Meet My Main Characters

Spindle DreamsHurrah! I’ve been invited to join another blog tour by Graeme Shimmin. This time we’re looking at the main characters in our novels.

My novel is called Spindle Dreams and it’s part of a planned trilogy: the Canton Station series.

What is the name of your main character?

I actually have two protagonists in my novel, they’re called Jiao and Preston.

When and where is the story set?

The year is 2163 and the setting is Canton Station, a space habitat in orbit around the moon Titan. Titan is one of Saturn’s many moons.

I love world-building. Canton Station is an O’Neil cylinder 3.6 kilometres in diameter. There’s an empty central core 1.2 kilometres in diameter and a solid ring of levels around that for another 1.2 kilometres. The station rotates once every 1.4 minutes to provide standard Earth gravity at the outer/lower edge. The gravity decreases as you rise up through the levels until it hits near-zero along the station’s centreline. There is a clear class divide relating to level height.

Canton Station was one of the first orbital habitats to be built during a period of expansion throughout our solar system in the late 21st century that was led by the Chinese state-backed space industry. Canton Station serves as an industrial base for various mining and gas farming operations running down on Titan’s surface. The local station population is majority Mandarin-speaking Han Chinese. The architecture varies from what I would describe as ‘culturally neutral neo-brutalist‘ all the way through to a variety of traditional Chinese mock-period styles.

There are scruffy looking pedicabs and mopeds everywhere, just like this one that I snapped on my last trip to China . . .

Pedicab

Everyone in 2163 wears ‘glasswear’, whether it’s a pair of contacts, a HUD, or a pair of glasses. Information is everywhere, right there in front of your eyes. AIs are common and on Canton Station most of them are modelled after Chinese gods.

What should we know about Jiao and Preston?

Jiao is an invisible ghost. She has walked unseen though the streets of Canton Station for as long as she can remember, which is twenty thousand days according to her old friend the serpent god Qīng Lóng. Jiao usually spends her time floating in the clouds at Spindle or she sometimes enjoys watching the mortals go about their mundane lives, though she is wary of getting too close in case they bump into her and hurt her with their hard unyielding bodies.

Preston used to work as an augmented reality field operative for Europol back on Earth. He accidentally shot a child during a Europol raid on a London Docklands apartment and the child sadly died later in hospital. It turned out that the child’s father was the boss of a global criminal organisation, so now he’s on the run, having left his job and Earth behind. All he has is a handful of yuán notes and a pair of black-framed glasses that can hack almost anything . . .

Yuan Notes and Black Glasses

What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

Preston arrives at Canton Station after seven months in stasis to discover that Isaac — the father of the child who he shot back on Earth — has people there waiting for him. Now he’s running for his life.

Jiao is told by Preston, when they meet for the first time, that she isn’t real, she’s just an AI. She knows he must be wrong, though she has no memories of any life before she became a ghost.

What is the personal goal of each character?

Preston wants to survive. He is intrigued about Jiao.

Jiao is determined to prove to Preston that she is real.

Spindle Dreams and the Canton Station Series

The next two novels are currently called ‘Little Emperors’ and ‘Graveyard of the Gods’. I’m currently finishing the edits on Spindle Dreams and I’ve made a start on planning and writing the next two sequels. I’m represented by John Jarrold.

I will now hand the literary baton over to . . .

Eric Steele who writes novels and screenplays in the horror and science fiction genres. His novel Project Nine will be published later this year.

And James Ridgway who writes short fiction and novels in the science fiction and apocalyptic genres. He also has a thing about board games and gas masks.

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