Title of book and/or series:
Surviving the Improbable Quest
Brief summary of the story:
Allan mysteriously arrives on Lan Darr, a planet with three moons, poisonous plants, and watchful shadows. A stone wall towers over him, hiding a dense and ancient city. He needs to escape the dark forest whose trees are marked with blood and find his way home. Trouble is, Allan is a paraplegic and his wheelchair is nowhere to be seen.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
The inhabitants of Lan Darr are as advanced as humans were in the 1800’s and just as brutal to each other as well. The rulers of the city of Dantia own slaves and do as they please, especially at the expense of weaker individuals. Allan is in for quite a rude awakening when he’s shoved into a cage by an ornery creature shaped like an ostrich but with a much larger, crooked beak and bloodshot eyes.
If we were to visit Lan Darr as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
First of all, I would recommend going with an armed group of guards. Once you’ve obtained the proper permits from Killian Crow, I’d recommend visiting the capital city of Dantia. It’s traversed by canals and the buildings are ten stories tall or more. The food is very diverse and Dantians do love their sweets.
What dangers should we avoid in Lan Darr?
The pyramid-shaped flowers have a sharp piston tucked inside their delicate petals that pack quite a punch. Its effects have been likened to sticking your finger in a light socket. If you run into this plant by accident, jump into the canal, then, while submerged, remove the piston from your skin. The pain will fade in an hour or so.
I’d also avoid the Jibbawk’s territory. It’s a hunter and always looking for its next meal. If you see a red ‘X’ on the trunk of a tree, get out of there.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Dantia?
Yes. Dantians serve crispy baguette style breads with different types of spreads. Nupkinkle spread tastes very much like whipped cream and cherries. Nupkinkle spread contains red seedpods. They’re soft and velvety and about the size of a nickel. The texture has frightened away many travelers, but bite into it and the juices are magnificent!
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Dantia?
Killian Crow and his policemen have various tools at their disposal, but most notable are the shock poles. Shock poles are powered by rare energy crystals and last a thousand years when used as a light source. When used in shock poles, they die in about five years. The underground Tinkers, a society of free thinkers, steal the energy crystals from shock poles so that the people of Dantia have a light source other than candles.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Dantia?
Narrow boats are used to traverse the canal system. It’s a wonderful, quiet way to get around the city. The city is thirty miles across and has many exciting events going on, including circuses and traveling sideshows. If you can’t get to them by boat you’ll have to walk.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Lan Darr that we don’t see on Earth?
Hetaphants are very popular. They are elephant-like creatures that are used to build things and to carry large stones to construction sites. They are intelligent and caring. They help Allan in a desperate time of need, to his surprise.
I’d also like to mention the pesky Chicubs that crawl into buildings and steal things and have similar dispositions as Earth ferrets, though not as cute.
Mytheather is also a wonderful plant. It’s as strong as steal and as flexible as a spider’s web.
Is there any advanced or unusual technology in Dantia?
The most famous of the Tinkers is Mizzi. He’s constructed blimps, a rudimentary engine and even powered exoskeleton legs for Allan with an energy crystal. He lives in humble surroundings, believing that his inventions are only to help others and not himself. When Allan meets him, Allan knows he’s found a friend on this strange planet. Hope seems a little more attainable.
Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Dantia.
The Testing. There is only one way for a slave to be freed in Dantia. They have to pass a series of dangerous, and sometimes fatal, tests. The tests change every year but they push the contestants to the very edge.
What is the political or government structure in Dantia? Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
Killian Crow is the leader and he rules with an iron fist. It is his way, or no way.
Anderson Atlas is an author and illustrator from Tucson, Arizona. He’s driven to bring thrilling stories, hopeful messages, and such enchanting hooks that young adults will experience the spark that reading ignites.
As an illustrator, Anderson is dedicated to pairing his stories with stunning visuals. He believes that reading is essential to happiness and so is art. Combining the two is a symbiotic act of his creation process.
When Anderson is not drawing or writing he’s hiking with his 6 year old daughter, playing guitar, reading, sailing or watching movies with his wife and step-son.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book?
Where can readers connect with you online?
Thank you for reading and I sincerely hope you like Allan Westerfield: Off-World.