Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Wayne Santos's "The Chimera Code"

Over the years, Wayne Santos has written copy for advertising agencies, scripts for television, and articles for magazines. He’s lived in Canada, Thailand and Singapore, traveling to many countries around South East Asia. His first love has always been science fiction and fantasy, and while he regularly engaged with it in novels, comics, anime and video games, it wasn’t until 1996, with his first short story in the Canadian speculative fiction magazine On Spec that he aimed towards becoming a novelist.

He now lives in Canada, in Hamilton, ON with his wife. When he’s not writing, he is likely to be found reading, playing video games, watching anime, or trying to calm his cat down.

Here Santos dreamcasts an adaptation of his new novel, The Chimera Code:
The Chimera Code is a cyberpunk science fiction adventure that takes place in a 22nd century Earth where magic returned to an already high tech world, and then was gradually integrated into that environment. By the time Cloke, the main character has her adventure the world has already had several decades of uneasy coexistence with both magic and technology, and that use and abuse of those forces has created a very different world and government structure.

My dream casting would involve a pretty diverse cast, since the characters themselves come from many different countries and lifestyles. For Cloke, the half-Filipino, half-Irish combat mage, I think someone like fellow Canuck and actual Filipino/Irish mx Shay Mitchell would make a fine Cloke.

For the other main character, Zee is a nonbinary hacker that’s been genetically engineered to some very particular “specs,” one of them being the almost sculpted perfection of their features. I think Ruby Rose would probably be a good fit. Her look has always been pretty distinct, and I think after seeing her in stuff like John Wick and Batwoman, she can make it work.

As for the supporting characters, there are two more that round out Cloke’s crew for her “Chimera Unit,” the industry slang for a mixed unit of magic, hacking and conventional combat warfare all working together in a single team.

Marcus is her heavy-lifter, a black combat cyborg hailing from Liverpool who, if he could pull off the accent would probably best represented by Ving Rhames in terms of sheer look, although a bulked up Idris Elba would probably also suffice.

The final member of the Chimera Unit, Darma, an Indonesian hacker hailing from Bali, could be handedly played by someone like Joe Taslim. He’s done some great work in films in recent years, and it would be nice to see more Indonesian representation on screen as well.

If it were directed by the Wachowskis, that would be great as well, since it’s the combination of world building and action in films like The Matrix and Speed Racer that has always impressed me.

Of course, that’s all live action. I think if we’re talking “film,” I would be just as happy seeing The Chimera Code be turned into an animated feature, provided it goes to Japan and is given the anime treatment. Anime has been a pretty big influence for me, so seeing a favorite animation studio, such as Production I.G. which has done great cyberpunk work like Ghost In The Shell and Psycho Pass, would put me over the moon.
Visit Wayne Santos's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Chimera Code.

--Marshal Zeringue