Some­thing Com­ing Through De­pen­dence Day

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reader Survey -

Twon­der­ing what’d hap­pen so­ci­o­log­i­cally in terms of chang­ing tech­nol­ogy and at­ti­tudes, if sud­denly sup­pos­edly benev­o­lent aliens ar­rived and said, ‘ We’re here to help you,’” says Paul McAu­ley. The award- win­ning writer is poised to un­veil the first of a two- part adventure when Some­thing Com­ing Through lands in Fe­bru­ary.

McAu­ley’s aliens, who of­fer mankind ac­cess to 15 other plan­ets as part of their ga­lac­tic aid pack­age, are dubbed the Jacka­roo, but he’s not giv­ing much else away. “I de­cided that they’d be fan­tas­ti­cally enig­matic and de­lib­er­ately wouldn’t an­swer ques­tions about who they were and why they were help­ing,” he says. “With most aliens in SF the in­ter­est­ing thing about them isn’t how dif­fer­ent they are but ac­tu­ally how sim­i­lar they are. All the most fa­mous aliens, like Mr Spock, have hu­man at­tributes that we can recog­nise. I thought, ‘ Let’s go for some that don’t re­ally have any­thing you can grasp.’ You don’t even see them. They just ap­pear through th­ese hol­low plas­tic- shelled man­nequins that can as­sem­ble them­selves out of air and wa­ter, then dis­as­sem­ble.”

The story’s hu­man stars are Vic Gayle, a Birm­ing­ham po­lice­man who’s em­i­grated to Man­gala, one of the worlds opened up by the Jacka­roo, and twen­tysome­thing Lon­doner Chloe Miller. “She gets caught up in a search for a teenager and his sis­ter who seem to be on the run from some­thing and also seem to be pos­sessed by a frag­ment of alien in­tel­li­gence,” says McAu­ley. Mean­while, Gayle con­ducts a mur­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion tied to an an­cient alien arte­fact... “Very slowly the two pro­tag­o­nists and the two story strands move to­wards each other.”

“I would love to do a su­per­hero movie! The prob­lem is I don’t want to be the girl­friend. I don’t want to be the daugh­ter. I want to wear a fuck­ing cool cos­tume, with a scar

on my face, with fight scenes”

We like the sound of Jes­sica Chas­tain’s su­per­hero.

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