Today I am interviewing Drew Williams, author of the new science-fiction novel, The Stars Now Unclaimed, the first book in The Universe After series.
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DJ: Hi Drew! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Drew Williams: No problem – happy to have been asked! For starters, I’ve been a bookseller in Birmingham, Alabama for most of my adult life (longer than that, actually, depending on when you count ‘adulthood’ as setting in; I was first hired at sixteen, when I walked in off the street looking for work and the owner needed someone to fill a shift that night). That means books – reading books, recommending books, arguing about books (Moby Dick is the most overrated classic in the canon; it just is) – have been pretty much my whole life, so moving on to actually writing books only seemed natural! (Plus, I’ve been writing for my own entertainment since I was a teenager, so I managed to get through the ‘really, really dreadful stuff, just unreadable’ pretty early on.)
DJ: What is The Stars Now Unclaimed about?
Drew: The Stars Now Unclaimed is space-opera science fiction, set in a universe that has been ravaged by an event called ‘the pulse’: basically, a strange radiation that spreads from world to world, causing local technology to collapse. In other words, on one planet, you could have perfectly functional spaceports, medical facilities, all that fun sci-fi tech, and on the same moon of that very same world, you might be stuck with pre-Industrial Revolution era technology.
So: that’s the setting. As far as the actual narrative concerns, it follows Jane Kamali, an operative of the ‘Justified’ (a kind of intergalactic peace-keeping force) tasked with rescuing ‘gifted’ children – children granted supernatural abilities by the pulse radiation – from the war-torn worlds they were born in. As the book begins, Jane’s current mission is going just swimmingly – she only nearly dies a few times – as she rescues a young telekinetic girl named Esa from her backwater home, only to find that she’s not the only one interested in Esa’s gifts: a would-be empire of intergalactic conquerors called ‘the Pax’ are also on their trail, and from there it’s a race across the pulse-stricken universe to get Esa to safety. Continue reading