Lower Decks Press is thrilled to announce the upcoming release of Cold Rising: A Cold Rush Novella by Rohan O'Duill, available in print and eBook on September 1st.
In today's feed, we introduce our newest publication, tantalize readers with a special offer in celebration of LDP's First Anniversary, and share a Q&A with Cold Rising author Rohan O'Duill.
Cold Rising: A Cold Rush Novella
After a job gone wrong, Special Agent Olgo is trapped within the bowels of Mars with no means of escape. The device that imprisons the trauma within them is about to fail, and the past terrors kept hidden by it must be contained for Olgo’s sanity and everyone's safety.
From the darkness comes a tiny voice, and a tinier hope: "Hello?"
The first book in the ‘Cold Rush' Verse follows Agent Olgo as their corporate masters give them what could be their big break: a mission to Mars.
But trying to change the working conditions in the planet's underground cities proves more challenging than the agent could have imagined. When a wearable device Olgo uses to block emotions begins to fail, an unlikely friendship changes everything as Olgo struggles to prevent spilling more blood on the Red Planet.
In celebration of our First Anniversary, Lower Deck Press is pleased to offer free ePub versions of our short story anthologies Into the Unknown and Beyond Human from September 1st to the 3rd. If you haven't read these amazing collections of new science fiction, we encourage you to download them and enjoy!
Q&A with Cold Rising author Rohan O'Duill
1. Briefly, what is the story of Cold Rising and what inspired you to write it?
Cold Rising tells the story of two main characters. The first, Olgo, is a special agent tasked with improving the working conditions in the Martian underground metropolis. Olgo sees this mission as a stepping stone in their career and has little interest in the plight of the Martian people. The second, Suong, is a 12-year-old girl who works in a clothing company on Mars. After both MCs end up on the wrong side of the local cartel, they are thrown together and must work as a team to escape the caverns and what lurks there.
The inspiration to write this book definitely comes from the golden age sci-fi that I consumed en masse as a teenager. In my twenties I moved away from reading sci-fi and only returned to it in my forties. While there are a lot of amazing sci-fi books out now, I missed the golden age style that I was used to. My writing now is an attempt to blend that older style with modern themes.
2. Cold Rising is the first in a series of books set in your Cold Rush universe. Tell us a little about the setting how this particular story fits into it.
We first drop into the Cold Rush verse in the year 2322. After an AI war in the 2070s, tech companies took power from nation states. The tech companies now battle it out for resources at the edge of the solar system (The Cold) while the UN referees. But some of the tech companies are planning for something big as one CEO dabbles in banned AI technology and another finds God and tries to atone for her previous misdeeds. The latter CEO sends Olgo to improve the working conditions on Mars.
The Cold Rush novellas will be a set of standalone books that are part of a bigger story in the Cold Rush verse.
3. Olgo is an unconventional protagonist in several interesting ways, such as being emotionally inhibited (literally, by technology) and non-binary. What fascinated you about this particular character?
A few years back I read an article written about someone who had a condition that inhibited emotions. What the article found was that while the individual struggled with plenty of parts of their life, they were extremely effective at their job and surprisingly good at reading people. I found this very interesting and thought it could be a fascinating idea to play with in a character such as a special agent.
I have written over a dozen POV characters through the Cold Rush verse and I have tried to make it a diverse cast. Currently, non-binary people are often misunderstood and marginalised in our society. I believe and hope that people will be free to be themselves, whatever that is, in the future.
4. What themes and ideas should readers be thinking about as they approach Cold Rising?
While I set out to make the Cold Rush stories entertaining first and foremost, there are definitely strong themes within this book. I explore the possible dangers of AI and big tech as well as our very questionable consumer habits, where we buy cheap products from countries with terrible working conditions and human rights abuse records. At the heart of this quite dark book is the idea of found family and the power of connection between people.