Out of Sight
Matthew S. Cox
Publication date: August 13th 2018
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Most Citizens hold Outcasts in dim regard, but Sima never expected they’d throw her off the planet.
In 2411, overpopulation has spread a plaque of filthy, congested city to the corners of the Earth. Government has raised corruption to an art form, and no one hears the cries of those left to die in the dark passageways of civilization. Following the End of Nations, people cling to the only division left: social status.
Since running away from home four years ago, she’s managed to stay a step ahead of death―or worse. At sixteen, she’s getting too old to survive from begging, despite her best effort to pretend she’s younger. Worse, the sidewalks teem with little kids edging in on her turf, monopolizing Citizens’ charity with their wide, pleading eyes and genuine innocence.
A chance meeting with suspiciously nice cops leaves her more confused than ever. Between deadly gangs, unforgiving security forces, and a terrifying madam eager to exploit a girl her age, merely getting older is the biggest threat to her life. With no good choice to make, she risks the least of three evils.
Sima thought her life on Earth had been dangerous…
She hasn’t seen anything yet.
I got a chance to interview Sima! She’s a real “character”! No pun intended! LOL
1- tell me a little about yourself (what do you look like, where do you live, what book are you in)
Yeah, sure, I can talk a bit. Got any spare glint? I haven’t eaten anything in a couple days. Umm. Okay, you got me. I’m not really twelve. I’m sixteen. But that’s still a kid, right? Come on… It’s not easy out here for someone like me. Dark hair, olive skin. The little kids get all the glint, especially the ones with pale faces and light hair. Where do I live? Hah. Anywhere. Been sleeping in this place we call the Crash for a couple days. The road collapsed, opening a path into the old city layer under this one. That’s right where the EGSF wants us though… Out of Sight.
2- How do you evolve during the course of the story/series?
Evolve? What, like Darwin or something? I dunno. I haven’t been in school for four years. See that back of little kids across the street? Yeah. Can’t stand them. Oh, it’s not really their fault. They didn’t ask to be Outcasts, but do you have any idea how hard it is to beg glint at my age when the small ones are so much cuter? That’s why I do that thing with my shirt and try to act like I’m only twelve. I mean, I don’t really hate little kids. It’s just reality, yanno? Competition. If it wasn’t for living on the street, I wouldn’t mind ’em. Sure, I feel sorry for ’em. Who wouldn’t, but that’s the problem. They take all the money. If I ever wound up off the street somewhere and didn’t have to beg, kids wouldn’t be a problem. What? Oh, yeah I guess. I couldn’t like sit around and let a kid get hurt if something dangerous happened to them. But, look at me? I never had a real mother. Mine ignored me from day one when I failed to trap my bio-dad. What do I know about taking care of children? It’s not fair they get to have a mom but I didn’t. Umm. Yeah well, that blonde kid is kinda cute. And so sick. She needs someone to take care of her or she’s going to die. She’s so sick she might die anyway. Dammit. I don’t want to think about that.
3 – Do you have an enemy or nemesis? If so, who are they and how did they become an enemy?
Enemies? Yeah sure. Lots of them. EGSF officers for one. Outcasts like me are nothing to them. And there’s gangs, too. The Blanks are effing creepy as hell. Stay away from them. The E6ers are no joke either. And Scathers. If I ran into any of them I’d probably wind up dead. And well, there’s this giant alien cat trying to kill me.
4- What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?
Trying to survive. First the slums of Earth, then this weird alien world after our ship explodes in orbit. My escape pod somehow survived the explosion and I’m alone… the only human on a planet. And the damn EGSF is so cheap they didn’t even stock the pod with anything, so all I have is my underwear and an Omnicomputer bracelet. That damn thing is so literal. I used to wonder if I would live long enough to make it to twenty… now I’m not so sure I’ll see seventeen.
5 – What is the one event that you feel has helped to shape your personality?
Finding those stupid little kids in another escape pod. I mean how cruel was that? The EGSF rounds us up off the street like garbage and shoots us into space. And now they’re gonna die on this stupid planet with me. On Earth, I couldn’t stand being around little kids ’cause they soaked up all the glint. But here? I can’t stand being around them because it’s too sad. But I can’t leave them, yanno. We got no one else and I’m the oldest… so I gotta take care of them. I have no idea what a mother is supposed to be like since mine ignored me, but Lissa’s so scrawny and sick. I can’t just leave her.
6-Are you involved in a romance? If so with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?
On Earth, I had a couple of boyfriends. Nothing ever lasted long. One overdosed on Pixie. One disappeared. Most weren’t really ‘boyfriends’ as much as ‘if I hang out with this guy he’ll share his food.’ Don’t look at me like that. I haven’t done it yet. I’m only sixteen. What kind of girl do you think I am?
7 – What is the one thing you want the most in the whole world?
…<long silent stare>… I guess my father not to be a piece of trash who never even looked at me. Maybe parents who gave a crap. Not having to run away at twelve. I used to like school. Teachers told me I was smart. Advanced even… but I ran away. Mom didn’t care what her new boyfriend wanted to do to me. I was only twelve then. She didn’t believe me. You know the woman got mad at me for telling her what he tried to do? So, yeah. It’s stupid making wishes for crap that’ll never happen.
8 – If you could say one thing to your readers, what would it be?
I dunno. Maybe something like how can you just sit there watching me and not help? At least do something for the little ones.
9- If you could say one thing to your author, what would it be?
(swearing rant about crappy parents)
10-What 2 or 3 questions do you wish I’d asked, and what are your answers to them?
How much glint do you need – enough to eat.
Hey, do you need a safe home? – (cursing) yeah!
I’m glad you didn’t ask about Earth. It’s not healthy to complain too loud. You know what they say. Care too much, the City will kill you. Care too little, apathy will.
Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.
Hobbies and Interests:
Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it. He is also fond of cats. Awards: Prophet of the Badlands (excerpt) – Honorable Mention – Writers of the Future
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