Today I am interviewing Nik Korpon, author of the new science-fiction novel, The Rebellion’s Last Traitor.
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DJ: Hey Nik! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Nik Korpon: Thanks for having me! I’m from Baltimore. During the day I’m a copywriter and adjunct professor, then I write books after my kids go to sleep. Most of what I wrote in the past was straight-up crime and mystery, so talking about my sci-fi novel has been different. It’s been an interesting experience, but a lot of fun.
DJ: What is The Rebellion’s Last Traitor about?
Nik: It follows Henraek and Walleus, the leaders of a rebellion against the brutal authoritarian party, the Tathadann, who banned memory in an attempt to rewrite history. When it became clear that the rebellion was doomed, Walleus flipped and tried to get Henraek to go with him, but Henraek refused. He was eventually captured and Walleus, in an effort to save his best friend’s life, convinced him to work as a memory thief, stealing memories from the people he’d tried to save. Along the way, Henraek incited a riot that eventually killed his wife and son—or so he was told. So when Henraek finds a memory out on a job that suggests his family wasn’t actually killed in a riot, he sets out to find the truth.
Everything kind of goes to hell from there.
DJ: What were some of your influences for The Rebellion’s Last Traitor?
Nik: There were a couple. Stylistically, Altered Carbon and Blade Runner were big touch points. The Easter Rising of 1916 in Ireland was a big thematic inspiration, along with groups like the Zapatistas and the Bolsheviks. I also have a longstanding fascination with family and identity and how those two intersect, largely how what we remember about ourselves informs our conception of who we are (which comes from reading a bunch of Buddhist books). I’ve been joking that I’ve always been disappointed I never got to write for Justified, so to rectify that I wrote my own Boyd and Raylan in Walleus and Henraek. They weren’t based off them or anything but it helped inform the writing when I was trying to differentiate the two voices. Continue reading