The de­vel­op­ment econ­o­mist on his de­but SF thriller, Lament For T he Fallen

SFX - - Red Alert -

What’s Lament For The Fallen about?

Sa­mara es­capes from the space­based prison Tar­tarus, smash­ing into the jun­gle near an iso­lated Nige­rian vil­lage. He’s in­jured and los­ing his san­ity to the syn­thetic in­tel­li­gence with which he shares his mind.

Did you spend time in Nige­ria?

Yes and know­ing that this was a once- in- a- life­time op­por­tu­nity, I took a road- trip to Cal­abar to ex­pe­ri­ence the city where much of the novel would be set. The nar­ra­tive is def­i­nitely im­proved by my time there. How did your work as an econ­o­mist im­pact the book?

The cen­tral mo­tif is that, “even as some would ex­plore the stars, re­mem­ber that many who re­main be­hind scratch out an ex­is­tence of near star­va­tion in the dust so eas­ily shed.” A tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced so­ci­ety will not nec­es­sar­ily have uni­ver­sal dis­tri­bu­tion of that tech­nol­ogy. How long have you been writ­ing? For decades. I started

Lament when I was 12. Orig­i­nally, the story was a sim­ple jail- break tale that saw pris­on­ers forced to run the gaunt­let of robotic as­sas­sins. Are you work­ing on a se­cond novel?

It’s al­most com­plete and it’s set in Sene­gal where ter­ror­ists and en­ergy tsars are con­spir­ing to pre­vent the de­vel­op­ment of new so­lar farms that threaten their con­trol of the re­gion.

Lament For The Fallen is pub­lished in hard­back by Dou­ble­day on 28 July.

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