To have a multicultural crew comes quite naturally when it’s an international expedition. I’ve still gotten the a bit bizarre question if it “isn’t a bit too P.C.” to have that many cultures (and women!) represented in the crew.
Author of Nomadplaneten
Back in May I read a book called Nomadplaneten [eng.: The Nomad Planet], it is now one of the few sci-fi stories I’ve read and I was impressed. It deals with a lot of questions and themes that are relevant today and I wanted to know more. Luckily the author, Emanuel Blume, is such a nice person that he took time to answer the few questions I had. So if you want to know more about the background to a story that deals with the effects of climate change, terrorism, multiculturalism and international cooperation, this might very well interest you.
Note: The interview is translated into English since it was done in Swedish. I am not a professional translator.
Interview with Emanuel Blume
Author of Nomadplaneten
Q: Nomadplaneten discusses very relevant subjects – global warming, terrorism and international cooperation – despite the fact it is set a 100 years into the future. Are these subjects you feel strongly about and what would you do to avoid a scenario like that described in Nomadplaneten?
A: I’m working in the environmental field and have an education in environmental physics, so it most certainly are subjects close to my heart. But the thought with Nomadplaneten was not that it would be a story saying “we need to save the world”, but how we would react if we actually couldn’t. Would we deny everything? Would we mourn? Blame each other? And what happens then? Exactly like the main character Jonathan has to deal with his loss. I don’t want to tell the reader that this or that is important for the community or planet, there are so many doing that already. People usually know what’s needed, it isn’t that hard really and it’s about each generation living a life that gives the next generation the same opportunities to an equally good life. Details about carbon dioxide, eating meat, natural resources, peace and solidarity etc. can be found to read about in a thousand other places.
Q: Has it required a lot of preparatory work to create the story? What has been most difficult?
A: It required quite a lot of preparatory work, I read a lot about both astronomy and climate change and calculated quite a lot on how fast the spaceship would have to travel, what the gravity would be when Gilead would need to be discovered and so on. The first version of the manuscript was a lot heavier with facts and it was hard to take away that much that had taken time to research, but it would’ve been too heavy otherwise. A lot of it is still there, between the lines.
The most difficult part was to portray the people. I’ve written a lot of scientific reports and similar while studying, so that I was used to, but I was afraid I wouldn’t manage to portray believable human beings. Emotions, wills, personalities and all of those things. I still think that is the most difficult part.
/…/ the thought with Nomadplaneten was not that it would be a story saying “we need to save the world”, but how we would react if we actually couldn’t.
Author of Nomadplaneten
Q: I applaud your decision to have such a multicultural and faceted crew. If you’d had yet another crew member, what kind of person would that be?
A: To have a multicultural crew comes quite naturally when it’s an international expedition. I’ve still gotten the a bit bizarre question if it “isn’t a bit too P.C.” to have that many cultures (and women!) represented in the crew. I’d rather say it is a consciously made quota to get in more people from the Nordic countries (three of eight crew members are from the Nordic countries), mostly because I myself is from there and wanted to get a bit more of that perspective. If I had put in another crew member (execpt Hernàndez, who were supposed to be) it would probably have been another American, a Japanese or maybe an Icelander. Maybe someone from an Asian highland, like Kazakhstan. It would have needed too be a country that hadn’t been too impacted by the global warming.
Q: Lastly I want to ask what writing plans you have next?
A: I have a new idea for a novel that I plan on starting writing in November, during NaNoWriMo. But it will be a while before it is done, and as a minor project I acutally plan on releasing a series of read short stories on Storytel, with an exciting overarching plot connecting them. Most of the short stories I’ve already written, most of them being something between sci-fi and thriller. Maybe release them once a week for two months, like a series. No dates decided on yet, but it would be fun to release the first around New Year!
BONUS Q: Have you ever visited Finland?
A: Sadly not. I sang together with a guy from Finland a long time ago, and we talked a bit about going to Finland to play, but it never happened. It would have been very fun. I visited the Faroe Islands this summer and would like to experience more of the Nordic countries.
Thank you so much to Emanuel Blume for agreeing to this interview!