In advance of the launch next week of her dystopian science fiction novel The Death of the Wave, author G. L. Adamson talks about her influences, and why she chose unrhymed verse to reflect her stark, dystopian vision (an unusual approach that fits this story perfectly).
Over to Adamson…
A villain always thinks himself the hero. That is the main point that drove this book, as it is told through three distinct points of view around several fictional historical events, each looking at the events from a different side. There’s several rebellions in this novel, all revolving around a character that seems to be the main protagonist, but the point of the book is that there is a tendency to think that one is in the right.
What I hoped this book to challenge, apart from ideas such as standardized testing, educational systems, wealth distribution, career biases towards the arts and the sciences and censorship, is the idea that it is harder than one things to qualify a ‘heroic’ character. There are many characters in this novel. Some do extraordinary things. All do some pretty awful things in order to further their cause, and every last one thinks that they are the hero of their own story, and in that way, they are right.
I was working on this story when I was in London and Dublin in the summer of 2012, scribbling on odds and ends of paper and spending far too much time in the hotel lobby, drinking coffee and typing until 3AM in the morning, and a lot of the story was done in a straight shot, written without stopping and without many blocks. I had seen Les Miserables in West End a week earlier and had been struck by the intensity of the idea of a multi-character plot centered around a rebellion, but I wanted to clearly deconstruct the idea in my own work that the freedom fighters are always intrinsically the ones in the right. Another major influence on this work was Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta, in the idea of a freedom fighter that commits horrible acts in the quest for justice.
The title itself was influenced by a line in Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, that described the decade of the sixties as a wave that ‘climbed higher and higher, and then finally broke and rolled back’ and I think that that kind of imagery was appropriate for the title of this work. The rebellions and events are like a series of waves that seem unending and invincible, only to crash in the end, petering out with ripples that echo in influence once the main event had concluded.
In general for this work, I was influenced a great deal by such authors such as George R.R. Martin, who also is known for works that deconstruct the idea of a singular protagonist or objective morality, as well as the obvious influences of Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, and Ray Bradbury. The existential philosopher Sartre was a major influence on the novel as well. This work is considered to be a piece of dystopian fiction, and I made the choice to write it in unrhymed verse as that seemed to reflect the stark and desolate mood of the piece better than prose. All of these influences tied together and found a place in the Death of the Wave.