Our interview today is with Patrick Chiles the author of Perigee (4.1 stars on 39 reviews). Perigee falls into both the techno-thriller and SciFi genres. Before the interview a quick book description: Stranded in orbit, with no way home before the air runs out… At hypersonic speed, Polaris AeroSpace has become the premium choice for rapid travel around the world. When a veteran crew is marooned after a series of baffling malfunctions, they must try to stay alive knowing that help may never arrive.
While they struggle with dwindling life support and increasingly desperate passengers, their colleagues scramble to mount an audacious rescue. Racing against time, they will face shocking betrayals in a fight to save their friends.
As they unravel a web of industrial espionage, the truth will reveal itself to be worse than imagined. And one man will discover that escape may demand a terrible sacrifice. PERIGEE opens the next chapter in air and space travel, where ordinary people must sometimes accomplish extraordinary things.
Author Interview with Patrick Chiles
1. What was unique about the setting of the book and how did it enhance or take away from the story?
A lot of readers might label Perigee sci-fi because much of the action is in space, but I consider it to be more of a techno-thriller. It’s unique in that it’s set in the very near future and focuses on private industry operating in space instead of government agencies.
Okay, perhaps that’s not terribly unique, but it’s fair to say it’s a perspective which hasn’t been used often enough (Heinlein and Bova excepted). I envisioned it as more of a 21st-century Airport than anything else, which hopefully makes it more approachable for the average reader who might not typically pick up a book like this.
2. What specific themes did the author emphasize throughout the novel? What do you think he or she is trying to get across to the reader?
I wanted to put the reader in the cockpit, in the passenger cabin, in the control center, and show them that all of this fantastic stuff is being experienced by normal people. No superheroes, no Captain Kirks – just tell a good story about extraordinary things happening to ordinary people, and show how they deal with it all. One day we may be able to experience suborbital travel like in Perigee, which seems a lot less incredible than it did just ten years ago.
3. Do the characters seem real and believable? Can you relate to their predicaments? To what extent do they remind you of yourself or someone you know?