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Darkness Makes Mythic Real

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Post  Blackmoon on Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:41 am

Best-selling SF/fantasy author Peter David has said that his latest novel, Darkness of the Light, takes place in a distant future where the Earth has been overrun with races of beings previously thought purely mythical in nature.

"Having hunted humanity nearly into extinction, the Twelve Races have now turned upon each other and are engaged in ferocious wars, only to discover that their continued existence may well rest in the hands of a single human female named Jepp, ... but Jepp has disappeared," David said in an interview.

Jepp is a woman born into slavery who finds herself unexpectedly free from servitude when her lord and master is killed in battle, David said. "She falls in with a group of 'Bottom Feeders,' scavengers from a mixed bag of races who eke out an existence traveling from one battle to the next and picking up supplies, weapons and such from the bodies of the fallen," he said.

At its heart, Darkness of the Light is about being pigeonholed into a specific aspect of society and endeavoring to break out of that hole—to rise above what people's perceptions of you are, David said. "As a genre writer, one is always dealing with preconceptions of what you write and what you should be writing," he said. "So I can certainly sympathize with characters who are seen in a certain way and want to be seen in a different way."

The novel was inspired by David's desire to write something on a far greater tapestry than he'd ever worked on before, he said. "I was torn between the notion of doing something science-fiction-based and something fantasy-based and then decided it might be interesting to blend the two," David said. "[The idea was ] to play with the notion that any of the creatures who are traditionally fantasy-based—cyclops, vampires, dwarves, etc.—actually had their roots in science fiction concepts. Things just sort of developed from there."

David has never before worked with such a far-ranging cast, he said. "I've [also] never really done such a major job of world building," David said. "I had to make extensive notes ahead of time to try and keep everything straight."

A new novella by David, set in the world of his popular Sir Apropos of Nothing series, will be featured in the September anthology Heroes in Training, he said. David said he also has new projects forthcoming from Del Rey and HarperCollins, which will "push the envelope" of what people expect from him. —John Joseph Adams
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