Inverse Happy Hour

Sci-fi author Mike Carey explains why the apocalypse can be inspiring

Carey joins Inverse Happy Hour to read an excerpt from his new novel, The Book of Koli.

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Comics fans are well-acquainted with British author Mike Carey (or M.R. Carey) for his substantial mark on the genre with books like the DC Comics Eisner-award winning Lucifer series, Hellblazer, and Marvel Comics X-Men: Legacy series. He's also known for his horror book, The Girl With All the Gifts, later adapted into a feature film in 2016. Carey joins Inverse Happy Hour as a guest this week to talk about his latest dive into the sci-fi world with his newest novel and the first of the Rampart Trilogy, The Book of Koli, a post-apocalyptic tale about nature vs. humanity set several centuries after the collapse of our civilization.

But he insists it's not all doom and gloom.

“It’s actually a fairly hopeful story. The hope is not necessarily for us; it’s the hope that life will carry on, that it finds a way. The world heals quite quickly from damage,” he tells Inverse.

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During the Q&A, Carey weighed in on the actor he'd love to see play Koli in a film version (a strong thumbs-up on this pick); what goes into writing a trilogy; the X-Men comic he'd like to see adapted into a movie; and what it's like to see his horror comics become tv shows.

He also took the opportunity to do a special reading from his new book, but not before recommending the tv series The Expanse for a “big, balls-out, space opera epic feel” with “compelling character arcs” and “spot-on scripting” along with the original Sonic the Hedgehog games to de-stress in otherwise chaotic times.

Below are the highlights from Inverse Happy Hour:

On the new DC comic book he has coming out— “I did a miniseries; it gets its collection in September. It’s called The Dollhouse Family, and it was one of the horror books from DC’s Hill House line, which was created by Joe Hill, and it was really thrilling and really fun to do.”

“It’s a straight horror. It’s about a little girl who’s given a doll house, and at a certain point, she realizes that not only are the dolls alive but the house itself is alive and the house is prepared to grant wishes for her — but there is always a cost.”

“I keep going back to the post-apocalyptic scenario, to look at people in their purest form.”

“It was great working with Joe, he’s a really inspiring collaborator, and the other fantastic thing was we brought a lot of the team who worked on The Unwritten with me. It just felt like the gang was all here again.”

(Editors note: Joe Hill will be on the show in a few weeks.)

On why post-apocalyptic stories are relevant right now— “I think there is an enduring kind of fascination with apocalyptic stories, but I think, also, they become particularly popular and particularly compelling at times when the world seems to be precarious, threatening, and threatened. People read about apocalypses when their own world feels unsettled.”

“But I think the other thing about apocalypses is that they kind of let you do a thought experiment. Most of the time in normal life, we kind of do the things that are expected of us: We enact social roles that are controls that are constraints on everything we do. What would we become if all of those controls and constraints fell away? Without society to tell us what’s right and what’s wrong, what is human nature in the raw? And, you know, obviously there are lots and lots of different answers to that question, but I think that’s one of the reasons I keep going back to the post-apocalyptic scenario, to look at people in their kind of purest form.”

A huge thanks to Carey for joining us!