Of all the things you could use a 3D printer for, you wouldn’t think a burger would be asking too much, but think again! In RAMZEE and Fernando Pinto’s story, ‘Cheap Meal’, the main character tries to come up with a roundabout way of ordering something to eat and the results…. well, they’re memorable.Part of StoryWorlds’ new anthology, FAB Breakout, Book 1: Mad World, which imagines different scenarios where people uses futuristic 3D printers called FAB machines, it was a real treat to ask RAMZEE some questions over email (especially since RAMZEE is also the writer of FAB, Book 1: Pandora, set in the same universe).
Rachel Bellwoar: After working on the first FAB book, what was it like getting to write another story set in the same universe?
RAMZEE: I loved it! It was a world not too far away from where FAB, Book One: Pandora ends and I was excited to tell a story set in a world that has completely changed and to tell a world-building story inside a personal one.
RB: With the anthology, you have a lot less time to establish a world. Were those constraints helpful or did you find them limiting?
R: I believe StoryWorlds came out of a love of classic 2000 AD where there were these thrilling sci-fi action stories that were satirical and subversive and mostly told in five pages. I’ve written for the modern 2000 AD and enjoy working in that taunt and punchy story real estate because, like a streaming friendly pop song, you have to hook the audience straight away and leave them feeling like they’ve had a satisfying morsel of entertainment.
RB: As this anthology proves, there are so many different ways of considering 3D printing. What I love about your story with Fernando is that you don’t just have this futuristic tech and everything else is familiar. The whole story is fantastic and filled with events that couldn’t happen today. What made you want to set this story fully in the future?
R: I wanted to write a short story that was set after the events of FAB, Book One where the tech has leaked into the world and completely revolutionized human society but the class divisions still exist and explain why and make it entertaining instead of a lecture.
RB: The other great thing about “Cheap Meal” is it’s wholly unpredictable. Did you always know how the story would end or did you discover that ending as you were writing?
R: I knew that *spoilers* the lead character would end up where he was at the start of the story but the journey took some time to map out because I wanted it to be fun and the ending to feel earned.
RB: What was it like working with Fernando Pinto on this project?
R: Like playing doubles tennis with a creative partner – I’d send him the script and he’d reply with a layout that that not only vividly brings the story to life but adds its own visual touches – and some panels would be so evocative that I cut text from them because his pictures got the emotion across so well.
RB: Would you ever consider owning a FAB machine?
R: No, I think they may be more trouble than they’re worth – LOL
RB: Thanks for answering our questions, RAMZEE!
FAB Breakout Book 1: Mad World is available digitally now from StoryWorlds and is scheduled to come out in print in January.