Steve Orlando and Artyom Trakhanov’s Undertow takes a new look at the Atlanteans — and Steve invites us below for a taste of the salty brine before the launch this Wednesday, Feb. 19.
By CLAY N. FERNO
Clay N. Ferno: How long have you been working on this concept?
Steve Orlando: Undertow has been coming together in one way or another for almost four years. From early development as an underwater police procedural, it grew into something more, something less rooted in Dick Wolf story structures and more launched out of Jules Verne adventure. Artyom and I bounced around two years ago with some short stories, and when I told him what I was thinking about for a longer story, he was instantly sold on my strange fish people.
This is a very different world in which the Atlanteans are exploring the world on land as explorers. It does not look like surface humans are using tools yet. And the Atlanteans are as advanced as space explorers. Did I catch that right?
The feral humans actually can use tools, but that’s about as sophisticated as they get. Atlantis, though, is far more advanced. It’s almost like the spark that jumpstarted our evolution maybe sparked somewhere else. Being under water, there’re some things they just don’t have that we have, and some things they have that we wouldn’t think of. It’s maybe not taking place during human development, but maybe in place of it. The humans have developed in a different way. They kept evolving and specializing physically, with different coats and furs for different climates, but they never quite developed higher consciousness.
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