Wednesday, April 04, 2007

M. D. Benoit on Jack Meter Series

Robert: Are your previous two books still available?

Dominique: Yes, both Metered Space and Meter Made are available on and Metered Space is also available on And of course, both are available as ebooks from

Robert: Can you briefly talk about the Jack Meter books for those who may be unfamiliar with that series?

Dominique: Jack Meter is a Private Investigator living in Ottawa, Canada. In Metered Space, after Jack’s physicist girlfriend died in a lab explosion, he’s gone on a downhill curve of smoking and boozing that leads pretty much to only one conclusion. Unfortunately, it’s not going to happen. Jack gets kidnapped by aliens who “repair” him, give him a universe-hopping device, and the job of retrieving a stolen transporter. In Meter Made, Jack teams up with a sexy intergalactic agent to find out who is stealing pieces of the universe, and why.

I call them my “Sam Spade in space”, Dashiell Hammett mixed with Terry Pratchett. They’re tongue-in-cheek, irreverent, fun. Definitely not literature. I have no pretensions to that effect.

Robert:I am interested in how authors choose the gender of their protagonists. Why did you choose to write about a male lead in the Jack Meter books rather than write from a woman’s perspective?

Dominique: Probably because in most of the SF genre, males dominate. On the other hand, Jack would be helpless without Claire Foucault, a biochemist, who ends up —very reluctantly— his sidekick.

It’s also a way for me to explore gender differences and the power men have in this world. I come from a very conservative family, where female and male roles were firmly established. In a way, using a male protagonist might have been a way to break free, at least in the imaginary world, or these restrictions.

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