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Monday, September 20, 2021

Author Talk: Jason Mallory

In his new novel Proxy, author Jason Mallory has imagined a trying future. In his world, robots replace human workers, politics are deeply divisive, the United Nations struggles to keep order and the U.S. is on the brink of civil war… and yet, this world is not so different from our own. Mallory will be conducting a presentation about his novel on Tuesday from 12 to 1 p.m. in The Bookstore Lounge at the Memorial Union, as well as an event at The Avid Reader (located at 617 Second Street) at 4 p.m. on November 24. These events are free to the public.

MUSE: Can you give us a brief introduction?
Mallory: My name’s Jason Mallory. I’m 31 years old, from California. I’ve lived in Davis before.

Can you describe your writing and/or creative process?
It starts with a good idea or concept, and the story unfolds around it. I write in screenplay format to develop scenes and then bring [them] into literary format.

When did you decide to begin writing?
I started writing when I came back from a trip to Europe. I had an injury, so I couldn’t do much. Downtime from injuries due to snowboarding gave me time to write two books and a screenplay.

Which authors would you cite as inspiration?
Aldous Huxley, I would say, is an inspirational writer, but honestly I watch more movies than anything. I watch about a movie a day.

Where did the inspiration for Proxy come from?
Essentially from the concept for a representative robotic labor force. It bubbled up in my first book, as utilizing robotics to free society from a working-class system. I’ve had special studies in political science. I also helped start the Occupy movement in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Proxy uses real-world concepts as inspiration. Why did you choose “hard” science fiction as a genre, as opposed to more traditional sci-fi?
I think it has to do with a motive; I had a real concept and elaborated on that. I had a good idea and wanted to explain it with a story. I think science fiction is better when it has science in it and not just fiction.

Your novel has been described as being extremely relevant in today’s world. Did you write Proxy with a specific message in mind?
Yes, the issue of robotics making humans obsolete in the labor force is a real and growing issue. The reason for the book is that I’ve created a plausible and permanent solution to that problem.

The setting of Proxy is very similar to our own. How would you say that your personal views of the world influenced your writing?
Writing is a communication. Anything that I can interpret from my view is what’s going to come out.

What can we expect from you in the future?
Yet to be seen. I hope to be able to make a movie out of Proxy; that’s my goal.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Experience life, figure out your passions and then explain them.

To receive an e-book copy for free, please visit jasnmallory.wix.com/proxy and enter the code “UW27J.” The code will be active through the rest of 2012. Mallory will also be embarking on a book tour in 2013.

BRETT BUNGE can be reached at arts@theaggie.org.

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