Today we're excited to share Fonda Lee's Top 10 Behind the Scenes Facts About Exo as part of the YABC Scavenger Hunt! Read on for more about Fonda, her novel, and an extra giveaway! And don't forget to answer the question from this post on the Scavenger Hunt form for a chance to win the Grand Prize!
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Meet Fonda Lee!
Fonda Lee is the award-winning author of young adult science fiction novels Zeroboxer (Flux), an Andre Norton finalist, and Exo (Scholastic), a 2017 Junior Library Guild Selection. She is a recovering corporate strategist, a black belt martial artist, and an action movie aficionado. She loves a good Eggs Benedict. Born and raised in Calgary, Fonda now lives in Portland, Oregon with her family. She can be found online at www.fondalee.com and on Twitter @fondajlee.
It’s been a century of peace since Earth became a colony of an alien race with far reaches into the galaxy. Some die-hard extremists still oppose alien rule on Earth, but Donovan Reyes isn’t one of them. His dad holds the prestigious position of Prime Liaison in the collaborationist government, and Donovan’s high social standing along with his exocel (a remarkable alien technology fused to his body) guarantee him a bright future in the security forces. That is, until a routine patrol goes awry and Donovan’s abducted by the human revolutionary group Sapience, determined to end alien control.
When Sapience realizes whose son Donovan is, they think they’ve found the ultimate bargaining chip . But the Prime Liaison doesn’t negotiate with terrorists, not even for his own son. Left in the hands of terrorists who have more uses for him dead than alive, the fate of Earth rests on Donovan’s survival. Because if Sapience kills him, it could spark another galactic war. And Earth didn’t win the last one . . .
Ten Behind the Scenes Facts About Fonda Lee’s New Science Fiction Novel, Exo
The aliens in Exo are called the zhree, but some humans refer to them in a derogatory way as “shrooms” because of their vague resemblance to enormous mushrooms. They stand roughly four feet tall, have six limbs, six eyes, and light and dark colored fins on top of their domed, armored torsos.
The zhree achieve interstellar travel through “light plus transfer points.” This is a fancy name for stabilized wormholes through space and time. Scientists have theorized about the existence of wormholes for some time, and they are one of the staple science fiction methods of faster-than-light travel.
When the zhree arrived over a hundred and thirty years ago, they landed in areas sparsely populated by humans. The alien cities, or “Rounds” are found in regions such as Patagonia, Mongolia, the Australian outback, and the North American prairie on the border of Nebraska and Wyoming.
The main character, Donovan, is an officer in the Global Security and Pacification Forces. His partner and good friend, Vercingetorix, shares a name with the Gallic chieftain who led an uprising of the Gauls against Julius Caesar in 52 BCE.
The humans in Exo who continue to fight the zhree are members of a terrorist organization called Sapience, which derives its name from its militantly pro-Homo Sapiens agenda. Sapience is an Old French word meaning “good sense” or “wisdom.” Homo Sapiens means “wise ape” in Latin.
One of Sapience’s main hideouts is in the Black Hills of present day South Dakota, an area of great significance to Native Americans that also contains miles and miles of unexplored caves that could be used by insurgents fighting against alien rule.
Certain people in Exo have been Hardened—they’ve gone through a procedure to endow them with alien biotechnology that gives them a flexible, invulnerable body armor. This armor, or exocel, is made of a substance called panotin, which comes from the Greek word “panos” meaning “armor” and the chemical suffix “—tin.”
Present-day military forces are working on next generation body armor using “liquid armor” in which fabric is saturated with shear thickening fluid. The alien armor of the characters in Exo is also based on the principles of shear thickening fluids: substances that behave like liquids but harden in a few milliseconds when they encounter force.
The SecPac officers in Exo use electripulse weapons, which fire electromagnetic pulses through a coil to propel a projectile without the use of fuse or gunpowder. The mechanical principle is not unlike current day rail guns, which are large, require recharging, and aren’t practical as handheld weapons. Advanced alien battery technology will dramatically change that fact.
The engines of the vehicles and ships in Exo use “micro fission” energy. Fission is a type of nuclear reaction involving the splitting of atoms and is currently used in nuclear power plants. We humans currently have no small, safe, modular nuclear reactors capable of powering vehicles, but the aliens do.
By: Fonda Lee
Release Date: January 31st, 2017
One winner will receive a copy of EXO (Fonda Lee) ~ US only
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