Today I am interviewing Adrian J. Walker, author of the new science-fiction novel, The Human Son.
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DJ: Hi Adrian! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Adrian J. Walker: Hi, DJ, thanks for having me! I’m a writer of speculative fiction, British, mid-forties, married with two kids, a dog and two cats. We’ve moved about quite a bit – London, Edinburgh, France, Houston – but we’ve settled in a beautiful part of Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The Human Son is my seventh book, and people might know me from my second, The End of the World Running Club.
I also sometimes work writing software, and I love running, forests, hills and guitars.
DJ: What is The Human Son about?
Adrian: The Human Son is set 500 years in the future on a utopian earth populated by the erta, a small population of beings genetically engineered by humans to fix climate change. Super-intelligent and free from the fears, desires and self-interests of their creators, the erta succeed, but only by first removing one crucial element from the equation — us.
The story is about how they decide whether or not to resurrect humanity, and this they do by experiment. To gather the data they need, a quiet and clinical atmospheric chemist named Ima (our hero) volunteers to raise a single human child as her own. And as every parent will know, this leads to unexpected results.
DJ: What were some of your influences for The Human Son?
Adrian: I read a lot of non-fiction in the months before I began writing. Sapiens and Homo Deus by Noah Yuval Harari, for example, gave me the idea for the erta – this kind of perfect development of humanity without all its flaws and with some interesting modifications. The Storms of my Grandchildren by James Hansen and Conscious by Annaka Harris also made an impact on me.
When I’m writing, a lot of my influence comes from music. My soundtrack during The Human Son was a rotation of tracks by artists like A Winged Victory for the Sullen, Eluvium, and Hammock – dark drones and expansive planes of sound to help me build the erta’s strange utopia.
Although that’s not to say the book is dark, by any stretch. There’s a lot of hope and humour in there, most of which comes from Ima’s ever-changing voice. Continue reading