Sudbury's Scott Overton writes about alien artifact found in a northern Ontario lake
'I had to wonder: how would someone really react to getting special powers,' author says of novel's premise
The timing for Scott Overton's new novel couldn't be better.
The long-time Sudbury radio broadcaster's latest book aligns with people and places in the news and popular culture.
It includes aliens (just at a time when the US government admits to the presence of UFOs), and a superhero (just at a time when superhero movies are a hot commodity).
The book, Naïda, explores how the life of Laurentian University professor Michael Hart changes forever after the shocking discovery of an ancient alien artifact at the bottom of a northern Ontario lake.
Hart develops astonishing powers and faces a destiny he never could have imagined. The actions Michael must take will either make him a hero, or the greatest traitor the world has ever known.
"The title is actually the name that the main character, Michael, gives to the alien," Overton told Morning North CBC host Markus Schwabe.
"The word means a water nymph. And of course, he discovers her underwater."
Overton says he's a lifelong fan of science fiction.
"My dad was a big fan and kind of raised me on it. We would have great discussions around the dinner table about science fiction novels. It's very thoughtful literature, a very important literature, to my mind, that people don't really understand if they don't know it."
He says he likes to tackle important issues through his writing.
"Canada's top science fiction writer, Robert J. Sawyer, says science fiction needs to be about something. It is about something. Sure, there's a great story to keep you turning the pages. But they often say science fiction is allegorical," Overton said.
"So on the surface it's about this, but it's also about this in our society. Big questions that we may be facing now or certainly will be in the future."
Tap the player to listen to the whole interview:
Overton held a virtual book launch a couple of days ago, which was broadcast on YouTube and Facebook.
With files from Markus Schwabe