Friday, June 7, 2019


Today on the Altrix blog, the Unearthed Q&As continue with "Disinfection Protocol" author Michael O'Brien! Michael is a writer, performer, and podcaster, and he's kicking off our anthology with a bang!

Altrix Books: What about the UNEARTHED concept made you want to pitch a story?

Michael O'Brien: My imagination ran wild when I originally heard of the discovery of the sarcophagus. I didn’t then consider any possibility as bizarre as what my heroines find! But when I heard about the anthology, I began to toy with the idea of finding something far more foreign than any normal person would expect. With that, I had to write the story.

Altrix: Tell us a little about your story.

O'Brien: When the real-life researchers on the scene found little besides skeletons and sewage inside the box, I changed several elements of my story to account for that. My fictional journeyman scientists find something else small and unnoticed while cleaning the skeletons, and that unlocks a secret beyond their craziest fantasies. What the world saw may have been camouflage for a terrible secret, and someone may have investigated that secret long before our protagonists did…

Altrix: What books, shows, or real life events inspired your work, if any?

O'Brien: My primary conscious influences were the SCP website - a fictional catalogue describing a containment facility for nightmares - and the work of horror manga creator Junji Ito. There’s also inspiration from the TV show “Bones”, the movie “TRON”, a sequence in the Arthur C. Clarke novel “Rendezvous With Rama”. Certain elements from a movie script outline I wrote as a teenager turned out to provide back story! I may someday have to see where those particular breadcrumbs lead.

Altrix: What was the most challenging part of creating your story?

O'Brien: I tend to intensely empathize with my characters, so I’d never attempted a story in which they’d  be traumatized to this degree. I’m pleased with the results, but I have to say that shortly after the first draft was done I needed some TLC from my partner.

Altrix: Where else can our readers find your work?

O'Brien: My podcast Managlitch City Underground posts on iTunes and at, and tells the story of a pirate radio broadcaster living in a city steeped in superscience, supermagic, and regular breakdowns of reality. If you’re lucky enough to own a copy of the limited-release “Unbound” anthology of alternate Doctors Who, I have a story there; and some upcoming work will likely be mentioned on the podcast site - whether directly related or not!

Order your copy of Unearthed from Altrix Books!


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