Today I am interviewing Roger Levy, author of the new science-fiction novel, The Rig.
◊ ◊ ◊
DJ: Hi Roger! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Roger Levy:I’ve been writing ever since I can remember. I grew up with the Alan Garner books, and Ursula LeGuin, Michael Moorcock, and lots more, of course, but these come first to mind. I love stories and reading, but somehow I became a dentist, and I’m still doing that alongside writing. I guess they use different parts of the brain. My first three books, Reckless Sleep, Dark Heavens and Icarus (which was shortlisted for the BSFA Best Novel in 2007) were followed by a long pause in writing, as a result of real life intruding rather dramatically. The Rig is my return.
Otherwise, I live in London, I’m married and have two children, and I relax listening to jazz and blues, taking pictures (mainly black and white; I’m colourblind) and watching movies. And reading, of course.
DJ: What is The Rig about?
Roger: The premise is an organisation called AfterLife, which is to Facebook as Facebook is to smoke signalling. The novel has taken ten years to complete, and it’s an interesting happenstance that just as it comes out, social media is suddenly right in the news for its potential to be used antisocially. The Rig is also about a couple of kids who grow up to become a great deal more than the sum of their parts, building a crime syndicate that makes the mafia look like a gang of pickpockets. And that’s just the start of it.
And that’s also the surface of The Rig. It’s about how we need stories to give us meaning, and how social media fits into that. And I’ve always been interested in what makes us need or hold on to faith, since all faiths are at heart stories that we tell ourselves about ourselves. The Rig is a look at what social media might become if taken it to the ultimate degree, feeding our need for story, for structure and narrative, as well as other positive functions that faith provides. That makes it sound dry, and The Rig isn’t dry at all. Continue reading