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The Treasure Trove...
Author S. Z. Attwell

Posted: June 18, 2023

Please welcome fellow author S. Z. Attwell who wrote 'Aestus Book 1: The City', an amazing dystopian science fiction novel that I had the chance to read early in 2023. The book is a finalist of the SPSFC2 (Self-Published Science Fiction Competition), a well-deserved honor.

S. Z. AttwellWho is your favorite character in 'Aestus Book 1: The City'?

S. Z.: I have several favorite characters: Jossey, Gavin, Caspar, and probably Thompson, who is a lovable dork and who does his best. (Patrol Unit 2-5 in general is a lot of fun to write/read about.) Jossey is the main character, so of course I identify a lot with her and "experience" the story along with her for the most part, but Gavin and Caspar are also fascinating characters - Gavin is Mr. Handsome Patrol Commander and a pretty noble upright guy, easy to get into stock character territory, but he's very deep and complex and quite a feeling character; he experiences doubts about his role, frustration, ethical dilemmas, grief, etc....not to mention other things that I can't say for spoiler reasons. Caspar, too, is exceptionally complex. To be honest, I love them all (except the antagonists). They all have realistic motivations, emotions, etc. and it's so easy to sink into their world.

What was your inspiration for the book?

S. Z.: I was waiting for a very late bus in a miserably hot and humid bus tunnel as a thunderstorm was approaching, and wondered what would happen if, God forbid, climate change got worse - where would we go? I then thought "What if this bus were coming to take me down into the Earth to an underground city?"

Question from a Red Dragon Insider Reader:
How long have you been writing before publishing your first book?

S. Z.: Since I was very small. My first published story was when I was about six (a friend worked for a local press, so I wouldn't exactly call it "published" - it was a favor to us - but I was very excited). I've been trying to write novels since I was about 13.

What do you find the most challenging when writing a story?

S. Z.: I have to write the "real story" (in this case anyway) - and it has to all be in character. I have to make sure I'm not focusing on "plot" (events) at the expense of the characters - in my opinion, the plot comes from the characters + external constraints/events/etc., which is not how I initially thought about plot.

Aestus Book 1: The City by S. Z. AttwellAbout Aestus Book 1: The City

An underground city, built centuries ago to ride out the devastating heat. A society under attack. And a young solar engineer whose skills may be the key to saving her city…if she doesn’t get herself killed first.

When Jossey was ten, the creatures of the aboveground took her brother and left her for dead, with horrible scars. Now, years later, she’s a successful solar engineer, working to keep her underground city’s power running, but she’s never really recovered. After she saves dozens of people during a second attack, she is offered a top-secret assignment as a field Engineer with Patrol, but fear prevents her from taking it…until Patrol finds bones near where her brother disappeared.

She signs on and finds herself catapulted into a world that is far more dangerous, and requires far more of her, than she ever imagined. The creatures and the burning heat aboveground are not the only threats facing the City, and what she learns during her assignment could cost her her life: one of the greatest threats to the City may in fact lie within. With thousands of lives at stake, can she act in time?

Aestus is an adult dystopian science-fiction series set centuries after climate change has ravaged much of Earth. An epic story of vengeance, power, shifting loyalties, and survival that looks at just how far people will go to protect what they love, brought to you by science writer S.Z. Attwell, Aestus paints a picture of a world in which far too little has changed.

Get Aestus Book 1: The City


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About S. Z. Attwell

S. Z. Attwell S. Z. Attwell is a bestselling science-fiction author as well as a sci-comm writer. She is a member of the SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association) and her work has been featured in Simultaneous Times. The first book in her series Aestus was a 2021 finalist for the Kindle Book Award and a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree and is a finalist in the SPSFC2.

In her free time, she does photography and archery. She lives in the Boston area.

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Keywords:  Authors , Dystopian , Science-Fiction , The Treasure Trove


Also in the Series: The Treasure Trove

  1. The Treasure Trove... Author A. W. Davidson (August 9, 2022)
  2. The Treasure Trove... Author Casie Aufenthie (October 17, 2022)
  3. The Treasure Trove... Author Frasier Armitage (January 10, 2023)
  4. The Treasure Trove... Author S. Z. Attwell (June 18, 2023)
  5. The Treasure Trove... Author Paul Jameson (October 22, 2023)
  6. The Treasure Trove... Editor Kira Rubenthaler (November 16, 2023)
  7. The Treasure Trove... Artist Tom Edwards (November 18, 2023)
  8. The Treasure Trove... Alpha Reader Gaetan Clement (November 29, 2023)
  9. The Treasure Trove... Artist Sarah Obtinalla (December 8, 2023)
  10. The Treasure Trove... Author Hannah D. State (February 23, 2024)

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