Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Yoon Ha Lee's "Ninefox Gambit"

A Korean-American sf/f writer who received a B.A. in math from Cornell University and an M.A. in math education from Stanford University, Yoon Ha Lee finds it a source of continual delight that math can be mined for story ideas.

Lee's new novel is Revenant Gun, book three in the Machineries of Empire series that begins with Ninefox Gambit.

Here Lee dreamcasts an adaptation of Ninefox Gambit:
While I certainly wouldn't say no if someone offered to make my book Ninefox Gambit into a film, I suspect the special effects budget would be prohibitive! One of the hazards of writing space opera, I guess. I had actually imagined the book in animation instead, like Voltron: Legendary Defender or Code Geass or Avatar: The Last Airbender. But it costs nothing to dream, either way.

The first of my two main characters is Shuos Jedao, an undead general known both for never losing a battle across four hundred years and for an infamous massacre in which he blew up two armies, one of them his own. I'd cast Daniel Dae Kim. I've enjoyed his range in the different roles I've seen him in (I was so sad when his Gavin the evil lawyer died in Angel!) and I'd be fascinated to see how he interpreted a treacherous ghost general.

The second is Jedao's unwilling protégée, Captain Kel Cheris. She's dedicated and brilliant in a completely different way--she's a mathematician--and although she starts out loyal to the Evil Empire, working with Jedao makes her start to question her beliefs. Watching Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori in Pacific Rim makes me think she'd be perfect for the role.

In case you haven't figured it out, my space opera is full of cockamamie Asians! Because why not. That being said, I'd be just as happy with generalized people of color, not specifically people of Asian descent, in my hypothetical film.
Visit Yoon Ha Lee's website.

The Page 69 Test: Revenant Gun.

Writers Read: Yoon Ha Lee.

--Marshal Zeringue