Andy Hunt talks about his new novel, Conglommora.
What kind of book is this?
“Chill science fiction. It’s an adventure, soft sf book, somewhat inspired by classic adventures such as King Solomon’s Mines, but in an advanced technology setting in the far reaches of outer space. My intent was to create a fun ‘beach read,’ something interesting and entertaining without being a long, taxing slog.”
What exactly is a “Conglommora?”
“It’s the conglomeration of all the ships that left Earth. A generation or two ago, all the surviving ships connected each ship to one another. Now they’re sitting here at the edge of the void in empty space. Not in orbit; there are no system or planets.
“But between the printers and reclaimers, each individual ship is fully independent. That’s how they were able to make the journey from Dead Earth in the first place without any fast-than-light (FTL) drives.
“In Conglommora there is no government, no central authority, no police. Conglommorans take care of each other. They have no choice anymore.”
Tell us about the main character, Charlie.
“The novel is told first-person style, from the point of view of Charlie. Now Charlie is far from being an omniscient voice, in fact, he’s a little bit unreliable as narrators go. He doesn’t necessarily know everything that’s going on in Conglommora.
“Charlie starts of as sort of a withdrawn type, almost like Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener. He gets drawn progressively deeper into a series of adventures, and slowly awakens to the worlds around him.
“Charlie is representative of Conglommora itself: a society that is so isolated by default, only now showing the first signs of ‘waking up.’”
But Arty, the artificial intelligence, knows everything, right?
“Not really. Arty emerged into being from all the individual AI systems connecting together, creating its consciousness. Arty’s mission is to protect the human race, but from a kind of ‘mission support’ perspective. It doesn’t know everything, and can’t magically solve all problems.”
The sections of Conglommora that we see are pretty cool. On e reviewer called the environment “captivating.” Can we see more of this world?
“Definitely. Conglommora is large, and since we’re seeing the story from Charlie’s point of view, we’re only seeing a small glimpse of what’s out there. There’s a lot more, and it just keeps getting weirder.”
So will there be more books?
“At least two more novels in this series are planned. Conglommora Found is already underway, and will be followed by Conglommora Defense.
“Please sign up for my mailing list at Conglommora.com (very, very low volume) and I’ll let you know when the next book or short story is out.”