The PREVIEWS Party: For readers who aren't familiar with Aphrodite IX, what is it all about?
Matt Hawkins: Aphrodite IX is a slightly different take on a post-apocalyptic/dystopian future. There have been a lot of these, so I wanted to try and do something fantastic, but actually possible. Now seeing the promos with the dragons that may sound counterintuitive, but I scoured the futurist sites and read everything I could find by real scientists on what the future might look like. What would actually be possible given the exponential advances in cybernetics, nanotechnology, and genetic research and how will these affect the human condition? So, with that as a backdrop, this story is about a woman who was designed to be an assassin but is unaware of her actual purpose and mission. She finds herself in the middle of a conflict that she really doesn’t understand, and the reader will discover this new world through her eyes. In this scorched world, there is a small area around the Equator where two tribes have evolved and fight over the scarce resources left behind. One group has been genetically enhanced to survive in this world, the other has been technologically enhanced. They have their own myth structures, etc. and the world from before (present) is a distant memory. This story loosely bookends Marc Silvestri’s Cyber Force story he’s doing right now.
The PREVIEWS Party: Stjepan Sejic is known for his fantasy artwork. What has it been like bringing this sci-fi world to life with him?
Matt Hawkins: It’s been pretty fantastic seeing his designs and what he’s come up with. Amazing stuff. This project exists because he told me kind of what he wanted to do, and this became the result of that discussion. It really plays to his strengths as an artist, and I hope readers will enjoy the collaboration.
The PREVIEWS Party: You also write Think Tank for Image; it seems like super science is your forte. What appeals to you about exploring scientific discoveries and future technologies in your work?
Matt Hawkins: I have a science background, physics for the most part, and I love technology. I’m constantly amazed by what researchers are doing now, it’s far more interesting to me than most of what I see in science fiction . . . which is sad in a way; everyone needs to up their sci-fi game! The next 25 years in technology and scientific advancement will change the world for centuries to come. The Human Genome Project, nanotechnology, and the advances in AI and robotics are all very exciting.
The PREVIEWS Party: Since this is The PREVIEWS Party, what other upcoming books are you excited for?
Matt Hawkins: I’m looking forward to David Hine and Stjepan Sejic’s Darkness Falls mini-series that hits next Fall. I really like what Hine has done with The Darkness, one of my favorite books being published right now.
The PREVIEWS Party: Okay, pitch time! Why should everyone give Aphrodite IX a try this May?
Matt Hawkins: The first issue is FREE!!! You can’t get a better incentive to try something than that. It will be available through Free Comic Book Day as a free printed book and free on digital, as well. Starting in June, it will be a $2.99 color ongoing book.
The PREVIEWS Party would like to thank Matt Hawkins for taking the time to answer our questions. Aphrodite IX #1 will be available for free this May (on Free Comic Book Day), and you find more updates on the series by "liking" it on Facebook.
Until next time, keep reading.
- Jason Enright