The Fantastical and the Everyday – A Guest Post by Alex Hughes
Posted by Cameron Y.
We felines are excited to be hosting a special guest post by Alex Hughes, author of the dystopian thriller, Clean! This post is part of his amazing book tour event which you can follow by visiting HERE. We’d like to thank Alex, along with his publicist at Roc for letting us participate in this event. =^.^= And now, on to the guest post!
The Fantastical and the Everyday
By Alex Hughes
I recently sat on an urban fantasy panel at DragonCon with some amazingly talented other authors, and the moderator asked a thoughtful and interesting question. Urban fantasy is about contrast, she said, about mixing the fantastic elements with the ordinary everyday urban world. How did you approach mixing your fantastic elements with the everyday?
The authors around me responded with ideas from folklore, from history, even black-and-white movies. And I – with Clean’s core sitting somewhere in the space between urban fantasy, mystery and science fiction – had to really think for a moment. Here’s what I ended up with.
As I built my telepath story back in the beginning, I asked myself how would telepathy work if it were real. If were really part of our universe. Every known force in our universe, every single one, operates by what’s called the Inverse Square Law. Basically this means that the force between two objects gets stronger as you move them closer together and weaker as you pull them apart, just like the two attracting magnets you played with in grade school. If telepathy were part of the real world of physics, why wouldn’t it react the same way? Stronger when close up and weaker farther away.
Then I started to think of Einstein’s model of gravity, which as I understand it goes like this: the universe is like the flat top of a cushy mattress, and gravitationally heavy objects – like the Earth – are like billiard balls sitting on top of the mattress, heavy enough to bend the top of the mattress down into little wells. The Sun is like a bowling ball, though, and collapses the mattress down around it so that the little billiard balls are shifted towards it. What if human minds were like little planets, that affected the space around them in ways that could be seen just like a ship leaving a wake behind it? And what if telepaths were heavier, like the Sun on the mattress, and affected things more? This idea started me into Mindspace and it built from there.
As I began to integrate this fantastical idea of telepaths into the everyday, I tried to pull from as many real physical laws as I could manage, so that the system seemed to fit within the larger everyday rules of the real world. It was important to me that it didn’t stick out, that there wasn’t one set of rules for telepathy and another for everything else. That the fantastical played by the rules of science.
And that’s how the world of Clean – and its world building – began. The fantastical and the everyday rubbing shoulders.
A RUTHLESS KILLER—
OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND
I used to work for the Telepath’s Guild before they kicked me out for a drug habit that wasn’t entirely my fault. Now I work for the cops, helping Homicide Detective Isabella Cherabino put killers behind bars.
My ability to get inside the twisted minds of suspects makes me the best interrogator in the department. But the normals keep me on a short leash. When the Tech Wars ripped the world apart, the Guild stepped up to save it. But they had to get scary to do it—real scary.
Now the cops don’t trust the telepaths, the Guild doesn’t trust me, a serial killer is stalking the city—and I’m aching for a fix. But I need to solve this case. Fast. I’ve just had a vision of the future: I’m the next to die.
Biography of the Author
Alex has written since early childhood, and loves great stories in any form including scifi, fantasy, and mystery. Over the years, Alex has lived in many neighborhoods of the sprawling metro Atlanta area. Decatur, the neighborhood on which Clean is centered, was Alex’s college home.
On any given week you can find Alex in the kitchen cooking gourmet Italian food, watching hours of police procedural dramas, and typing madly.
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