This month, we publish Heaven's Fall, the terrific conclusion to David Goyer and Michael Cassutt's Heaven series -- near-future SF which really packs a narrative punch! We've asked the authors all manner of questions on their characters, the Heaven's Shadow film option and reviews! Read on below to find out a bit about their world. Film buffs can also read about David Goyer's experience writing for Man of Steel here.
1. Heaven’s Fall is the last book in the fabulous Heaven series and it must have been amazing to take these characters through the epic trials they encountered. Did any characters refuse to follow the path they’d been set, or did any unexpected plot kinks creep in as you tried to tie everything together?
Although we were planning and plotting a sequence of three stories from the very beginning, we saw that some of our humans insisted on making decisions that were cleverer than the authors originally envisioned. A few insisted on going to their deaths. Others found creative shortcuts to challenges we thought were brilliant and inescapable.
Even worse, some of our planet-sized characters did the same… in one case going where we had not thought to send him (or her). (Are planets or planetoids alive? Absolutely, as readers of the Heaven series will know. Whether or not they can communicate with us, at least on a scale we can perceive … well, that’s a problem we explore, too.)
2. How do you describe Heaven's Fall, the third book in a trilogy, to a potential new reader?
This turns out to be surprisingly difficult! Heaven's Shadow, our story of humanity’s first contact with a Near-Earth Object that turns out to be something else, has several whammies – big reveals that change the way you experience the story. (That revelation is one of them. Oops.)
Book #2, Heaven's War, picks up right where Shadow leaves off … following another fairly significant set of events that put those we’ve come to know and love, as well as a lot of new people, into open conflict with non-human entities.
As for Book #3, Heaven's Fall, we are forced to say, “read the first two”. More helpfully, perhaps, we say it takes the characters from Heaven's War in a surprising direction as they face their new enemies in a terrifying yet familiar place…
3. Do you have a favorite review quote for the series so far and if so, why is it special?
Guillermo del Toro’s quote, based on his read of the final manuscript, that Heaven's Shadow was “trippy” and “pulse-pounding”, was incredibly encouraging. We also appreciated George R. R. Martin’s post on his “not a blog” on his obscure homepage, happily noting that we were writing “in the tradition of Arthur C. Clarke and Robert A. Heinlein”.
We were blessed with a number of gratifying reviews that essentially echoed these two.
4. Which character do you think changed the most during the trajectory of the series? And can you describe anything you particularly enjoyed about that character’s journey?
Rachel Stewart was not the star of the Heaven series when we began to work on it, and not even until mid-way through Heaven's Shadow. By that point, however, it became clear that we would be experiencing many of the events on Keanu through her eyes, and growing along with her. (She was the character who was most insistent on being included….perhaps not surprising for a bright 14-year-old girl.) It was fun writing in her voice, something Michael (who is a survivor of the Father of Teenaged Girl syndrome) could not avoid.
4. Have you ever had a dream set in the world of these books?
Surprisingly, no! Both of us have had dreams that came from projects we were writing, especially scripts that were in production. Maybe it will happen once the movie gets going…..
5. Heaven’s Fall has been optioned for film of course, which is was really exciting news. Do you have any updates you’d like to share on that?
David has more experience with this process than Michael, but if you consider that there are, say, thirteen steps in turning a book into a movie, Heaven's Shadow is at 9. Warner optioned all three novels and remains supportive. There is a screenplay, there is a well-known and capable producer (Charles Roven). We are negotiation with a director, name to be revealed Soon.
The movies for Heaven's War and Heaven's Fall, all of them also optioned to Warner, will be decided by Heaven's Shadow.
6. So do you have other science fiction or fantasy projects lined up for the future? And if so, it would be great to hear about them…
David is working on SUPERMAN AND BATMAN and the second season of his Starz TV series DA VINCI’S DEMONS is in production. Michael is developing a new SF television project based on Tom Godwin’s novel SPACE PRISON.
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