Friday, November 30, 2012

A Secret about Dark Space

Shh! Don't tell anyone, but I've got a secret. My boys from Dark Space, Brady and Cam? They're Aussie boys.

Not that I mention that in Dark Space. Not that Australia even exists in the near future where Dark Space is set. In fact, the only recognisable geography that I mention? Quebec. Yeah, I don't know why either. 

Brady and Cam are both from Fourteen Beta which, in my head at least, is Australia. And Brady is from a very specific part of Australia: the north-west of Queensland, in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Most of Dark Space is set on the station, but I wanted to give Brady a unique part of the world to be homesick for; something that was just his. Brady describes home here: 

We were sitting on a paddock of red dirt dotted with clumps of scrubby grass. About fifty meters away, cockatoos screamed in the line of trees that marked the riverbank. Follow that riverbank east, and around the bend you would see the stacks. You would see the smoke pouring from them and hear the bash of metal on metal as it reverberated through the town and rattled the walls of the fibro shacks.

Follow the riverbank west, and you would hit the mudflats, the mangroves, the rotted pylons of the old jetty, and the rusted croc traps half-submerged in the saltwater.

Although, I've just realised...the cockatoos probably give it away, right?

Yeah, I'm fairly sure the guy on the left is mocking me. Cockatoos give great mock. 

The Earth of Dark Space is one that has been almost destroyed by the alien race the Faceless, so-called because... well, you'll see. I didn't world-build for Dark Space so much as world-destroy. National boundaries no longer exist. Major cities are nothing but ruins. There was a massive refugee crisis, and there still kind of is. Three generations ago, Brady's hometown was a refugee camp. Now it's a town-by-default, because there was nowhere else for people to go. 

Which brings me to another Australian thing: the word reffo

This was an offensive term for refugees that arrived in Australia post-World War Two. You'll read it a lot in Dark Space, because, whether we like it or not, the first things that rear their ugly heads in times of crisis are our oldest prejudices. 

Dark Space is out from Loose Id on December 4.


J.A. Rock said...

Haha, awesome! I love the cockatoos.

Random question I've always wanted to ask someone with an accent different from mine: when you read a book with American characters, do they still have Aussie accents in your head? I know when I read Harry Potter, all those British kids had American accents in my brain.

Lisa said...

I love cockatoos! They're loud, rude, obnoxious, and scream abuse at everything. Weirdly, they're everything I hate in people. But package it all up in a bird, and it words. Nice one, Nature.

That is a really good question about accents...I think everyone in my head has a default Australian accent, either until a movie version comes out and then they have their actor's voice, or until I hit a word that just doesn't work. Like "y'all". It's impossible to imagine"y'all" in an Aussie accent.

J.A. Rock said...

Haha! "Y'all" doesn't even work in my default American accent. I have to quick switch to Southern mode.