Nick M Lloyd - Sci-Fi in Contemporary Earth Settings
Nick Lloyd is an independent author living in London. He writes Science Fiction in contemporary Earth settings. His stories are purposefully designed to have moral uncertainty, and mostly deal with the use (or misuse) of power. As our Author of the Day, Lloyd gives us a peek behind the scenes of his latest book, Immortal.
Please give us a short introduction to what Immortal is about.
Set on modern-day Earth, humanity receives a radio message from the depths of space. The Ankor (claiming to be an alien superpower) warn that a huge supernova blast is going to hit within a year. The Ankor also say they are coming to save humanity but to do so, every space faring nation will need to launch a pre-defined set of materials into orbit in order to construct a protective shield. Humanity has no way of knowing whether the Ankor are telling the truth ... There are also a number of sub-plots covering: data privacy, transhumanism, simulation theory, and with a strong female co-lead.
What inspired you to write about a catastrophic message received from the depths of space?
The speed of light shackles humanity from interacting with most of the universe in an effective way. This is just one way that we could be held to ransom by an alien power.
Your stories are purposefully designed to have moral uncertainty. Why do you take this approach?
To me, it reflects the real world … there are so many decisions made on a daily basis where people have to choose between “bad” and “worse”. I also like to challenge people to think a little more flexibly.
How hard was it for you to make the science part of this sci-fi feel authentic?
Not sure … certainly I took a lot of time over it.
Sam is part of a wheelchair-bound all-female gamer team. Why did you create her this way?
Like many characters in my books, there are large parts of them that are linked to people I knew. So, from the start of this book I knew that one of the leads was going to be wheelchair bound and feisty. I am lucky enough that I have not suffered a injury of this type – I hope I didn’t mess it up.
Many of your books feature aliens. Where does this fascination with extraterrestrial life come from?
I guess from growing up reading great Sci-Fi writers (Asimov, Dan Simmons, Iain M Banks, Neal Stephenson)
When writing from these sorts of perspectives, did you feel you had to sidestep certain stereotypes?
A difficult question … the issue many writers face is that you don’t want to write clichés/stereotypes but you have to have the character recognisable in a short amount of time.
What do you hope readers take away from the novel?
Fun. Interest. Wonder. Excitement. The strong desire to read my other work.
When working on a new book, what’s the first thing you do?
I read around the core subject matters covered in the book to make sure I understand the basic facts (e.g., supernova, satellite orbits, etc.). Then I sketch out the main few characters and try to get inside their heads.
What are you working on right now?
Running a few ideas for my fourth book. It is likely to continue to investigate the themes brought out in “Simulation Theory” (the theory that we are all living inside a giant computer simulation)
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
All my work is on Amazon under Nick M Lloyd (I also have a web-site www.nickmlloyd.com)
Immortal (February 2019)
Having had no contact with any alien species before, humanity receives a radio message from approaching aliens ('the Ankor'). They warn Earth that a huge supernova blast is going to hit within a year and this will be an extinction level event. However, the Ankor are prepared to help ... if humanity launches the required materials for a shield into orbit ... are the Ankor to be trusted?
Emergence (October 2014)
Earth is being scrutinised by an alien civilisation who maintain their dominance across the galaxy through manipulation of probability. Among the aliens, whole religions have sprung up related to interpretation of this apparent control of 'luck'. On Earth, a single human starts the transformation required to exert this control himself ...
Disconnected (April 2017)
Political activist, Asha Kharjal, has mastered the mysterious science of directly manipulating the subconscious. He can literally rewire people. And for the good of mankind, he's going to. Whether they like it, or not ...