Published by Flower Book on 4-1-2014
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MADE IN BIONIA is an ambitious, mind-blowing and totally addictive techno-thriller that will change your perception of science fiction. Open up your mind and get ready for a very stormy adventure!
Why does Rasa A, the world’s most secret society, want William Carrot dead? And who is William Carrot? He has to figure this out before it’s too late.
In a world very much like ours, the Third Great War is over and the ocean is dying. Scientists in the country of Bionia invent a new technology to stop an ecological catastrophe. Can William get it before it is seized and destroyed by terrorists? With love, betrayal and marine virology standing in his way, it will be hard to call, especially when his own life is at stake.
A novel in the best traditions of science fiction, 'Made In Bionia' has it all: love, mystery, cutting edge science and alternate history.
Your journey begins in Bionia.
Interview With Author Grigory Ryzhakov
Can you talk a little about what the book is about?
Made In Bionia is a satirical techno-thriller set in a world very much like ours. I used literary techniques such as grotesque and allegory to build the story’s world. In a way it’s a spoof marrying thriller. But beneath this layer, the novel is full of references to the world culture and it explores the future of humanity.
What makes your book unique?
Just about everything. What other novel contains a discussion of a Dostoevsky’s novel, explores marine virology, features ninja action, a secret society plot and two love stories?
Where did you get the idea for the book?
Where all the ideas are coming from? From the great sub-consciousness. My daytime job is laboratory research, I study molecular biology. But I’m also a lover of nature and literature, psychology and philosophy. So, all these cultural memes mix up in my head and from this creative concoction I extract ideas for my books.
Is there any message you want readers to get from reading the book?
Yes, as anyone taking literature seriously I do have messages. Science is a lethal weapon without morality and ethics. Our world is a complex ecosystem, and even smaller organisms, we still have no awareness of, can drastically change the natural equilibrium and cause calamities. That’s why ecological terrorism is a real threat. I want readers to be curious about our planet and consider that everything is connected in nature and that’s why our actions have many indirect impacts on nature that we often fail to see until it’s too late. And another message is for people to be adventurous and explore what they really are. Don’t live lives you are told to live. Find your calling.
How long did it take to write the book?
About eight years. The first draft took about five years and then several years of revisions and editing. This was my learning novel, and I have been writing other books in between. While I studied writing, I experimented with various techniques in it. It’s actually a short book. Most of the time I spent on it I was thinking about its sequels, since it’s a trilogy, so getting the first book right was important.
Who is your favorite character, or what character was the most fun to write?
Welka Troublova is my favorite character and the female lead and the protagonist’s love interest. Yet, the enigmatic ninja character, Andrei Copeckin, was most fun to write.
Can you talk about how you wrote it? Did you do any outlining? Did it take you in any unexpected directions?
As I mentioned earlier, this was an experimental book. I first tried pantsing. Then later on, when a half of it was written, I started outlining it and got rid of some dead weight. This book taught me a lesson – I’m definitely an outliner.
If you could go back and change anything in the novel, what would it be?
I’d make more characters suffer really badly because of their silliness in the beginning. I was too nice and protective. But that’s okay. I have the second book to get real mean. (Emitting evil laugh)
How did you come up with the cover?
I described my story to an illustrator called Stee Bowden from monolithart.co.uk and he created this beautiful cover. You can see faces of major characters on it, DNA, dead fish, so basically it matches my story impressively well. At least in my opinion.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
When I nine or ten, I performed my poem in public at a summer camp. There was a group of Japanese visitors there, and one of them told me that I’m to become a great Russian poet. Well, I turned into a British scientist in the end, but I decided I can also be a Russian writer. That’s why my blog is called Russian Writer.
What was the first story that you ever wrote?
My first stories were poems. The first proper story I came up with when I was about fourteen, it was set in India and it was a tale about a rich British boy raised near Calcutta who ran away from home and discovered a beautiful tree called Dillenia in the jungle. Actually, plants are a common element of all my stories.
What is your favorite genre, and why?
Humour. I like witty and humorous fiction, because my job is demanding and serious and I always need a bit of laugh.
Are there any books you are absolutely inspired by?
I was inspired by so many books, but it was Dante’s The Divine Comedy, Dostoevsky’s Netochka Nezvanova and Jack London’s Martin Eden that influenced my latest novel.
What are you working on next?
I’m working on the second book of the William Carrot trilogy, which follows the events described in Made in Bionia.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Stop being aspiring, just write and get your books out there, share your stories. Write with passion, as if your life was dependent on it, write about things that seriously matter to you. Be interesting, be unique.
How do you juggle writing with family time?
I don’t have kids – that’s a secret. So pretty much all my time is spent on science and writing.
The tanatocar moved swiftly along the plains of BBGP, manoeuvring through the piles of industrial debris. Welka clung to the steering wheel, the end of her tongue comically stuck out, a sign of concentration. Finch was sitting next to her, navigating, and William was at the rear, looking at the black four-wheel drives slowly closing the gap behind them.
‘Wel, do you have a plan of how we can lose our shadow?’ he asked her calmly.
‘I’m trying to get into the most un-driveable part of BBGP; they’ll get stuck there,’ she said.
‘I think they know what you are up to,’ William said, observing a man with a bazooka popping out through the window of the closest chaser car. ‘They intend to shoot us.’
Welka cursed. ‘Finch, join William at the back and help him to trash them. And hold on to your belts, guys, when I shout
Finch hopped on the rear platform, and grabbed the control palp of the ‘shitgrip’.
‘William, get the catapult ready, I’ll shitgrip something vile,’ he said.
The tanatocar rocketed between three and four meters into the air just past a wall of rubbish. The guys nearly fell off the car.
Welka merrily commented, ‘So, how was the landing, astronauts?’
William ignored it and asked, ‘Which one is the release button on the catapult? This one?’ He pressed the green button with a spoon image on it. The catapult immediately set off the scoop upright and then returned into its horizontal state.
‘Wow,’ William approved.
‘The catapult gets into the ‘ready’ mode automatically after shooting. Here’s your first ammunition,’ Finch handed him an old Persian rag he fished out from a mound they have just passed. ‘There’s kerosene over here, soak it in…’
That moment the chasing party finally shot at them and the pile of garbage exploded two meters away from the tanatocar.
‘Damn that bastard!’ Welka giggled. ‘What a dirty animal that Sloth! We’re lucky he’s cock-eyed.’
‘Welka, watch the road,’ Finch shouted.
‘What road?’ she replied, laughing.