My novel D’Arc is the third book in the War With No Name series, which tells of a global conflict between humans and sentient animals. Amid the chaos, a cat named Mort(e) searches for his lost love—a dog named Sheba. Along with its apocalyptic themes, the book discusses the failures of political systems, the power of superstition, and the tribal impulse that drives all species. Below are some of the books that helped to inspire and inform D’Arc, separated by theme.
THE END OF THE WORLD
The War With No Name series is firmly set within the postapocalyptic genre. I’m drawn to these kinds of stories not only because of the Mad Max movies I grew up with, but because of the sense of upheaval, the reset, that comes with them. With a clean slate, people have the opportunity to start anew or to recreate the world of the past. But try as they might, they cannot avoid repeating the same mistakes that unraveled the former world.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
If you haven’t been browbeaten into reading this book yet, allow me to join in the bullying. Atwood’s novel captures the frustration and the stunned silence that would accompany a complete overhaul of society. The protagonist Offred has no choice but to adapt, and her ability to do so surprises her. This book was so influential for me that I used this line as the epigraph for the first book. “God is love, they once said, but we reversed that…” And really, that sums everything up. Continue reading
D’arc by Robert Repino: “Far removed from this newly emerging civilization, a housecat turned war hero named Mort(e) lives a quiet life with the love he thought he had lost, a dog named Sheba. But before long, the chaos that they escaped comes crashing in around them. In the twilight of all life on Earth, love survives, but at a cost that only the desperate and the reckless are willing to pay.”
No One Can Pronounce My Name by Rakesh Satyal: “In a suburb outside Cleveland, a community of Indian Americans has settled into lives that straddle the divide between Eastern and Western cultures. Rakesh Satyal’s No One Can Pronounce My Name is a distinctive, funny, and insightful look into the lives of people who must reconcile the strictures of their culture and traditions with their own dreams and desires.”
The Leavers by Lisa Ko: “One morning, Deming Guo’s mother, Polly, an undocumented Chinese immigrant, goes to her job at a nail salon—and never comes home. Set in New York and China, The Leavers is a moving story of how a boy comes into his own when everything he loves is taken away, and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of the past.”
Also this month: Fiction Advocate will interview Sarah Dickensen Snyder and talk to Jess Arndt about the release of Large Animals.
Should 2016 be forgot and never brought to mind…
There are, no doubt, a few people who love Donald Trump, hate music, don’t like zoo animals and despise beloved actors and actresses. For the rest of us, 2016 was terrible.
This calls for distractions. We asked Fiction Advocate contributors to tell us which books they read this year that helped them forget, even for fleeting moments, that David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Gwen Ifill, Prince, and America — UPDATE: and George Michael and Carrie Fisher and her mom, Debbie Reynolds — died over the last 12 months.
In what may be the only happy coincidence of the year, the vast majority of the recommendations below come from a few people who have some of the most important things to say about 2016: Continue reading
Culdesac by Robert Repino comes out today!
It’s the only story ever written about a bloodthirsty bobcat with opposable thumbs who fights against a ragtag band of humans on behalf of an army of giant ants. Set in the same world as Mort(e) and its soon-to-be-released sequel, D’Arc, this is a crucial episode in Repino’s series about the War With No Name, a brilliantly bonkers cross between Watership Down and old Rambo movies, whose real-life political undertones grow more relevant each day.
We asked the author one question.
How are you celebrating the publication of Culdesac?