“Nova’s Blade” is a dystopian young adult fiction book released in February this year with a story that has something for people of all ages and leaves readers on the edge of their seat as they flip through the pages.
In a recent interview with The Hilltop, author Brandon Lawson, who uses the pen name Will Sci-fi, mentioned that he prefers using his writing to create discussions about real-life events.
“I like to use fiction to bring awareness to reality, instead of just telling people about it. I can show them through a fictional lens, and it draws their attention to real-life issues,” Lawson said.
Lawson is a 24-year-old from Antioch, California, a town about 45 minutes from San Francisco. He currently works as an English teacher at Pittsburg High School in Pittsburg, CA while studying at California State University – East Bay as an MBA student.
“Nova’s Blade” is set in the distant future in a post-war society known as the Corporate States of America, where citizens must pay subscriptions to receive public services such as treatment in hospitals or protection by the law and the forces of order.
As global society has become more dependent on advanced technologies, the planet has entered into an intergalactic war. Political and governmental affairs are increasingly influenced by commercial interests and as a result corporations have replaced nation states in the global economy and governments are run by corporations.
The protagonist, Nova, comes from a poor family and under-resourced community known as “the Shed”, but is cast in the popular television show, The Last Valkyrie. The show is an annual 32-woman “death battle” style competition in which the winner wins a fortune and the remaining contestants face fatal consequences.
In her quest for fortune, Nova encounters several challenges along the way, such as dealing with love, friendship, trusting her competitors, and leaving her family.
“Nova’s Blade” explores notions such as the use of coercion to achieve one’s goals, personal sacrifice, ingratitude or never being satisfied, and corporatism, which is the idea that government responds to the needs of groups of people. wealthy interests.
The book has many parallels with society, including an adversarial relationship between citizens and government, corporate greed, an indigenous population experiencing political violence, and the widespread use of narcotics.
The novel also describes a mutually beneficial and interdependent relationship between the government and the corporations in the media industry. In the story, media productions, such as the hugely popular TV show “The Last Valkyrie”, are used to distract citizens from extremely unfavorable political decisions.
The novel’s plot remains unpredictable as the story progresses, and the book’s ending leaves the reader yearning for more and contemplating the possibility of a sequel.
As a fan of sci-fi movies and novels, Lawson has watched over 500 movies over the past seven years and has mentioned that the themes found in the book are influenced by his interest in futuristic ideas, the concept of ‘a very limited government in society, as well as real-life events.
“I started writing the book in 2020, during the pandemic, the election cycle, and the public reaction to the unlawful killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. In my opinion, I saw that we thought the government would save people, but it’s more of an absence,” Lawson said.
“I took the opposite of Orwell’s ‘1984’ and took it to an extreme level where there are no public services and people are at the mercy of corporations. This is not a pro-government or anti-government statement, but demonstrates how oppressive corporate government can be,” he continued.
Besides “Nova’s Blade” being a gripping story that stirs strong emotions in readers, the book also benefits from Lawson’s writing style, which is digestible for most audiences. Lawson provides multiple perspectives on the events that occur in the book, offering ample evidence of each character’s motivations.
Lawson said he wanted the book’s main findings to be open to readers’ interpretation, but thinks a central argument of the book is that people can endure their situation no matter what.
Lawson also mentioned that in addition to working on a sequel to “Nova’s Blade,“He’s open to the possibility of a cartoon or a TV show if there’s interest.
“I plan to write a sequel at the end of this year or in 2023. I believe that my role as author and teacher allows me to have a greater impact on young people in our society. I plan to grow in this role and see how much I can help,” he said.
Copy edited by: N’dia Webb