Tuesday, February 23, 2016

FFBC: Welcome to the club, Bluescreen (Mirador #1) by Dan Wells

Bluescreen (Mirador #1)
by Dan Wells
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: February 16th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Fantasy, Action, Teen
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Los Angeles in 2050 is a city of open doors, as long as you have the right connections. That connection is a djinni—a smart device implanted right in a person’s head. In a world where virtually everyone is online twenty-four hours a day, this connection is like oxygen—and a world like that presents plenty of opportunities for someone who knows how to manipulate it.

Marisa Carneseca is one of those people. She might spend her days in Mirador, the small, vibrant LA neighborhood where her family owns a restaurant, but she lives on the net—going to school, playing games, hanging out, or doing things of more questionable legality with her friends Sahara and Anja. And it’s Anja who first gets her hands on Bluescreen—a virtual drug that plugs right into a person’s djinni and delivers a massive, non-chemical, completely safe high. But in this city, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is, and Mari and her friends soon find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy that is much bigger than they ever suspected.

Dan Wells, author of the New York Times bestselling Partials Sequence, returns with a stunning new vision of the near future—a breathless cyber-thriller where privacy is the world’s most rare resource and nothing, not even the thoughts in our heads, is safe.

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

Thank you! I'm super excited to be here.

Favorite Book?

Favorite TV show?

Current: Person of Interest

All-time: Breaking Bad

Favorite movie?


Your Favorite Song?

Ever long, by the Foo Fighters

Favorite Food?

Chiles Rellenos

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

Rohan, The USS Enterprise, Omelas

Favorite Quote? 

"All of humanity's problems stem from man inability to sit quietly in a room alone." --Blaise Pascal

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

Victor Hugo

Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about Bluescreen?

BLUESCREEN is the first book in an awesome new SF series about gamers, hackers, and all the problems that technology can solve and cause, all at the same time. In the first book they find a digital drug--just plug it into your head, get a rush, and crash with no side effects--that turns out to have more secrets than they're ready for.

Can you describe Marisa? Which are her best qualities?

Marisa is one of my favorite characters, because she has so many layers and sides to her personality. She's a good person--she always wants to help people, especially her family--but her ideas about "good and evil" are not necessarily connected to "legal and illegal," so she's totally willing to break the law now and then when the situation calls for it. As long as she's not hurting anybody, where's the harm? Often, she knows, hacking into a computer system here and there might actually help her to do more good for the world, especially if she can stick it to some pompous, heartless megacorp in the process.

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?

A few years ago I was living in Germany, and while I was looking up something about travel visas I ran across an announcement that video game players were now officially eligible for athletic visas, just like swimmers and basketball players and any other athlete. The real world and the digital world have been blending more and more for years now, but for some reason this thing about eSports visas struck a chord with me, and I started researching eSports and professional gamers and everything else I could find on the topic. I started connecting it to ideas about virtual reality and cyberpunk--an awesome branch of science fiction I've always been a fan of, and before I knew it I had a whole world worked out in my head, and a team of near-future teen girl gamers just begging me to write some stories about them. I've always wanted to write cyberpunk--check out Snow Crash or Count Zero for some awesome examples of the genre--so I dug through my trusty Idea Notebook and found a little scrawled line about digital drugs, and BLUESCREEN was born.

Tell us your favorite quote from Bluescreen.

There's a conversation in the book, between Marisa and her brother Sandro, where she's looking at another mess she's gotten herself into and thinking out loud about the direction of her life. He asks why she doesn't just toe the line and do what she's told and get a real job and be a normal person, and she says something that comes straight from the roots of my own soul: "I don’t think I could ever be happy dedicating my life to someone else’s ideas—to making somebody else’s product, or telling someone else’s story." I love creating things, but I was never happy doing it for some big company; if I'm going to tell a story, I want it to be mine. I want to add something new to the world, and I want to know that I'm the only one who could possibly have done it. Marisa shares that with me--she's a maker. A creator. And we're both just idealistic enough about it to cause all kinds of problems :)

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

There's a scene in the middle where Marisa gets caught in a turf war between two rival gangs. She tries to just hunker down and hope it passes by, but then realizes her sisters are caught outside in it--and nobody messes with Marisa's sisters. This was a blast for me to write because I got her into this mess with literally no idea how I was going to get her out again. I usually outline my books pretty extensively, but this was a problem with no solution. I had to think on the fly, and come up with something that was awesome and heroic but still true to Marisa's character: she's not a fighter, and she's not an action hero, she's a thinker. How could she think herself out of this mess? It was exhilarating, and I'm very pleased with the solution that Marisa (and I!) came up with.

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

Nu-ABO, by the Korean group f(x). It's kind of a power anthem for a group of young girls, which is a perfect fit for Marisa and her friends, and I listened to it all the time while writing the book.

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 want a BLUESCREEN TV series more than almost anything in the world, but I have no idea how to cast it. I'll give you a million stories to tell about the characters, and let the readers give suggestions on who should play them :) 

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

I listened to a steady diet of Korean pop and Mexican rock music while I wrote this, with a fair amount of Cuban and reggaeton thrown in for good measure. Turn down the lights, crank up something you can't understand the words to, and let 'er rip.

What’s next for you? 

In addition to SF I also write horror, and one of my books (called I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER) has just been made into a movie! It debuts in March at the SXSW film festival, so I'm gearing up for that, getting ready to show it to everyone and see what we can do to get the movie into theaters. And if some big producer wants to talk about BLUESCREEN or the PARTIALS series while I'm there, all the better!

Something to say to our Book Addicts?

I love you! Book addicts are the best addicts :)

Thank you so much for everything, Dan!

Thank you!

Follow the Bluescreen by Dan Wells Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Dan Wells is a thriller and science fiction writer. Born in Utah, he spent his early years reading and writing. He is he author of the Partials series (Partials, Isolation, Fragments, and Ruins), the John Cleaver series (I Am Not a Serial Killer, Mr. Monster, and I Don't Want To Kill You), and a few others (The Hollow City, A Night of Blacker Darkness, etc). He was a Campbell nomine for best new writer, and has won a Hugo award for his work on the podcast Writing Excuses; the podcast is also a multiple winner of the Parsec Award.


  1. He's a new author for me and I just enjoy reading new author.

  2. Looks pretty B.A., if you'll pardon my censored French.
    Thanks for the opportunity!