Interview with David Williams, Author of Mirrored Heavens

January 26th, 2009

A tale of 22nd century espionage, David J. Williams’ MIRRORED HEAVENS has been described by Stephen Baxter as “Tom Clancy interfacing Bruce Sterling,” and is in bookstores now (the mass market paperback has just been released this week).   The fact that David is inspired by Judge Dredd makes me more than a little interested.

Tell us a little about MIRRORED HEAVENS.

My agent sold it as “John LeCarre on SF crack”; I’ve never managed to get my hands on any such drug, but I suspect if one took it one would see visions of spaceplane hijacks and maglev train chases while various spies, handlers, and agents ran desperate missions and double-crossed/triple-crossed each other.

Who are your antagonists?

The mysterious terrorist group Autumn Rain. They blow up the world’s space elevator about ten minutes into the book, and vow that further strikes are imminent. It becomes evident pretty quickly that their real goal is to infiltrate the U.S. government, replace the president, and give orders in his name: i.e., they’re takeover artists. Someone’s gotta stop them, and that leads us to…

Who are your protagonists?

It’s complicated:

  • Claire Haskell, the data-thief who gets reunited with wet-ops specialist Jason Marlowe, her first love—even as both of them start to suspect that their spymasters are manipulating their memories for reasons unknown…
  • Strom Carson, the operative assigned to hunt down his onetime mentor, Leo Sarmax, a legendary assassin believed to be in league with Autumn Rain and last seen on the Moon, deep in the wastelands of the lunar South Pole mountains.
  • Lyle Spencer, the mercenary who escapes from the ultimate prison with the secret of the Rain and a price on his head.

Who’s your biggest inspiration?

That’s easy. Judge Dredd. I grew up on him: not the lame-ass Sylvester Stallone version, but the original, cool-as-hell British comic icon. Dredd took on everybody from aliens to the mafia, dispensing deadpan witticisms while he was doing it. Little did I know, but he was also teaching me how to write SF the whole time…

What are you working on right now?

Well, I’ve been finetuning my website at, which features all sorts of cool geopolitical and military data about the world of the early 22nd century. And I’ve turned in the sequel THE BURNING SKIES to Bantam, so now it’s on to the last book of the trilogy. Which is a very weird feeling…


You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.