Author Interview: Murder On Autarch 1, Or Preparing Paradoxes

July 5, 2022


Written by Italian authors and life-long friends, Andrea De Magistris and Michele Perni, best-selling Italian dystopian sci-fi novel Murder On Autarch 1, has now been translated into English and Mandarin. Bringing the reader up close and personal with space exploration, murder, investigative mysteries, unexpected plot twists and a romantic anti-hero, the book is a great option for fans of dystopian and sci-fi literature and authors such as Asimov, Orwell and Philip K Dick.

When, and under what circumstances, did the idea for your latest book come to you?

We got the idea for this book’s saga around 20 years ago. We had always been creative kids and we loved to create original stories while playing and shooting small films with PC cams. This story started like that, as a kids game. At some point, it became a key and constant element  in our lives.


Did it initially feel like something to commit to, or was that something that took time to develop?

It was just a game at first; a way to express creativity and have fun. We needed time to understand that, gradually, this was becoming a serious commitment, not just a game anymore. The project accompanied us across years, during our youth and early adulthood.


How did you conduct your research or other preparation before writing – was it more experiential or more academic or desk-based?

Research on a sci-fi saga is complex, as it requires merging some real – or realistic – elements with others completely created out of the imagination. It is a delicate process. In order to write this genre, a certain fine balance between reality and fantasy is necessary – this is possibly the most difficult part. Science books and the internet have been fundamental to understanding how a sci-fi world might work.


If resources (money, time, whatever) were no object, what additional groundwork would you like to have completed?

We would expand the books to another dimension – audiovisual. Nowadays, videogames, movies, and TV shows are more and more inter-connected, and we are fascinated by this. We would love to create audiovisual content and will try to invest resources and energy in this direction.


When considering influence, do you find yourself wanting to write like someone (in terms of their style, tone or use of language), or aiming for a kind of perspective or storytelling approach you admire or enjoy?

We look up to a number of writers – Stephen King, Isaac Asimov, HP Lovecraft, Dante Alighieri – but we always try to stay original in our writing style and ideas. To create a unique style is maybe the holy grail for writers, but it would be amazing to get there, in time.


What’s in your to-read pile – and what upcoming book (other than yours!) are you most looking forward to?

We always keep an eye on new novels. We follow Stephen King’s new releases, and we also continuously look to the indie community. A good writer friend of ours, Mark Wells, recently wrote an intriguing urban fantasy novel, the “Cambridge Gothic” saga. We are now also reading the Culture novel saga from Iain M Banks. We are also waiting for the new George RR Martin novel, which will come out at some point


Do you have a favorite character that you have created? Or if you’re writing non-fiction, do you have a specific topic that you find endlessly fascinating?

Our favorite character is Frank Harden, main character of the Mysteries Of The Paradox Planets Saga. He is complex, in a continuous balance between light and shadow. He’s vulnerable, deeply human, prone to errors like us as, and hence quite “real”. This is Frank’s most fascinating personality trait for us. Anyone can see in him something of his or her own personality. He is sincerely only himself, in the good and in the bad, in the dark as well as in the bright moments. Frank is like any of us, and that is why we love him.