Science fiction is at its best when it not only captivates readers with mystery and intrigue but when it challenges with questions of philosophy and morality. Peter Tieryas has worked hard to ensure readers get more from his stories than straightforward shock and awe since WATERING HEAVEN (2012) and BALD NEW WORLD (2014). His most recent novel, MECHA SAMURAI EMPIRE, which takes place in the established UNITED STATES OF JAPAN universe, is a powerful testament to these efforts.By blending equal parts MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE and mech-anime, Tieryas creates a unique world with engaging characters for readers to explore and grow attached to. Your journey, should you choose to embark, will follow Makoto “Mac” Fujimoto as he strives to become a mecha pilot in an Axis regime. Even if you’re not a fan of historical fiction or science fiction, this combination breathes life into both genres.Chatting With Peter TieryasComicsVerse had the pleasure of speaking with Peter Tieryas at New York Comic Con 2018. He shared his thoughts and goals in tackling a world as deep as MECHA SAMURAI EMPIRE’s. Mainly, the difficulty that comes when two worlds in literature collide as they do here, and how the characters play a major role. We also learned a bit about Tieryas’ background as a technical artist and writer for LucasArts. This heavily played into his designing of the mechs as well as the language used to describe their movement. He explains his decision to make them more tank-like as opposed to traditional solo or co-pilot models. Tieryas also discussed one of his initial inspirations, Cordwainer Smith, and how literature became important to him. He even shared with us his “desert island” novel.This is the second novel to take place in the USJ universe, and fans will certainly be hoping for more.MECHA SAMURAI EMPIRE was originally published September 18, 2018, by Penguin Random House and is available at Barnes & Noble and on Amazon.