NIK ABNETT

IN SAVANT, EARTH IS KEPT SAFE BY AN INVISIBILITY SHIELD POWERED BY “AC­TIVES”

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

What’s the world of Savant like?

It’s isn’t very dif­fer­ent from our own. I wanted a fu­ture Earth, but with a feel of some of the won­der­ful SF of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s.

Tell us a lit­tle about your pro­tag­o­nist.

Tobe is an in­no­cent in many ways, part of a sys­tem that he doesn’t un­der­stand, and in which he’s be­ing ex­ploited for his ex­tra­or­di­nary tal­ents. He es­sen­tially lives the life of a child. I did some re­search into sa­van­tism and autism to build the char­ac­ter.

Did any­thing spe­cific in­spire the book?

I be­gan by want­ing to write about un­con­di­tional love. My chil­dren were fast grow­ing into adult­hood, and I wanted to ex­plore the love of a par­ent for a child. This theme grew and ex­panded to en­com­pass so­ci­ety as a whole and the preser­va­tion of the rights of the in­di­vid­ual.

How long did the novel take to write?

Once I’m in­vested in a theme and char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion begins to feel com­fort­able I write very fast, in a con­cen­trated fash­ion. It took about six weeks, dur­ing which time noth­ing else got done, in­clud­ing house­work!

Is Savant a one-off?

I have plans for a sec­ond novel – an ac­com­pa­ni­ment, set in this uni­verse, but not on this world. I’d re­ally love to write about what’s hap­pen­ing on the other side of Earth’s shield – on the Out­side.

Savant is pub­lished by So­laris on 4 Oc­to­ber.

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