England of the Future! Shari Sakurai talks about Perfect World (Perfect World series, Book #1)
“Perfect World was one of those stories that seemed to tell itself. I was working on the second draft of Demon’s Blood at the time and had reached a point where I needed to take a break from it, but beginning another novel wasn’t what I necessarily had in mind! The story just came to me last April (2013) and I was so taken with the premise that I couldn’t not write it down! I started working on a few draft chapters before going back to Demon’s Blood, but I continued to write the odd chapter alongside it until Demon’s Blood’s completion in late 2013.”
“Perfect World is set in a fictional version of London in 2115. Much of the world has been devastated by tsunamis, war and poverty. There is little trust and almost no contact between the countries that remain. England has virtually isolated itself with help from the defence shields and advanced technology that protects the major cities. I took many of the themes for Perfect World from topics that are relevant to us today.
Climate change is an ever-growing concern and issue, as is the controversial topic of genetic science to produce so called ‘designer babies’, and the rapidly advancing and impact of technology on peoples’ lives. This London, and England, is an interpretation of what could happen if things in our present are allowed to progress as they are and how people living in 2115 are effected as a result.”
“Whilst the London of future is virtually unrecognisable, famous and historical landmarks still feature in the form of archive footage. Archive footage was first developed before the great tsunamis to create virtual holiday packages. The idea was that you could purchase software which would allow you to visit a destination in virtual reality in the comfort of your own home. After the devastation the Government and L.S.A (London Security Agency) seized what footage remained and reclassified it as archive footage depicting cities and countries as they were. The footage was put into storage with limited access. Eric Rawlins, the novel’s protagonist, is particularly fond of viewing the archive footage and often ‘visits’ the Tower of London and the Natural History Museum.”
“Another of the novel’s themes is the developing relationship between Eric Rawlins and Adam Larimore. As Eric was brought up by the L.S.A as London’s hero, Eric and Adam are naturally adversaries when the novel begins. However, Eric learns that the L.S.A as its own agenda and that the people of London’s interests are not very high on this. A series of events mean that Eric finds himself in north London, which Adam had taken over before the novel begins. There he learns more about the Government and L.S.A’s role in controlling and deceiving the people. He also starts to see Adam in a new light. This causes quite a bit of conflict between both characters and they struggle to come to terms with their changing relationship as the novel progresses.”
“In some ways Eric and Adam are quite similar. Both were created for specific purposes. Eric was created to be a hero and to protect London and Adam as an heir to his father’s empire. When Eric learns of Adam’s past, he feels empathy with the villain, as he knows what it is like to be manipulated and used. Even though it causes him great conflict Eric begins to develop feelings for Adam. Adam’s feelings for Eric are more complex and are something that he struggles with. To an extent Adam keeps up a pretence and is terrified at the prospect of confronting his feelings, and events in his past. However, for the sake of them both, and the city, he may have to face up to them sooner than he is prepared for.”
Article originally published in the Shari Sakurai newsletter