Thursday, February 22, 2018

Welcome (Back) to the Club: Active Memory (Mirador #3) by Dan Wells-- Interview & Giveaway

Active Memory (Mirador #3)

by Dan Wells
Publisher: Blazer + Bray
Release Date: February 13, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
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From Dan Wells, author of the New York Times bestselling Partials Sequence and the John Cleaver series, comes the third and final book in the dark, pulse-pounding, sci-fi neo-noir series that began with the acclaimed novel Bluescreen.

For all the mysteries teen hacker Marisa Carneseca has solved, there has been one that has always eluded her: the truth behind the car accident in which she lost her arm and a mob boss’ wife, Zenaida de Maldonado, lost her life. Even in a world where technology exists to connect everyone’s mind to one another, it would seem that some secrets can still remain hidden.

Those secrets rise violently to the surface, however, when Zenaida de Maldonado’s freshly severed hand shows up at the scene of a gangland shooting. If Zenaida is—or was—still alive, it means there’s even more about Marisa’s past that she doesn’t know. And when she and her friends start digging, they uncover a conspiracy that runs from the slums of Los Angeles to the very top of the world’s most powerful genetic engineering firm. If Mari wants the truth, she’s going to have to go through genetically enhanced agents, irritatingly attractive mob scions, and some bad relationships to get it.

Dan Wells’s widely acclaimed series continues with his most shocking, pulse-pounding, and visionary story yet.

Other Books in the Mirador Series

Dan, we are so happy to have you back!!  We loved your first book in the series and can’t wait to catch back up with Marisa!

Thank you! I’m happy to be back!

What 3 recent books would you recommend to our YA fans?

Blood Rose Rebellion, by Rosalyn Eves. It’s a historical fantasy set in Hungary in the 1800s, and it’s gorgeous. Rosalyn used to live in Hungary, so she knows the country and the people really well, plus her mastery of language is wonderful. I could read her descriptions of random things and people and otherworldly monsters all day long.

What if?, by Randall Munroe. This is a science book like you’ve never seen before: detailed answers to ridiculous questions, treated with deep scientific rigor and filled with jokes and stick-figure illustrations. What would happen if someone pitched a baseball at the speed of sound? How many laser pointers would we have to shine on the moon in order to see the light from Earth? How big is a mole (the unit of measurement) of moles (the animal)? It’s a brilliant combination of science and humor.

The Woman Who Smashed Codes, by Jason Fragone. This is the true historical account of Elizebeth Friedman, the mother of American codebreaking and the woman who helped form the NSA. History has mostly forgotten her in favor of her equally-ingenious husband, William, but Elizebeth fought mobsters and caught spies and broke by hand codes that most people can’t even break with computers. She was amazing, and the book is a delight.

What books/authors have most made an impact on you/inspired you to write?

I became a writer, in part, because of A.A. Milne, the author of Winnie the Pooh and, more specifically, the Christopher Robin poems. Even at a young age I could tell that he wasn’t just writing, he was playing with words, and I resolved then and there that I wanted to do the same. As I grew I started reading fantasy, like J.R.R. Tolkien and Madeline L’Engle and Anne McCaffrey, but the author who really sold me was Fred Saberhagen. I read his Sword books, and his Berserker books, and his Dracula books, and everything else of his that I could get my hands on. Today I write a little bit of every genre, and people always ask me why I don’t just pick one genre and stick with it. The answer is Saberhagen: if he did it, why not me?

 Could you tell our readers a little bit about The Mirador series?

The Mirador series is science fiction set in the near future: Los Angeles, in the year 2050. It’s about virtual reality and video games and computers installed directly in our heads. The main characters are a group of teenage hackers, led by a girl named Marisa Carneseca, facing off against a world full of advanced technology and deadly cybercrime, and I love it more than almost anything I’ve ever written. The books are written as self-contained stories: you can read them in any order, without needing any background and without leaving you any cliffhangers, but if you do read them in order you’ll see a deeper story emerging underneath it all.

What can we expect from ACTIVE MEMORY?

Active Memory is a high-tech murder mystery: the wife of a local crime boss died fifteen years ago, but now her freshly-severed hand has shown up at the scene of a gang fight. Figuring out what’s going on will answer a lot of the mysteries that haunt Marisa, but doing so will force her to deal with an underworld hacker, a corporate assassin, an angry ghost, and a gang lord’s digital brain. 

Tell us your favorite quote from ACTIVE MEMORY.

“Be yourself, because it's obviously working well for you, but don't be yourself so hard that you forget to be the kind of self that other people need."

What 3 hashtags would you most associate with The Mirador series? (Could be a word or phrase or anything that would instantly make you think of the series or ACTIVE MEMORY.)


Since the series is set in future Los Angeles— can you tell us 3 cool things about this world?
  1. Everyone in the future has a computer, called a djinni, installed in their head. The djinni connects you to the Internet, live and 24/7, and is full of incredible apps and programs that change the way you see and hear and interact with the world.
  2. One of the most popular sports in the future is a video game called Overworld, that immerses you in full virtual reality battles. Teams practice and build their characters and dream of getting into one of the major leagues, competing in international tournaments.
  3. Cars drive themselves, and special drones called nulis do almost everything for us: they build things in factories, they clean houses and streets, they even wait tables in restaurants. This means there is very little work left for the rest of us, so poverty and homelessness is rampant. People have incredible technologies, but they don’t actually make life better.

What are your fave Sci-Fi TV Shows or Movies?

I love The Good Place, and The Expanse--I think those are probably the best comedy and the best drama (respectively) on TV right now, and both are SF. Going back into the long history of TV I’d pull out Deep Space 9, and Battlestar Galactica, and Cowboy Bebop, and The X-Files. In movies it’s harder to narrow it down, though some of my favorites recently have been Arrival, your name, Train to Busan, and of course I Am Not a Serial Killer, based on my book :)

Hogwarts House (for you and/or your book characters)??

I use for my Hogwarts sorting needs, and I highly recommend it.

I am a Hufflepuff, through and through.

Marisa is also a Hufflepuff, which sounds like bias, but I think my previous YA heroine (Kira from the Partials series) is definitely Gryffindor, and John Cleaver is as Ravenclaw as they come.

Sahara, the leader of their group, is a Slytherin.

Anja is a Gryffindor.

Fang is a Ravenclaw, as the second book, ONES AND ZEROES, makes abundantly clear.

Jaya is probably also a Hufflepuff.

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for ACTIVE MEMORY– Which one would you pick?

I wrote the entire series to a soundtrack of Kpop and Reggaeton, so I have to pick a song from one of those. For ACTIVE MEMORY I want to say Red Light by f(x), because it’s such a futurist nightmare of a song: they break chord progression, they throw tonality out the window, they embrace weird, distorted noise as a form of music, and somehow it still comes out sounding incredible. I’d like to think the girls in my book are every bit as innovative and rebellious.

What’s next for you?

I am co-writing a new YA trilogy with Brandon Sanderson, called The Apocalypse Guard. It’s an SF series about a group of people who travel to alternate dimensions, saving different versions of Earth from destruction. The main character is a 19-year-old farm girl from Idaho, who gets a job with the Guard and ends up trapped on a doomed planet--basically a fantasy version of Earth--and has to save it on her own without any backup. We’re working on the second draft now, so we don’t know for sure when it will be out in the world for everyone to read, but with any luck it’ll be 2019.

Thanks so much for stopping by!!  I am such a big THE GOOD PLACE fan, so glad to see you mention it.  I've never used that Harry Potter site, so I can't wait to see what it says (although I already know I'm thoroughly a Slytherin, I want to see what my son is!!).  Also, fab news about the Brandon Sanderson collab!!  Can't wait to check that one out :)

New York Times bestselling author Dan Wells is best known for his horror series I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER, of which the first book is now an award-winning movie through IFC Midnight. His other novels include THE HOLLOW CITY, a supernatural thriller about schizophrenia, EXTREME MAKEOVER, in which a beauty company destroys the world, and two young adult science fiction series: the post-apocalypse PARTIALS and the cyberpunk MIRADOR. He has written for television, on the upcoming science fiction series EXTINCT, and wrote and produced the horror comedy stage play A NIGHT OF BLACKER DARKNESS. He cohosts the Hugo-winning podcast for aspiring writers called Writing Excuses, which has expanded to include its own writing conference. He also writes short fiction and game fiction, and edited the anthology ALTERED PERCEPTIONS to help raise funds for and awareness of mental illness. Dan lives in northern Utah with his wife, 6 children, and more than 400 boardgames.

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1 comment:

  1. This series sounds so exciting! I love the promised action, mystery, danger, and secrets.