The “Prometheus” Idea
“If Prometheus was worthy of the wrath of heaven for kindling the first fire upon earth, how ought all the gods honour the men who make it their professional business to put it out?” – John Godfrey Saxe
Dystopia – done carefully – can kidnap us into a story world which incredible depth. At least this is what happened to me countless times. “The Hunger Games”, “The Handmade’s Tale”, “Brave New World” or “The Giver”.
I wanted to break the current trend of the young adult dystopian book, returning to the roots while transferring them into the modern world.
Dystopian novels have the power to reveal new worlds, interesting characters, deal with science, politics and be critical while not imposing. If the world is created with enough plausibility and a strong concept, deep and multi-layered characters, it has the potential for a highly thematical page-turner.
So let me invite you into the journey of the Prometheus Prophesy, the fire brought unto mankind and the idea that lies behind it.
There are three ingredients that compose the Idea of the Prometheus Trilogy. Let’s start with the most obvious one.
The Prometheus Myth & its meaning
Prometheus is a titan in the Greek Mythology who created mankind from clay. He defied the gods by stealing fire from heaven and bringing it down to humanity, enabling progress and civilization.
For this transgression, Zeus sentenced him to an eternal punishment. He was bound to a rock, where each day an eagle was sent to feast on his liver. As Prometheus was immortal, each day, the liver would grow back to be eaten again and again.
This myth had found its way throughout the centuries to art, poems and stories, music and even science, signifying the theme of invention, discovery and scientific-progress (for example the name of the sixty-first element, promethium). In political terms, he symbolizes revolution and freedom from suppression. Several connections to the Bible have also been considered because Prometheus is seen as the “creator” of humankind.
A dystopian novel with a strong male protagonist
Dystopian novels are often characterized by young adult protagonists, mostly female. I wanted to break this cliché and work with a strong male protagonist in his late twenties/early thirties. I intended the series of novels to become a story about themes of science, morale and politics rather than focusing on coming-of-age.
I chose Adama (the first man), a red-haired doctor who had a military background and was in the middle of questioning his life and his values. From own experiences and the people around me, I wanted also to focus on the quarter-life-crisis which is not very often discussed in novels but is a huge deal for most people around thirty.
The Fascinating Highlands of Scotland
Braveheart, Merida. Those movies tear at something deep down inside of me. They evoke a feeling of nostalgia. Since I visited the Highlands for our book trailer shoot, I knew that I wanted to explore this region, it’s culture and the fascinating nature. This is why the Highlands have become a place that is very central in the Prometheus Trilogy.
I myself grew up in the mountains of Middle Asia, so I am a mountain child.
Still, the Highlands are very special. Their beauty evokes something mystical, a secret and an invitation to explore – if you dare.
Historical and Science-Fiction elements
To predict and understand the future, we have to throw a serious look into the past. I am fascinated by history, and I wanted to bring in historical elements into a futuristic world of Prometheus.
In 1887 Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, said this about the fall of the Athenian Republic: “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. […] with the result that every democracy will finally collapse […] always followed by a […] The average of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been 200 years.”
Consider this: Hitler and Stalin are only 70 years away. North Korea has a dictatorship next door.
This society seems so progressed that dictatorship or any other form of political suppression seems madness. But history proves that this is only realistic.
I incorporated elements from those dictatorships, like labour camps and media propaganda, trying to see how this would work in a society of a modern world – a hidden dictatorship with freedom on the surface. A merge of futuristic and historical elements is what I was striving for in the Prometheus Trilogy, deriving from patterns of the past and the predictions of scientists for the future.
From those elements, the Prometheus Saga was born.
Let me know if you have any thoughts. Have you read the first book already? Don’t miss the opportunity to get the free prequel novella that deals with themes of future science and explains the origins of the world as well as Adama’s past.