A week out from the release of the first book in his epic space saga Adam X, author Nicholas Abdilla discusses science-fiction and the origins of his novel Adam Exitus.
Adam Exitus is the first book in the Adam X universe, a 10-part space saga that brings action, mystery and a bit of romance to an environment filled with the best in science-fiction imagination. The book is written by author Nicholas Abdilla and was released on March 3. You can get it now on iTunes (tap here) and also in digital and paperback forms on Amazon (tap here). For a more detailed overview, you can read more information here.
With such a massive universe built around deep and unique lore, it’s easy to see how author Nicholas Abdilla has spent ten years bringing Adam X to life. We caught up with him ahead of the release of Adam Exitus to learn more. What inspired him? How has the journey been so far? And is there any special secrets he can share with us. Let the countdown begin!
Author Nicholas Abdilla Interview
You have been working on the Adam X series for ten years: can you talk us through how the idea originally came about?
Adam was first conceived shortly after I'd finished a three year run on a much darker series called OCD. It dealt with my own personal experiences of living with depression and anxiety. While OCD was very cathartic, it was also emotionally draining. When it was done, I felt it was time to write something a little more upbeat and fun.
Without spoiling too much, let me just say I've always had a fascination with how stories change over time. This is why the ending of the first book was very firmly locked in my mind before I ever put pen to paper. Then I began writing from the position that anything was possible in the Adam X universe. Over the years it became a launching pad for me to explore any subject that took my interest, by viewing it through the Adam X storytelling perspective. That's why ten years later I'm still not bored with writing Adam stories.
At first Adam X was a comic series; why did you feel it needed to become a full novel?
As much as I enjoyed writing Adam as a comic, I felt like sometimes it put severe limitations on how much information I could express. And after ten years it felt like I'd only scratched the surface of Adam's world. That is why I found writing the story in novel form so satisfying. It allowed me to explore some of the characters and places with far more depth. Plus it allowed me to express ideas I've had bouncing around my head for ages, but have never found a way to incorporate into the comic book series.
There’s all kinds of science-fiction in all kinds of media. What do you think makes great science-fiction?
To me the best sci-fi has to have a relatable protagonist. No matter what fantastic situation is presented in a story, I like to see a little of myself in the main character. It helps suck me in and think; "yeah, I probably would've done the same thing if I were in their shoes" In addition, I want to be introduced to the strange and unexpected worlds and creatures.
There’s plenty of great science-fiction novels out there; how do you feel Adam Exitus offers something different from what the genre’s fans may have experienced in the past?
I like to think Adam brings spirituality to science-fiction in a way that hasn’t been done before. So I really hope the readers enjoy my take on some well-known subjects and become interested in seeing where the series will go next. Once they have that understanding of the main premise through Adam Exitus, there’ so much more to come.
How many books do you intend to write in the series? How far in advance do you have the overall story mapped out?
Honestly, when I began this novel I didn't know if I was going to do more. But I've enjoyed working in this new medium so much that I can't see myself stopping anytime soon. Thanks to the comic book I have a very clear road map of things to come. There are ten books in the comic series and I'd be happy to do the same with the novels.
Adam Exitus, the first book in the series, offers a complete story arc. However, we definitely get the feeling that we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. How much do we still not know about these characters and this universe? Can you give us any hints?
[Laughs] I'd love to give hints, but I'm not sure I can without spoiling some of the surprises. There's tonnes of stuff left to explore after the first book. There are also plenty of new characters I'm really looking forward to introducing. The ending of the first book should give people a clue of where the story may be going. Just rest assured I'm never going to present these new additions in a way that the reader would expect.
Can you share one piece of interesting Adam X lore not included in the book?
An interesting piece of lore people may not know is that the first Adam X comic was not technically my first time delving into that particular universe. Twenty years ago I created a comic book called The Eyes of Enoch, and starred a blood relation of Adam. While Adam did make his first appearance in that book, I don't count it as an Adam X tale.
You’re a passionate gamer: how has gaming – or indeed any particular games – impacted the Adam X universe?
I do love my video games, especially those set in a fantasy world. Every game from BioWare has inspired me in terms of the detail that goes into that studio’s universes. I'm a big Star Wars fan, and when I played BioWare’s game Knights of the Old Republic on the original Xbox, I was just blown away. By the time I had finished that game I was like, "wow! That story was easily as good as the movies" (and is still better than any of the prequels).
I think that's when I truly changed as a gamer. It was no longer enough to just save the princess over and over without any backstory. I started picking my games like I would pick my movies or books: based on the blurb on the back of the box. My friends give me stick about it all the time. They've been trying to lure me into multiplayer gaming for years, but I just can't seem to stay interested without an objective beyond “how many times can I kill that guy.” It's all about that single player campaign for me and I don't think that's going to change anytime soon.
I'm just grateful BioWare has continued to lead the pack when it comes to great storytelling.
You must be pretty pumped for the upcoming Mass Effect Andromeda game then?
I can't wait to sink hundreds of hours into Mass Effect Andromeda when it comes out later this month. In fact the original Mass Effect was a big inspiration for me when writing the Adam X series. The first game came out shortly after I wrote the first Adam comic, right at a time where the story required that I come up with my own universe. You could say they set the benchmark for me in terms of what I hoped to create. It was clear they had taken their experience from KOTOR and crafted their own universe that was just as detailed and grand, yet still uniquely theirs. I realised if I was going to craft my own universe I was going to have to be just as creative and dedicated to the task as BioWare.
That is probably why I've spent the last decade working on it. It takes that long to come up with detailed backstories for every race and planet and then work out how all those races interact with one another.
They even inspired me to try using video gaming as a storytelling medium myself. About five years ago, I created a fully playable old-school RPG based on the Adam X universe called The Adam Experiment. It was fun to make, but I didn’t feel the end result was up to scratch, so I decided to keep that little gem to myself and leave video game making to the experts.
It’s been ten years already; in the perfect world, where would you see the Adam X universe in ten years from now? Maybe playing The Adam Experiment?
I guess if we're dreaming big, I'd love to see the tenth novel in the series ready for release with the first Adam X movie just around the corner. But realistically, I think it'll take a little longer than ten years to achieve those goals. Still, ten years ago I would never have imagined Adam would become a published novel, so I guess anything is possible.
Where to Next?
Thank you to author Nicholas Abdilla for taking the time to answer our questions. It would be amazing if you could support the release by joining our campaign on ThunderClap, which you can see below. A reminder that you can buy the book now on iTunes (tap here) and also on Amazon (tap here). Abdilla also has one of his comic series, Game Guy, published! If you love your gaming, you will find it a good laugh and you can read all about it here.