Tuesday, September 13, 2016

FFBC Tours: Welcome to the club, Gamescape: Overworld (The Nova Project #1) by Emma Trevayne

Gamescape: Overworld (The Nova Project #1)
by Emma Trevayne
Publisher: Greenwillow
Release Date: September 13th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopia
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The planet is dying. Centuries of abuse have damaged the earth beyond repair, and now all the authorities can do is polish the surface, make the landscape look pretty to hide the disease within. Two prominent yet mysterious businessmen couldn’t fix it, either, but they did something even better. Together, they invented Chimera, the most complex and immersive virtual reality video game the world has ever known. The Cubes in which Chimera is played quickly became a fixture of this landscape: part distraction, part hospital, and almost wholly responsible for holding up the failing world economy.

Miguel Anderson is also dying. He isn’t the only one who plays the game–everybody does–but Miguel has more reason than most: When players leave their Cubes for the day, the upgrades and enhancements they’ve earned for their virtual characters leave with them. New lungs to breathe poisoned air, skin that won’t burn under the sun are great and everything… but Miguel, born as broken as the earth, needs a new heart–and soon–if he wants any hope of surviving just a little longer.

Then the two Gamerunners announce a competition, with greater rewards and faster progression than ever before, and Miguel thinks his prayers have been answered. All he needs to do is get picked to lead a team, play the game he’s spent years getting good at, and ask for his prize when he wins. Simple, really.

At first, things seem to go according to plan. Mostly, anyway. Inside his Cube, with his new team–including his best friend–at his back, Miguel begins his quest. He plays recklessly, even dangerously, for someone whose most vital organ could give up at any moment, but his desperation makes him play better than ever. The eyes of the world are on him, watching through status updates and live feeds, betting on his chances. With greater rewards, though, come greater risks, and the Gamerunners seem to delight at surprising the competitors at every turn. As he ventures deeper into a world that blends the virtual and the real to an unsettling degree, Miguel begins to wonder just why the game was invented at all, and whether its stakes could be even higher than life and death.

Hello Emma! We are super excited to have you in our FFBC tours. 

Hello! Thank you so much, I’m excited to be here!

Favorite Book?

This is really just impossible to answer. If I had several days in a quiet room, I might be able to narrow it down to one favorite per genre per decade. In the interest of keeping things cyberpunky, though, I’ll say Neuromancer by William Gibson.

Favorite TV show?

My first instinct is to say that I don’t watch a lot of TV, which actually isn’t true--but I don’t watch a lot of fiction on TV. 90% of my TV watching is sports and nature documentaries. My favorites there would be cycling, tennis, and anything narrated by David Attenborough? I’m not sure that’s really the point of the question. I got pretty into Sons of Anarchy. I watch The Big Bang Theory sometimes.

Favorite movie?

Oooh, movies are harder. I do watch movies. Again, this is a favorite-from-each-genre kind of question, so I’ll keep things relevant and say Ex_Machina was the best movie I saw last year. How they kept it interesting with such a small cast in that “locked room” kind of environment was beyond impressive, and the ending made me cheer.

Your Favorite Song?

Man I am just terrible at picking faves. The most-played song on my iPod is Frightened Rabbit’s My Backwards Walk.

Favorite Food?

Aha! One I can do! Anything Mexican. Bring me all the tacos. All of them. 

Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat. 

1. Hogwarts. (That was predictable, right?) 2. The Sprawl. (From the Gibson novels.) 3. The version of London in Tom Pollock’s Skyscraper Throne trilogy. 

Who is your perfect fictional boyfriend? 

Locke Lamora? I do like the bad boys…

Favorite Quote?

At the risk of sounding horrifically pretentious, it’s Latin. Amore, more, ore, re, which is a saying distilled from a Latin proverb: Verus amicus amore, more, ore, re cognoscitur, which means, A true friend is known by the love, the behavior, the words, the deeds. 

What do you find yourself “Fangirling” over?

I probably fangirl over music more than books. Books, too, but new album/tour announcements from my favorite bands are more likely to make me squeal in an embarrassing way. 

If you could meet one author, dead or alive, who would it be? 

Terry Pratchett. I’m very sad I never got to. 

Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about Gamescape: Overworld and the world in it?

The world of Overworld is what I like to think of as “alternative future”—which is to say I don’t at ALL think that’s how the world is going to end up, but theoretically it might be possible. The planet is dying, and everyone—seriously EVERYONE—plays this intense virtual reality game called Chimera. You know when you play a video game, your character receives items and upgrades that help them move through the game as the levels get harder? The principle is the same, except the upgrades humans receive are biomechanical body parts designed to better withstand pollution, or give them enhanced survival skills. It’s free to play, and a great distraction from the depressing outdoors. Things get complicated when Miguel begins to think that the two men who invented the game aren’t the benevolent geniuses they’ve always seemed to be.

Can you tell us a bit more about Miguel and his personality? 

He’s funny, he’s a moody teenager, and most of all, he’s desperate. He’s dying, courtesy of a heart defect. Playing Chimera and earning a new heart is his best chance at long-term survival, but the exertion could also kill him. Being stuck between that rock and hard place leads him to make some interesting and sometimes terrible decisions. It also makes him appreciate the things he has, though maybe not enough. He loves his best friend Nick pretty fiercely.

How did you come up with the story? Did you find inspiration in any other story/movie/show and how has this affected your writing?

It was actually originally inspired by a tweet, of all things, but I’m not sure I can say what it was because again, spoilers. The influence of all the biomechanical body parts comes from me. I have a machine in my body to control a medical condition. The day is going to come when those “enhancements” are as voluntary as plastic surgery. And as easy as getting your ears pierced. It’s already happening, to an extent. There are people who implant contactless payment chips under their skin so they can just touch the readers with their hands. There are a couple of cases of people having cameras implanted instead of prosthetic eyes to replace eyes they’ve lost through illness or injury. Things like this will become more and more common. 

Tell us your favorite quote from Gamescape: Overworld. 

“Their brains came last, a delicate balance between human enough to be cruel and machine enough to act on it.” 

Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write?

The one with the sea monster. I think that’s all I can say without spoiling! 

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for Gamescape: Overworld – Which one would you pick?

This is actually a tricky question. Back when G:O was called The Nova Project, it had one. (The song Nova by VNV Nation.) Now, I’d probably say it’s Automaton by Assemblage 23. That said, here I will reveal an embarrassing fact that I KNEW was going to become an embarrassing fact. See, even when I was writing it, I figured that at some point I’d do an interview like this and I’d have to admit that instead of writing the last several thousand words to some crazy EDM, I would have to admit that I wrote it to Katy Perry’s Roar. That is 100% true. The last, oh, three or four chapters, at least. 

Imagine that we get to see your book on the big screen (how awesome would that be?). Who would you pick to play your characters?

I am really, truly terrible at dream casting because I don’t know who any actors are. If the awesome day ever comes that it is made into a movie, I really hope they don’t depend on me for casting. I’d like someone mischievous to play Blake…maybe James McAvoy

Is there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read Gamescape: Overworld (specific music, snacks…)?

I’m not sure about snacks. For the music…probably anything rock or EDM! Also they drink a lot of water. Running around a gaming room all day is thirsty work. 

What’s next for you?

I’m editing the sequel, whose title has not yet been revealed, and working on a new Middle Grade. My next Middle Grade is out in February, and I’ve just put the finishing touches on that. I don’t think I can give any clues as to what happens in Overworld’s sequel without spoiling everything, but I can say that the MG out in February is about a magical, time-traveling house. 

Something to say to our Book Addicts? 

Readers are the greatest people. Authors love you.

Thank you so much for everything, Emma!

Thank you for having me!

Follow the Gamescape: Overworld by Emma Trevayne Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

YA sci-fi/cyberpunk writer. Fan of words and music and chocolate. Represented by Brooks Sherman of FinePrint Literary Management. My first novel, CODA, will be out Spring 2013 from Running Press Kids, and its sequel, CHORUS, will be released the following year.

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