A themed tour with Prism Book Tours.
by Georgia Clark
YA Romantic Sci-Fi
Hardcover, 312 Pages
March 14th 2014 by Holiday House
Robots, renewable resources, and romance get tangled together in this thrilling futuristic adventure novel about a utopian city struggling to keep its peace.
“Bold futurist adventure with unusual romance, riveting action and ominous ecological red flags.” —Kirkus Reviews
Georgia Clark is an Australian writer and performer based in Brooklyn. She is the author of the young adult novels SHE’S WITH THE BAND (Allen & Unwin) and sci-fi/romance PARCHED (Holiday House). Widely published online and in print. Won some awards/grants/residencies. Has a play on at the NY Fringe festival. Pretty keen on cheese plates.
Georgia is gearing up to teach a short, online writing class about writing sci-fi through a Lit Reactor course. Want to go check it out and join? Go HERE! Begins January 14th.
$20 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
Signed copy of Parched (US only)
Ends January 25th
Follow the January Tour!
6 – Hope To Read & Book N Blog
7 – Kelly P’s Blog & Coffee Books & Art
8 – Book-Marks the Spot, The Written Adventure & Mel’s Shelves
9 – I Am A Reader & Katy’s Krazy Books
11 – Welcome to Book City
12 – My Life Loves and Passion & Literally Jen
13 – Bookish Events
14 – Typical Distractions
15 – Lilac Reviews & Wishful Endings
16 – The Review Notes & Deal Sharing Aunt
Tech Speak: The New Technologies of Parched
One of the most fun parts of writing a sci-fi is getting to invent cool new technologies. Here’s a few of my favorites from my new novel Parched, and where their inspiration came from.
1. Scratch. Scratch are computers. Here’s the first time we see them in the story.
Ling unzips her backpack and pulls out a folded piece of scratch. The gold computer is paper-thin, but made from a durable, flexible material that you need a knife to cut. That’s one of the good things about scratch: you can cut it if you want to share it. You can even meld together the same generation if you want a bigger piece for bigger holos. At the cinematheques in Eden, they use scratch the size of houses for holos just as big. It makes you feel like you’re in a completely different world. Ling’s scratch is the same kind I traded for Mack. When she presses her thumb and forefinger into one corner, it begins glowing a familiar deep amber.
Scratch is where I see computer design going in the future, based off what we like now about computers and entertainment. Firstly, we like computers (like our phones) to be portable and durable. So wouldn’t it be great if we could scrunch up like a piece of paper and shove them in our bags? We like our tech to be pretty (hence, gold) and we like to be able to share stuff (hence being able to cut it and meld it). But one of the best things about scratch is its voice activated and it can work in both 2D and 3D: in the 3D setting, things whirl in front of you, and you can move, edit or quit them with your eyes.
Smoothing the blank scratch out, I press the corner of it with my thumb. It glows gold before a tangle of noisy holos spring up between us. Notices of local Meets, sign-ups for open-air art classes and a recipe for quinoa-crusted lemon tofu all scramble for my attention. I try flicking them to mute with my eyes, but I just end up making them all louder.
2. Substitutes. Substitutes are robots. Here’s the first time we meet one, when Tess is working in a Badlands water bar.
“Hey! Robowrong!” The substitute that’d been standing motionless at the far end of the bar jerks its head up. Flat, mechanic eyes aim themselves in the direction of my voice. “City girl wants a city water.”
The large, ungainly machine rolls bumpily towards us. It’s a head shorter than me and stout, like a dirty bronze troll. I cross my arms, a satisfied smirk creeping across my mouth. Being the world’s biggest cheapskate, Zhukov has the world’s shoddiest substitute.
Eden was full of sophisticated, beautifully designed substitutes, but in this backwater part of the world, we have the oldest, clunkiest subs around.
The first substitutes were invented to help rebuild cities after climate change-created environmental. The first generation of subs, like the sub in the water bar are named for their functions: Builders, Divers, Mulchies—industrial worker robots. Eventually they were put to work to build the domed city of Eden. Now, these old, outdated models can only be found in the scrappy Badlands while the new models are only in Eden.
The government of Eden, the Trust, are also trying to develop an ‘artilect’, an artificial intelligent being. A sub that could think and feel and reason. Tess is somewhat of an expert when it comes to artilects. Why? Because the very first prototype was designed by, and then killed, her mother.
3. Tronics. Tronics are electronic tattoos, implanted under your skin. Tess has one cuz she’s kind of a bad ass.
The girl’s eyes drill into me, unblinking. “Are you sure your name isn’t Tess Rockwood?”
Despite the heat, I freeze.
Ling’s fist pops the bar in triumph. “It is you! You’re hard to find, Tess, I’ve been looking for you for a month!” Her words are lit with excitement. “Got a tip-off at a trading market an hour north. They remembered the tattoo. Not many people round here have electronic ones.”
My fingers move automatically to my tronic, the glowing scrawl of text implanted on the underside of my left arm, from the crook of my elbow to the bottom of my palm. Four words: No feeling is final. I’d never guessed it could be used to track me down.
I think something like tronics might already exist, if not, I can imagine it happening. The text for Tess’ tattoo came from my ex-girlfriend: she had the same text, in Spanish, on her forearm. She got it to help her through a tough time, and I felt like Tess, whose definitely been through some tough times, would have the same thing.
What technology would you like to see invented? Let me know!