Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sci-Fi Month: Interview with Dan Wells

And on the fourth and final Saturday of Sci-Fi Month, we are featuring Dan Wells, author of the Partials Sequence. I feel like his books are pretty underhyped despite being absolutely incredible. And I seriously want me a copy of Ruins. So without further ado, here is the interview:

The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.

Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic-in-training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws have pushed what's left of humanity to the brink of civil war, and she's not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will find that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them—connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.

Dan Wells, acclaimed author of I Am Not a Serial Killer, takes readers on a pulsepounding journey into a world where the very concept of what it means to be human is in question—one where our humanity is both our greatest liability and our only hope for survival.

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository | The Reading Room

So, as you’re being featured on the blog as a part of Sci-Fi Month, I'm going to start by asking a few questions about science fiction.
1. What do you think is the appeal of Science Fiction?

SF is fun, exciting, and it makes us think. We live in a world where technology is advancing so fast we literally can't keep up with it, and SF allows us to explore all of these new ideas and their ramifications and our reactions to them. In other ways, SF is appealing because it's a modern mythology, replacing gods and magic with spaceships and computers, but telling the same kind of primal, epic stories that have formed the heart of storytelling since the earliest days of human civilization.

2. Why did you decide to write Science Fiction?
The simplest answer is that I write SF because I grew up reading SF. Beyond that, though, I write SF because it allows me to play with issues that are important to me--stories about identity and responsibility and communication and free will, exaggerated and extrapolated into something fanciful and bizarre yet still deeply human. Writing SF is like looking at something through a magnifying glass--it expands one small part until it's outsize and overwhelming, so you can see how that one part affects the whole.

And now onto the more random questions:
3. Marcus is absolutely hilarious. From where do you take inspiration for his one liners? Also, what’s your favourite of his lines?

It's not really a matter of finding inspirations for Marcus's jokes, so much as forcing myself to restrict them to Marcus. I'm a natural smart-alec myself, so my characters tend to be as well, but the world of Partials is one that doesn't have a lot of room for humor--everything is bad, and everyone is dour, and the characters have more important things to do than cracks jokes all the time. Marcus is my chance to balance that with some fun, to let the air out of the more pompous characters any time the pressure gets to high. My favorite Marcus line is hard to pick; I like the squirrel one, and I like the one about peeing himself. He's got a great one about Samm in the third book, but I won't spoil it :)

4. What is the third book from the left on the top shelf of your bookshelf?
They're stacked two rows deep, so you get your pick: Vortex by SJ Kincaid, or The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischmann.

5. Would you rather be a human or a Partial?
Human, absolutely. If I was on the link people would know what I was feeling all the time, and that would drive me crazy.

6. If your characters were sent to Hogwarts, which houses do you think each of them would be in?
Hufflepuff, because nobody's in Hufflepuff and that's silly.

7. Would you be able to reveal any hints of what’s coming in Ruins?
Bad, bad things for everyone. Let's put it this way: FRAGMENTS ends with one of the bad guys finding a nuke, and that's still not the biggest threat to civilization in RUINS.

8. Since this blog is named Looking for the Panacea, what would be your Panacea Candidates?
First of all, thanks for including FRAGMENTS as a Panacea candidate! That's awesome and incredibly flattering. As for picking two of my own candidates: Easy! My top two books of all time are both ones that I would consider Panaceas. In SF, it's Dune by Frank Herbert. Such an amazing book: the science, the cultures, the characters, the story. There's so much depth here, so many incredible layers of plot and character, I can't recommend it highly enough. In general fiction, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, which I have read, unabridged, twice. If you only know it from the musical, you're missing out on one of the greatest epic stories ever told--the vilest villains, the greatest heroes, the most inspiring stories of loss and sacrifice and redemption. If I ever write a book half as good as either of these, I'll consider it a miracle.


  1. Partials has been on my 'to read' list for a while, I love the sound of the plot - and that cover looks creepy! This fits in nicely with Kelley's post on genetic engineering today (or yesterday for you, haha).

    Aww, poor Hufflepuff!

    1. Partials is amazing! And there's quite a bit of science in there too. Definitely on the heavier side of YA Sci-Fi

  2. It is so true that no one wants to be in Hufflepuff! Tonks rocked and she was in Hufflepuff!

    1. I'm a Ravenclaw haha. I just LOVE the idea of the common room. SO AWESOME.

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  4. I am a proud hufflepuff guys, HUFFLEPUFF REPRESENT! *sorry I had to add that in* Anyway, the Partials series is one of the first novels I've read when I started blogging and I absolutely love it! I can't wait for Ruins and thanks for sharing :D

    *sorry for the other deleted comment, I was logged onto the wrong account!

    1. nice one haha. I be a Ravenclaw :P
      I KNOW RIGHT! Stupid cliffhanger ending of Fragments...Why can't Ruins be released sooner T.T

      lol no problem!

  5. It's been a long time since I have seen Dan Well's name. I read and loved his John Cleaver series, and have always wanted to read more of him. So I guess that Partials will be my next Dan Wells book :D Hopefully I love it as much as I do the John Cleaver series.

    "SF allows us to explore all of these new ideas and their ramifications and our reactions to them." <-- This is one of the reasons I love to read sci-fi also. So many different things could happen in the future or because of technology, and exploring those possibilities in books is just so amazing.

    Haha, I actually made a Pottermore account in hopes of getting into Hufflepuff. Sadly, I got into Gryffindor instead, which I really don't think I would belong in >_< Oh well. I'll just look enviously at the people who are in that house :P

    1. I haven't actually read the John Cleaver series! I probably should give it a go seeing as though I love this series so much.

      Exploring possibilities is definitely the best aspect of sci-fi. It's so interesting seeing the ideas authors can come up with!

      Awww. I answered as honestly as possible and lo and behold got Ravenclaw! Which was what I wanted haha. To be honest I've forgotten my password for Pottermore now though. Haven't been on for a while.

  6. I love Gryffindor but Hufflepuff is my second favourite! So true how not many people are in that house.

    Great interview! <33

    1. I guess it's because bravery or intelligence is cooler than kindness? And then there are those snarky people who go for Slytherin because they like being evil haha

  7. "SF is appealing because it's a modern mythology, replacing gods and magic with spaceships and computers, but telling the same kind of primal, epic stories that have formed the heart of storytelling since the earliest days of human civilization."

    Amen to that statement!

    I have yet to read Partials but I'm definitely looking forward to starting this series!
    Haven't read Dune either but my Panacea Candidate for the Sci-Fi genre is Ender's Game and The 5th Wave.

    Thanks for sharing this lovely interview, guys! :)

    1. Ender's Game was great! It was a bit weird wrapping my head around how a 6 year old kid could do all the stuff that he could at the start of the book though (I think he was only that old. Although by the end I think he was 10 or 11 or sth).

      And The 5th Wave! So well written :3