our times. There’s a huge scientific consensus about the fact that climate change is man made and that it is likely to massively disrupt our lives, but the majority of people don’t care about it. Frighteningly, young people, who are likely to suffer the most in the future, are not all engaging with the issue. I love books like the Hunger Games and Divergent. They are exiting but they also make you stop and think and I wanted to try and use the genre as a way of getting people to talk about what’s coming. I used time travel, because it allows my main character, Mathew, to live through the impact of climate change over time.”
In The Boy Who Fell from the Sky, The world is falling apart in 2055. Another flood has devastated London and it’s the eve of the First Space War. With the city locked down, sixteen-year-old Mathew Erlang is confined to his house with only his cat, his robot and his holographic dragons for company.
Desperate for a distraction from the chaos around him, Mathew becomes fascinated by his peculiar and reclusive neighbor, August Lestrange. Mathew begins to investigate Mr. Lestrange, turning to the virtual world of the Nexus and Blackweb for answers. But as he digs deeper, Mathew realizes that Mr. Lestrange doesn’t seem quite human.
When Mathew accidentally finds himself trapped in Lestrange’s house, he opens a door and falls four hundred years into the future—a week before the end of the world. Unwittingly, he starts to destabilise the course of human history.
A 1984 for a new generation, The Boy Who Fell from the Sky delves into a future where climate change and technology have transformed the world. It is the first book in The House Next Door trilogy, a young adult dystopian
The Boy Who Fell from the Sky will be available from 30th September on Amazon and in bookshops from the 30th October.
Available on Amazon US site here http://www.amazon.com/Fell-House-Next-Door-Book-ebook/dp/B015PE1QOE
The First Life of Vikram Roy, The THIRD book in the RUBY IYER Series, launches this month. To celebrate the launch of the FIRST LIFE OF VIKRAM ROY Laxmi is giving away a $30 gift card. Enter HERE Winner will be drawn, Oct 1, 2015, and announced in my next newsletter.
DOING HER BIT
All SEPTEMBER earnings from the RUBY IYER SERIES will be donated to SAVE THE CHILDREN: SUPPORT CHILD REFUGEES OF SYRIA. All the RUBY IYER books with their brand new covers, are on SALE all this month at 99p/c & Rs 69/49. Click HERE to buy them.
YOU can also donate to SAVE THE CHILDREN directly HERE
From The Ruby Iyer Series—by Laxmi Hariharan
I hear the staccato of shots being fired, followed by yells and howls of pain. Then, the sound of something being smashed and everything goes quiet. The TV no longer chatters. I look to the open door. The recreation room is down at the end of the corridor. The sounds of shots get closer. Without giving myself a chance to think I make a run for the door slam it shut, lock it and it’s as if that’s a signal to the rest of the men to jump to their feet. Without a word, the ten of us scram to our bunks, pull on trousers and shoes.We get our hands on whatever weapon we can find. No guns, none of us have guns. So I grab my cricket bat. (As if that’s going to make a difference?)
Around me the others too are grabbing cricket bats and hockey sticks. Neil grabs an iron rod. An iron rod? Where did he get that from? We drop to the floor, crouch and wait.
Should I hide under the bed? Nope, no way. Like, that is going to help.
And then a crash as the door is broken down, hacked by what looks like an axe till it’s in pieces on the floor and through it step through two men. One holding a machine gun, the other wielding an axe which he drops to the floor and instead grabs the the gun slung over his back. They are both wearing balaclavas, so we can’t see their features. Of medium height, they are muscular and dressed all in black: Black jeans and sweatshirts, their hair covered by the hoods. Their backs are to the door. They point their guns at us, signalling to us to put our hands up. I hesitate, not looking around but sense that the others too are not sure what to do. The first gunman points his gun at the nearest recruit … a boy just out of his teens and shoots him in the head.
There is a collective gasp from the room. A chill runs through me. Who are they? How did they break through the security measures of the force base? And then they are foolish enough to barge right into the heart of the training facilities of the force and shoot its cadets? Why? Why would they do that? The gunmen gesture to us and this time we follow their orders. We walk to the wall at the back of the bunkhouse and line up, hands on our heads, staring ahead.
An alarm rings out then. Finally! It’s been almost ten minutes since the shooting started. Still, the reinforcements should be here soon. Now all we need to do is keep these gun men distracted enough so they don’t kill us. As if reading my mind, the guy who’d shot the young recruit moves forward, his gun trained on us. I draw in a breath and hold it. The sweat trickles down my back. My heart is racing so fast I am sure if I look down I can see it leaping out of my chest. The gunman passes me, walks to the end of the line; then back to the middle where I am.
“You have no idea what this is about do you?” He asks.
He sounds young, as if he is barely a man himself. And something in his voice … muffled as it is, it sounds familiar. A faint recollection grabs the edge of my mind, And then I forget everything because he leans close to Neil who is next to me, and smashes the butt of his gun into his stomach. Neil falls to the ground, moaning, holding his middle. I firm up my stomach muscles. I know I am next, I must be. I want to squeeze my eyes shut, but don’t. The gunman leans to the other side, and shoots another man in the head.
This chap collapses without a cry. What the fuck? I want to jump him right then, but that would be really stupid of me. I am not going to help anyone if I get killed will I? There are six of us left in the room now. One of the younger recruits lets out a sob, at which gunman no 2 holds his gun at him, so he shuts up immediately.
The gunman asks me, “Where are the plans?’
“What are you talking about?” I reply, trying to stay calm, struggling not to show how scared I am inside.
He only grins and in response, and without taking his eyes off me, holds his gun up and I know what what he is going to do and I scream. “No!” But it’s too late. This time he’s shot two more guys in succession. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. These guys are desperate, or crazy or both.
Besides me Neil stirs on the ground.
The gunman takes a deep breathe, as if trying to calm himself and says, “Don’t pretend to be dumb. If you don’t get me the blue prints of the security arrangements being planned by the force for Bombay; the one that you and your team mates are being trained for, then all the rest of you die too.”
Only six of us left now. Four young lives, gone just like that. I feel sick. What the fuck are these guys upto? And … and how do they know about the plans? This is top secret. The only reason I know about it, is because I’ve overheard the training officer speaking with the ACP about it on the phone last week. And only because I happened to be waiting outside his room then. And how does this gunman even know that I know the details?
Want to find out what happens next? Click here
Want to find out what happens next? Click here
About The First Life of Vikram Roy (Ruby Iyer Series)
Vikram never should have left his family, but when Vikram’s father brings his half-brother Vishal home, life will never be the same. Vikram thinks things will be better now that he’s gone. He’s met the love of his life, his future looks bright and then everything is shattered. Now, his family’s life is hanging in the balance, and only Vikram can do what needs to be done to save them. From the bestselling dystopian fiction author with over 200 reviews and ratings of her dystopia books across Goodreads, Amazon and other retailers.
If you’re looking for books like Hunger Games, then this dystopia romance series, The Ruby Iyer Series is it.
Growing up in Bombay, my daily commute to university was inevitably nightmarish. It’s just how public transport is here. The man behind you on the bus will brush up against you. You know you are going to be felt up on a crowded train platform. All you can do is accept it and get on. Or so you think. I did too, until, a young photojournalist was raped in the centre of Bombay in broad daylight. It made me furious. Nothing had changed in this city in all these years. Then, I had a vision of this young girl who would not back down; who would follow her instincts, stand up for herself regardless of consequences. Thus Ruby Iyer was born. Make no mistake, Ruby’s her own person. She leads. I follow. You can download the RUBY IYER DIARIES, the prequel novelette in the series free HERE
2015 Readers’ Favorite (Bronze) YA Action
YA Finalist 2015 IAN Book of the Year Award
Finalist 9th Annual Indie Excellence Awards
When her best friend is kidnapped, Ruby will stop at nothing to rescue him.
Criminals run the streets of Bombay. Jam-packed with the worst degenerates. The city is a shell of the pride and joy it used to be. Ruby knows something must be done, but it isn’t until her best friend is kidnapped by the despotic Dr Braganza that she knows that she and she alone must save city, save her best friend, save the world from total destruction. Armed only with Vikram, a cop-turned-rogue they are about to embark on a road they may never return from. If you’re looking for fast-paced books like Hunger Games or dystopia fiction like Angelfall, the Ruby Iyer series is perfect for you.