Interview: Jess C. ScottPosted by Psychochild
Jess contacted us with news about her new book, The Other Side of Life which combines Urban Fantasy and Cyberpunk. She offered to do an interview, so we took her up on the offer before she changed her mind. ;) This is her first book in a series, and she’s offering free copies to people willing to do advance reviews. Read to the end if you’re interested.
1. Share your vital data with us: Who are you? What have you done? Why should we adore you?
I’m an author/artist/non-conformist (and English/Business senior at Adams State College). I’ve been tweaking The Other Side of Life, the first book in an urban fantasy/cyberpunk series for some time, because I wanted the concept of “cyberpunk elves” to be more than a marketing label. My debut book was a blog/IM novel; my second book was a multiple-genre-crossing erotic short story collection. My resistance to crass commercialism (at the expense of authenticity and originality) is probably due to the fact that I’m an uber ambitious INFJ (with a “vision” and “purpose”)!
2. What got you into cyberpunk?
Bladerunner concept art! I first had the idea for “cyberpunk elves” in late 2008. Some meanderings eventually led me to understand the soul/attitude of cyberpunk (kinda roundabout; just the way I do things / I like chaotic order).
3. What element of cyberpunk really appeals to you now?
a) The negative impact of technology on humanity
b) The rigidly divided social order + corporate control
c) The blurred divisions between man and machine
These are relevant in the present day, and are the cyberpunk concepts which have guided me throughout the evolution of the book’s plot.
4. What is your favorite cyberpunk work (other than your own)? How has this work influenced you?
William Gibson’s Neuromancer, George Orwell’s 1984 (the novel kind of is the genesis of cyberpunk literature), and the works of Alvin Toffler.
I liked the first for its visual power and imagery, and setting the tone for the genre. I found the second very stylish also–I love George Orwell’s keen intelligence, wit, profound awareness of social injustice, intensity, and passion for clarity in language. The third, well, he’s a brilliant genius (along with his wife, Heidi Toffler).
5. What are your biggest influences besides cyberpunk or urban fantasy works?
Anything/everything by Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, John Ruskin, Vladimir Nabokov, Roald Dahl, D. H. Lawrence, and many other “old school classics.”
6. What elements of urban fantasy resonate with cyberpunk?
Relevance (urban fantasy is set in contemporary times; cyberpunk is the near-future), and style.
Ethereal fantasy elements + Rebelliousness of cyberpunk = Edgy Chic (if I had to use a fashion term…).
7. How are your magical elves “cyberpunk”?
They’re counterculture hackers, and are self-identified outcasts within the Elven establishment. I have a bit of a parallel universe going on in the first book (as a subplot), and some bionic elements. They’re underground (metaphorically, and literally). I’ll have some “variant hominid species” concept going on in the second book. I let the details evolve along the way, for the characters to capture the soul of cyberpunk.
P.S. They’re Tolkienesque elves, in terms of stature (not the Santa type elves, which I personally prefer to call gnomes or pixies). Not all of them have long hair.
8. What do you think is the most important issue facing the today that was predicted by cyberpunk?
There are so many. If I had to settle on one, I think it’d be the impact of technology on the human race, partly because of its pervasiveness and speed of advancement. The impact on us–physiologically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually–is significant, yet easy to ignore/dismiss, due to the convenience and relative “harmlessness” of electronic communications.
Futuristically-speaking, this inspired a speculative short story I wrote called Evolution (published by Xenith @ http://www.xenith.net/xenithmag/jess-c-scott-evolution/).
9. What do you think is the future of cyberpunk?
It won’t be a genre–it’ll be the way of life.
10. Anything else you’d like to share?
Most of my work blends/crosses several genres. I tend to focus on the storyline + characters, more so than genre (though genre is important also…to an extent).
P.S. I am offering a free PDF copy of the novel to early reviewers (open to readers worldwide) — more details @ http://elventrilogy.wordpress.com/
Jess’s Website: http://jesscscott.com/
Jess’s Facebook: http://facebook.com/jesscscott
Jess’s Twitter: http://twitter.com/jesscscott
Book Site: http://elventrilogy.wordpress.com/
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Thanks for the interview, Jess.
Her books definitely sound interesting. Perhaps some of you will take her up on that offer.