Nano Interview: David Bernstein

DD: Thanks for plugging in, Dave! First of all, tell us about your MACHINES OF THE DEAD series.

DB: Thanks for having me, Dave!
As far as Machines of the Dead, I wanted to write a different kind of zombie trilogy, one that was an action-packed, sci-fi, horror, military-esque without getting too bogged down with technical aspects as far as the nanobots were concerned. Many years ago, I read Michael Crichton’s Prey and absolutely loved it and the ideas it presented. When I was asked to write a zombie trilogy, it was during the time of the zombie book explosion, so I figured I should come up with something different, a new type of zombie. Also, I wanted the reasoning behind the dead’s resurrection to be plausible.

DD: How do you think nanotech could radically change the world in your lifetime?

DB: I would love to see nanotech used to battle disease in living organisms, especially humans, as well as in surgery. Imagine if microscopic robots could be injected into a person or pet for the sole purpose of repairing a heart valve or mending a bone. How about nanobots that remains in a person’s body for their lifetime? It would clean arteries, heal cuts and destroy foreign bodies. The incurable “virus” could be battled and killed off. The possibilities seem endless.
But how would such tech affect our immune system? Would our bodies become so reliant on it that our immune systems would cease to be? This might happen over a long period of time, but I would think it would become dormant or non-existent. Would we then become more susceptible to disease if the tech suddenly stopped working? I think the topic is fascinating. 

DD: What are a few nano-themed books/movies/other that have inspired you?

DB: Michael Crichton’s Prey. Farscape with the translator bots—injected nanobots that allow beings who speak different languages to understand each other. There is a plethora of sci-fi books and shows that incorporate nanotech, mostly used for healing. 

DD: Name some of your favorite zombies - could be specific characters or just a zombie type.

DB: I like all types of zombies—fast and slow—but I prefer slow zombies. It just makes more sense that they would be slow and decrepit. I also loved 28 Days Later, but I do not consider those monsters/people to be undead. They are infected, living people. Now, if you have nanotech healing undead flesh, then I could see a serious case for fast-moving zombies.

DD: What can we expect from you in the future?

DB: These days I’ve been writing a lot of 80s-like slasher/creature feature fiction, but I’m now working on more serious, real-world stuff. I just completed a real-world horror/drama/crime fiction novel called Episodes of Violence that does get a little extreme at times, but it deals with real issues. It’s a dark, revenge tale. I also have a novella called Blue Demon releasing in October. It’s about an action figure that comes to life and doles out vengeance for the people it protects. Then I have a bizarro type of novella called Retch, about a man cursed to puke every time he has sex and right before he climaxes. He must find a way to end the curse or he will never be able to orgasm again. I have no idea where the idea came from, but I went with it.

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