“Bold futurist adventure with unusual romance, riveting action and ominous ecological red flags.” —Kirkus Reviews
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.
Introduction to the world of Parched
By Georgia Clark
Welcome to the world of Parched: a rollercoaster ride of robots, rebels and romance, of secrets, impossible choices, and a fight for freedom, all in a domed city and a sprawling desert…
“When I was born, we’d been in drought for over fifty years. I wasn’t alive when the planet first fell into a marathon of endless natural disasters. That was closer to two centuries ago now. As substitutes rebuilt one city from a hurricane, a tsunami hit another. People scrambled to re-create homes that the planet seemed intent on destroying. As Earth’s resources began to dry up for good, the remaining cities began an ugly fight for survival. First came food and energy limits. Then rations. City walls. A desperate race to create renewable sources of power as the old mining industries finally bled the land dry. Solar energy replaced fossil fuels. But eventually, everything was sucked into one place, one strong-hold, one last beacon.”
Location is a character in Parched: indeed, much of the story’s action is focused on the tension it creates. Basically, 1% of the population lives inside Eden, a domed city. Here, resources are shared equally among citizens, there’s no money, artistic expression is encouraged, sexual freedom permitted. There’s beautiful parks and zoos and shopping districts. Water fountains are on every street corner, burbling up fresh, clean, cold water from the enormous Moon Lake the dominates the city’s north. This is where our heroine, Tess Rockwood, grew up. But it is not where we first meet her.
That’s in the Badlands, the sprawling, dangerous, bone-dry desert that surrounds the white walls of Eden. Here, life is tough and cheap. Tess works in a water bar, serving syrupy ‘aqua ferro’ – iron water – that dribbles from the taps. When our story starts, the leader of Eden, a bearded, hippy-ish man named Gyan, has just cut off the Badland’s water supply, effectively signing a death warrant for the Badlanders.
I mentioned robots, and yes, there’s plenty of them (after all, it is the future!). In this world, robots are called substitutes, or ‘subs’. In Eden you’ll find a wide array of beautifully designed, socially intelligent subs, like Kimiko, Tess’ uncle’s house sub. But the Badland is full of clunky, junky subs: old models that locals sell for parts or repurpose for their own needs. The government of Eden, the Trust (lead by Gyan), 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.
The inspiration for the world of Parched came from a backpacking trip I went on to Mexico when I was 19. It was the first time I left my hometown of Sydney, Australia: a beautiful, clean, safe small city. The culture shock I had from seeing how people lived in different parts of Mexico, and now, it appears as Tess’ experience.
Let me know you thoughts!
$20 Amazon Gift Card (INT)Signed copy of Parched (US only)Ends January 25th