Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Created to be a weapon - The Deep Beneath (H.A.L.F) by Natalie Wright

H.A.L.F. 9 has taken his first breath of desert air and his first steps in the human world. Created to be a weapon, he proved too powerful for his makers and has lived a sedated life hidden from humans. But H.A.L.F. 9 has escaped the underground lab he called home, and the sedation has worn off. He has never been more alive. More powerful. Or more deadly.


H.A.L.F. 9 has taken his first breath of desert air and his first steps in the human world. Created to be a weapon, he proved too powerful for his makers and has lived a sedated life hidden from humans. But H.A.L.F. 9 has escaped the underground lab he called home, and the sedation has worn off. He has never been more alive. More powerful. Or more deadly.

Erika Holt longs to ride her motorcycle east until pavement meets shore. She bides her time until graduation when she’ll say adios to the trailer she shares with her alcoholic mother and memories of her dead father. But a typical night in the desert with friends thrusts Erika into a situation more dangerous than she ever imagined.

Circumstances push the two together, and each must make a fateful choice. Will Erika help H.A.L.F. 9 despite her “don’t get involved” rule? And will H.A.L.F. 9 let Erika live even though he was trained to kill?

The two may need to forget their rules and training and if either is to survive the dangers of the deep beneath them.

Exploring Modern Alien Mythology: H.A.L.F. 

When writing fantasy and sci fi stories, writers often tap into the great and glorious world of time-honored mythology to anchor their books in the fantastic. I accessed this ancient well of story fodder in my first series, The Akasha Chronicles, steeped in Celtic mythology and lore. It was great fun to research ancient myths and legends and explore how they still speak to us in our modern world. 

But when I set out to write a new science fiction series (H.A.L.F.), I decided to focus on modern myth, legend and lore by focusing on alien mythology and the government conspiracies related to it. When writing H.A.L.F., I assumed that the myths surrounding the Roswell crash event were all true. What if a flying saucer in fact crashed in the desert on a ranch near Roswell in 1947? What if the military did, in fact, recover not only crash debris but also alien bodies? 

It’s against this “mythical” backdrop that H.A.L.F.: The Deep Beneath is set. I chose not to create wholly new myth, but to add my own spin to some of the now nearly universally known stories of alien encounters. 

I’ve been fascinated with all things mythical, paranormal and supernatural since childhood. I read every book in my school’s small library in the “Supernatural” section. I think I read A Wrinkle in Time two or three times. 

It’s no surprise that as an adult I’m intrigued by alien mythology (and my own sighting of the “Phoenix Lights” in 1997 fueled this further). As I read books on the UFO phenomenon, MUFON newsletters, toured the Roswell museum, and watched every documentary I could find about ET’s and UFOs, the more fascinated I became with the idea that a new mythology has developed over the past seventy years or so. Aliens have become our new “gods”. The idea that we were created not by a divine being or merely by the process of natural selection, but that we exist due to ancient aliens meddling with the gene pool on Earth has grown from fringe thinking to reality for many people. This thinking has been popularized and perpetuated by writers such as Erich von Däniken (Chariots of the Gods), Zecharia Sitchin (The 12th Planet and other books), and by the show “Ancient Aliens” on the history channel. 

Keeping with the idea that aliens have become our new “gods”, ETs almost always have “supernatural” powers of some kind. The idea that a being from out there – from the heavens – will descend to our plane, possess powers beyond our own and become a savior is a popular theme of legend and myth. The continued popularity of characters such as Superman and Thor (both aliens) attest to the idea that humans look to “out there” to help us solve our problems. We can’t seem to get enough of these humanoid characters that are relatable yet better than we are. They’re smarter, stronger, and have abilities we can only dream of. Perhaps these characters fulfill our wishes, dreams and desire to be bigger and better than ourselves. Or maybe it’s our fear of the dangers that plague our world – from natural disasters to war and terrorism – that fuels our unquenchable need for superheroes to descend from the heavens and help us out of this mess. 

I had all of this in mind when writing The Deep Beneath. The story centers on a human main character, Erika Holt, and a human-alien hybrid character, H.A.L.F. 9 (aka Tex). In the first draft, Tex was a bit cute. He was more a mix of E.T. and Paul than like the murderous aliens in “Independence Day”. But as I got deeper into the project, I realized that a “cute” alien-human didn’t work. He was, after all, created (in my fictional world) to be a weapon. He’d been intentionally deprived of normal social interactions with humans and his education and access to information limited to what his creators deemed relevant. He needed to be more dangerous and less cute. 

While reworking the character, I endowed Tex with telekinesis. It seemed a logical ability for him to have as he has far greater intelligence than a typical human (and a trait often linked to the greys which is where Tex’s alien DNA comes from). Tex has access to regions of his brain that most humans aren’t even aware they have. Tex has some other abilities but I’ll leave those as a surprise for the reader! 

But I think the overarching reason that I write –and read – science fiction is to examine, through “alien” eyes, what it means to be human. Through alien characters, we can look at ourselves. Maybe this is what makes them so much fun to read, watch – and to write.

About the author:
Natalie is the author of H.A.L.F., a young adult science fiction series, and The Akasha Chronicles, a young adult fantasy trilogy. She lives in the high desert of Tucson, Arizona with her husband, tween daughter, and two young cats.

Natalie spends her time writing, reading, gaming, geeking out over nerd culture and cool science, hanging out on social media, and meeting readers and fans at festivals and comic cons throughout the western United States. She likes to walk in the desert, snorkel in warm waters, travel, and share excellent food and conversation with awesome people. She was raised an Ohio farm girl, lives in the desert Southwest, and dreams of living in a big city high rise


Unknown said...

I really enjoyed the excerpt and the guest post!
This sounds like a fascinating book! Thank you for sharing!

Sharon E said...

Loved the excerpt. Will be sure to read your e-book. Thanks.

felinewyvern said...

I love Science Fiction and especially anything with aliens or alien hybrids so this book went on my wishlist immediately.

Jan Lee said...

Even though this is geared towards young adults, I would like to read about the "hybrid" humans. I like the author's statement that through this writing we can look at ourselves :)

Stephanie LaPlante said...

This sounds super cool.

Audrey Stewart said...

What a great giveaway. I can't wait to read this. I do a lot of reading in the winter, when it's so cold outside.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the giveaway !

Juana said...

I would love to read this story.

steve weber said...

I like the excerpt - the science fiction genre is something that's new to me.

LauraJJ said...

Oh it sounds so good and like there will be alot of twists and turns! Cannot wait to read see what happens!

Dan Denman said...

I like the cover and description of the book. I am interested in the characters and their story.