Today I am interviewing M.R. Carey, author of the new science-fiction novel, The Book of Koli, first book in the Rampart trilogy.
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DJ: Hi M.R.! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
M.R. Carey: For sure. I’ve been writing my whole life, but I only started doing it as an actual career back in 2000. Before that it was a hobby, and my day job was teaching English at post-16 and adult education levels.
I started out writing exclusively comic books, because that was where I got my break, but I gradually branched out from there into other forms of writing – novels and short stories, then screenwriting, radio, console games… The last two don’t appear on my resume because I didn’t get on with them all that well.
I always write in genre. My comfort zone stretches from horror through dark fantasy into science fiction. Even when I write comedy, which is very occasionally, there’s always a fantasy element. I have no interest whatsoever in writing what has come to be called literary fiction.
DJ: What is The Book of Koli about?
M.R.: It’s a post-apocalyptic narrative, set a few centuries in the future. Our current world-spanning civilisation has fallen apart for many different reasons. There was resource depletion, which caused resource wars. There was a catastrophic decline in biodiversity. The climate broke down, in spite of our best efforts – and throwing science at the problem mostly made things worse. In trying to make plant species hardier and more resilient, we’ve created forests of killer trees that trap and feed on anything that moves.
As a result of all these crises, the human population has spectacularly declined. The survivors live in small, isolated communities – so small that they’re probably not even genetically viable in the longer term. The level of technology has gone back to something close to a medieval level – except for a few precious pieces of tech salvaged from the old times. The people who wield this tech are known as Ramparts, and the protagonist of the book, Koli Woodsmith, desperately wants to become one. But it’s very much a case of “be careful what you wish for…” Continue reading