Where did the idea for Jonesbridge come from? When I was a kid (late 70’s), fourth grade or so, I used to have an inexplicable fascination with drawing factories and chimney stacks belching smoke into the sky. I drew them tall and short and in perspective, no drawing complete until the the smoke filled the page. Thirty plus years later, I ran across one of those drawings in a stack of keepsakes at my mother’s house, and my eye was drawn from the edge of the page to the world under the smoke, a future world in a dark age where technology has been lost and with it the information we’ve amassed in the digital realm. A love story in a world of coal, smoke, rust, and salt.
Why do you think there is such a fascination with tales of a bleak
and dystopian future?
I think the idea of dystopia is familiar to us on a subconscious level. We read about it in the news, cry over it, squirm beneath the bureaucracies and injustices of police-state tactics and social inequality. The dystopian novel mimics microcosms of oppression found in all corners of our own world. Our own society would sound like dystopia if we were to describe it to someone in the 50’s. I think our attraction to stories of a dire future underscore our understanding of ourselves, that we are much more likely to overcome calamity than to avoid it. Perhaps our passion for dystopian fiction is a glimpse into the doomsday prepper that lives in each of us, a way we reassure ourselves of our own human will and capacity to survive anything.
Would you consider Jonesbridge a post-apocalyptic novel?
Yes and no. In Jonesbridge there is only a present, the past is almost as uncertain as the future, and the present exists without the weight of how it came to be looming over it. When knowledge is lost only speculation remains. A dark age. The apocalypse is more of a decay of a civilization that has rusted.
Why is salvage and repurpose such an important part of the novel?
Less and less of what the previous world, the Old Age, left behind survives due to repurpose and recycling, like the metal from an Old Age toy, when found, would have been melted down and used as a bullet casing. After a while, finding Old Age relics becomes difficult and makes them all the more valuable as a link to an unknown past.
Why Bora Bora?
Bora Bora is such a beautiful and far flung place, one that most people have never visited, that I could imagine it being less affected by the ills of the earth except for a rise in sea level, but it would be a great place to try for if you thought could make it.
If you could offer a bit of advice to a new arrival in Jonesbridge,
what would it be? Work as hard as you can to get graduate out of the salvage pit.
If the rations commissary in Jonesbridge were to ever offer a soup of
the day, what would it be?
Probably pumpkin stew, a local favorite, which varies by preparation but most commonly contains pumpkin rinds, brine tuber, and shin pine needles in goat fox stock.