Blog Tour: Bluescreen by Dan Wells (Interview + Giveaway)

Yay! I am so excited to be part of this tour. I LOVED Bluescreen!!

Check out my review!

Title: Bluescreen (Mirador #1)
Author: Dan Wells
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: February 16th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Fantasy, Action, Teen

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.

Where did the idea for BLUESCREEN come from?

BLUESCREEN comes from a branch of science fiction called cyberpunk, which focuses on near-future technologies like computer hacking, virtual reality, bionics, artificial intelligence, and so on. Recent TV shows like Almost Human and Minority Report are great examples. I've been a fan of cyberpunk since I first read Neuromancer, by William Gibson, when I was in high school, and I've always wanted to write some of my own, but I didn't really have a good hook for a story until a few years ago when I was reading an article about smartphones, and the history of cell phones in general, and I started to wonder about what was coming next. Why I was a kid phones still plugged into the wall, and now I have a supercomputer in my pocket that can call anywhere in the world and take pictures and even get messages from a robot on Mars. How can we top that? So I basically just sat down and started making a list of everything I want my phone to be able to do that it can't do yet, and eventually arrived at what I call the djinni--a smartphone and a gaming console and a passport and a wallet and keyring and a hundred other things all rolled into one, and then installed directly in your brain to make it impossible to lose and incredibly easy to use: just think about something, and it does it. And after I'd thought of that I started thinking about all the horrible ways it could go wrong, because I'm a writer and that's what we do. I realized that if you have a computer in your brain, someone else can use a computer to hack into your brain, and that's when I knew I had a great story.

Was it a big jump from the PARTIALS series to BLUESCREEN?

Yes and no. In some ways BLUESCREEN feels like very familiar territory after Partials, because it has an amazing teenage girl as the hero, and a lot of fun science to dig into, and a fascinating new world to explore. All of the details, though, are wildly different. With Partials I got to describe what our world would look like with no people anywhere, and everything's falling apart and nature's reclaiming the world; they had to find low-tech solutions to their problems, and it almost felt like a fantasy novel as they ride through the wilderness on horses, off to fulfill a deadly quest to save the world. In BLUESCREEN I got to describe the opposite: what our world would look like with people everywhere, and incredible new technologies that are so ubiquitous people don't even notice them. Distance and energy are almost meaningless concepts, and the characters can instantly know anything or talk to anyone just by thinking about it. Both of them were exciting new worlds to write about, and I hope people love reading about them, too.

Any plans you can share for upcoming books in the series?

I don't want to go into too much detail, but I'll permit myself this one little spoiler: in BLUESCREEN the Cherry Dogs are training for a tournament that they never have the chance to attend; in book 2, tentatively titled ONES AND ZEROES, they finally get to go to one, and it was ridiculously fun to write about.

Which character do you relate to the most?

Fang, the girl from China. She comes across as feisty and gregarious and bombastic, but that's only online--as you get to know her better in future books, you'll see that she's actually very shy and awkward in real life, and prefers to stay quiet and alone. I respond to that so much. I can fake being an extrovert when I need to, because that's part of my job, but I'm out of the spotlight I turn into a quiet little introverted wallflower, content to sit alone in a silent room and read or write or watch TV. Everyone has layers, and you don't really know what someone is like until you've seen them in private, when they don't have to put on a show for the world and they can just be themselves.

Where did the idea for Marisa's bionic arm come from?

Bionics, and human augmentation in general, is a big theme in cyberpunk, and I knew I wanted to include some form of it in my book. I also knew, from my outline, that Marisa had a big, spooky secret in her past, and I needed a way to show that in her daily life. The final piece that connected all of these thoughts in my head was a conversation I had with someone about disabilities in science fiction: she couldn't walk well, and said that she loved to imagine a future where medical science had advanced to the point where she wouldn't have to struggle anymore. At the same time, though, she said that she doesn't like to read about stories where disabilities are completely glossed over, as if everything is sunshine and roses. I knew a little of what she meant, because my mom has had serious health problems all my life, and is often in a wheelchair or a walker, and living with something like that is both easier and much, much harder than people think. Marisa's bionic arm can do almost everything her real arm can do, but it's not perfect, and it weighs on her emotionally--it reminds her of her past, and the secrets she doesn't know, and her own limitations and weaknesses. And then at the same time it's sometimes better than a real arm, like the scene halfway through the book when she uses it to punch someone in the face, more powerfully than a fleshy arm could manage. So I guess the short answer is that Marisa's arm is My humble to attempt to show the different sides of disability, while also serving as a constant reminder of the series' biggest mystery: what happened when Marisa was two years old?

Thank you Dan for answering all my questions! 

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(Click to follow the tour ^^^) 

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.


Hosted by: 
The Fantastic Flying Book Club


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