CyCon Blog Hop Guest Post with Author, Shari Sakurai
Welcome to another fantastic stop in our World-building Showcase blog hop! On this stop, we’re highlighting a story where the world changes or ends as we know it, but you can find a full list of authors and topics on the OWS Cycon website. Let’s dive in!
Welcome Shari Sakurai!
Before we dive in to the nitty gritty, what is the Perfect World series story about?
It is the year 2115 and the world is very different. With climate changes, natural disasters and war shaping the landscape, England has become a nation made up of several super cities and wasteland in between.
Eric Rawlins is a genetically engineered superhero created by the London Security Agency (L.S.A) to defend and protect the city against both national and international threats. With his superior abilities, celebrity status and beautiful girlfriend, Eric appears to have the perfect life. However, it is an illusion created by the L.S.A in order to control him.
Eric’s nemesis is the charismatic Adam Larimore. The only son of billionaire business tycoon Victor Larimore, Adam is gifted with a genius level IQ as well as the same longevity as Eric.
When the actions of the L.S.A throw the two of them together Eric finds himself questioning everything that he has ever known as well as discovering the true course of events that led to Adam turning to a life of crime. As they become closer Eric realises that the L.S.A may be the real threat to London. But can he trust Adam or is he part of Adam’s plan for revenge against those who have wronged him?
What kinds of climates do your characters experience? Do they see a lot of change or is it always the same? Has your world always had this kind of climate, or has it changed over time?
Due to the damage done to the climate in the last century, summers in England are warmer and heatwaves are much more common place and last for longer. Rainfall is heavier and floods are more likely to occur in coastal cities due to the higher sea levels.
What do people in your world do for fun? Are there sports, games, music, or other activities they do in their free time?
Since the end of the war the Government has regulated many of the entertainment industries and funds the production of films and music. App-like games are developed by users and can be downloaded onto their portable computers.
There are nightclubs still in operation for adult citizens and these too are Government regulated. However, there are also underground clubs that operate illegally where people can go to listen and dance to early twenty-first century music and drink alcohol.
A newer invention is Media Capsules that store and play audio and video content. Video content can be projected into a room and this gives the user a sense of actually being at the event or in the film.
Virtual holidays had been in development before the disaster, but in the aftermath the Government changed the direction of the project and used it as a way of preserving places that had been destroyed. The archive footage is accessed via a headset and the user views the footage as though it were actual surroundings. The archive footage is not available to the public and Eric often uses the L.S.A’s copies to ‘visit’ places such as the Tower of London or the Natural History museum.
What kinds of transportation and other interesting technology do your characters have access to? Are they ahead, behind, or a mix of different kinds of tech compared to where we are now?
Technology is more advanced than what it is today, however much of it is reserved for Government, L.S.A and military use.
Personal transport for normal citizens has been made illegal and everyone has to use Government-operated rail networks or trams. The use of cars is restricted to members of the Government or L.S.A, although wealthier private individuals are permitted to have them for business use. Most of these are electric as the use of fossil-fuel is heavily regulated.
Eric pilots the Perses-2115 which is a prototype state-of-the-art stealth aircraft. Its intended purpose was reconnaissance missions, however when it is stolen by the series’ antagonist, Adam Larimore, it is used as a combat-craft.
Without giving away too much, what can you tell us about your world-ending event and how it led to the world of your story? Was it a distant event or does it happen as part of your tale?
The Perfect World series is set in London in the year 2115. Sixty six years prior to this, the world was ravaged by a series of natural disasters brought about by climate change, and finally earthquake-triggered tsunamis that left many countries devastated. The surviving nations went to war over the resources that remained. In the years that followed, as England rebuilt, its Governments invested heavily in advancing technology to protect them against hostile nations and also to control its own population. The Perfect World series explores the ethics surrounding genetic engineering, how and when technology should be used and the consequences that climate change has on the planet.
Let's talk about your Process
When you build a world, what is your process like? Do you do a lot of research upfront, wing it completely, or something in between?
I’m in between really. I did research into climate change and genetic engineering before I began writing the series and worked out how it all fitted together to create my world. Some of the science does stray quite far into fictional science, but facts formed the basis of my work.
How central is the setting of your story to the story itself? Is it more of an interesting backdrop, or is it integral to the events of the story?
London is very much integral to the story. The city has become divided by class, technology and politics. At the start of the series, north London is under Adam’s control and the south under the control of the Government and L.S.A. As it is his home, Eric feels very passionately about protecting it and it will continue to be the main setting for much of the series.
When helping the reader get to know the world you built, what techniques do you use? Do you tend to be upfront about things, or keep the reader in the dark and feed them only bits at a time?
I built up the knowledge of my world over the series. Much of it you learn as Eric does as he begins to question everything that he had been brought up believing.
How much of a role does realism and hard scientific fact play in your world-building? Do you strive for 100% accuracy, or do you leave room for the fantastical and unexplainable in your world?
Facts inspired the series, but I have very much left room for creativity and fictional science.
How do you keep all of the details of your world and characters straight? Do you have a system for deciding on different factors and keeping it all organized, or does it live more in your head?
I do have some notes to ensure consistency throughout but most of it lives inside my head.