This is my stop during the blog tour for The Jade Rebellion by Alanna Mackenzie. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 18 February till 3 March. See the tour schedule here.
A reckoning. A rebellion. The worlds of artificial intelligence and ancient magic collide.
Crystal City glistens with diamonds, but its dazzling beauty comes at a deadly price. The capital of Khalendar thrives on a steady supply of gemstones from the neighboring Barrens, a colony of the Empire.
Walter Saltanetska translates AI code for the Khalendar government, helping to breathe life into the ambitious vision of the AI Masters. When Walter discovers a terrible secret which could destroy the life of his lover, Elaine, he decides to tell her despite strict orders to keep what he translates confidential.
What begins as a catastrophe eventually grows into a rebellion. Elaine is taken captive by the AI Masters, and Walter must do everything in his power to rescue her. He starts his quest with a single goal in mind, finding Elaine, but along the way Walter discovers that saving her is only a small part of his destiny. During his travels, he encounters a long-lost relative, a warrior matriarch, and a mystical kingdom forgotten to time. Yet Walter’s true journey occurs not in physical space, but the captivating depths of his mind.
An inventive blend of dystopian science-fiction and fantasy, the Jade Rebellion explores whether we can overcome technological determinism by preserving history, nature, spirituality, and ultimately, our humanity.
You can find The Jade Rebellion on Goodreads
Author Guest Post:
What Inspires the Author to be a Writer?
Ever since I was a child, I’ve wanted to write fiction – not really for any specific reason, but simply because I enjoy telling stories. I wrote my first novel, The Jade Rebellion, for that same reason: I love storytelling. I think there are other, deeper motivations behind writing this novel, too. I have always considered myself an environmentalist, and I believe that writing The Jade Rebellion was a way for me to imagine solutions to environmental issues and other complex problems besetting our world today.
At first glance, my novel appears to be simply a book about artificial intelligence. When I started out brainstorming the conception behind the novel, I certainly did not consider the environment at all. For me, the process of imagining the story began with the story itself, and the characters – and, I’ll admit, some fairly dramatic music and mood lighting. I knew that I wanted to write about robots, maybe because I love season 1 of Westworld, (although I did come up with the idea for the story before Westworld aired :)), or maybe because I am fascinated by the ethical and philosophical implications of playing God by creating an entire new, artificial species. Perhaps because the issues that are most dear to us are often in our thoughts, even if only on a subconscious level, as the process of writing the story unfolded, I discovered that what I was writing was not simply about artificial intelligence. My story was not just about a technology-obsessed city in a dystopian society thousands of years in the future, nor was it just about a brilliant computer programmer who betrays the government after he falls in love with a humble girl from a faraway land. Sure, it was about those things too, but I soon realized that what it was really about was the world we are living in today.
One thing I have always liked about science-fiction/dystopian novels is that they help the reader make sense of the world they are living in right now. Many classic dystopian novels do this: think of 1984, by George Orwell, for instance, or The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. These books are set in entirely different times and places than the times or places they were written or read in – and yet we read them and see glimpses of ourselves, our family members, and our friends in the characters.
While I was writing my novel, I realized that I was creating a world that was entirely new and unlike anything I had ever imagined before, but at the same time, one that had some unsettling parallels with the world we live in today. A world where destructive practices of resource extraction, oppression of indigenous peoples, and insatiable economic growth, are embedded into the very fabric of human society. A world where humans increasingly live and make their homes in urban geographies which are shaped by consumerism, capitalism, and technologies which profoundly influence our thoughts, emotions, and memories. I realized too, that in writing my novel, I was not only trying to make sense of the problematic aspects of our world but also trying to imagine potential solutions to those problems.
So why do I write (fiction)? I guess the answer is that I write because I want to make sense of the world, in part by creating a different one. The question of why I write is also closely connected with the question of why I read, and why I believe reading fiction is so important. I believe that we can’t simply read textbooks, scholarly articles, or Wikipedia, to learn everything there is to know about the world. I mean, in theory that might be possible, but it likely wouldn’t be very effective. As humans, our minds have evolved to absorb, learn and retain information through storytelling. Research has shown that narratives, rather than scientific facts, provide the basis for many people to accept or reject climate change, for instance. If teaching people about the environment can best be done by means of a completely fictional story, then I am more than happy to be a storyteller, a teacher, and an environmentalist, all at the same time.
About the Author:
Alanna Mackenzie lives in Vancouver, Canada. She holds degrees in History, French studies, and Law from the University of British Columbia. An environmentalist at heart, she believes in using the law as a tool for social and environmental change. When she is not pursuing that passion, she can be found brainstorming the next chapter in her novels, playing Irish fiddle tunes on the violin, and hiking West Coast trails.
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of The Jade Rebellion. One winner will win a physical copy of The Jade Rebellion by Alanna Mackenzie (US Only).
For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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