Over at Kaaron Warren's blog, I am talking a bit about Above/Below and how it came about:
But, outside that, and for myself personally, I have always loved the idea of a society fractured between those living in the sky and those on the ground. There’s lots of examples out there of it, but I think I first saw the idea in an Aliens Vs Predator comic, written by Chris Claremont, an author who pretty much defined the X-Men to be what they are now, before the company fired him. Deadliest of the Species was a series he wrote around that time, in which Earth is covered in aliens, and people live in ships that sail through the sky. I remember liking it well enough as a kid, and despite myself, I have always had a bit of a weakness for those company properties–but what stuck with me throughout was the idea of the physical division, of how you could divide people by race, economy, and culture, and apply that to a story.
In a very real way, Below (and Above) took its form from that latter thought. Real world conflicts, like Israel and Palestine, as just an example of one of sadly many, helped shape the way it developed further, building a cultural conflict that has gone on for so long that there is no clear reason for it anymore, and no clear solution. You just have people living in it. People trying to be equal, trying to be winners, or trying not to be losers. People trying to make sure their family is okay. People trying to protect their culture. While I was writing Below, I remember seeing a talk by Tariq Ali, in which he talked about the futility of trying to create a lasting peace between Israel and Palestine.
Aliens Vs Predator and Tariq Ali in the same breath. It's how I roll, baby.
If you haven't bought the book, you should, of course. Selling books is good for me, buying books is good for you. I'm fairly sure it cures you of your illness, whatever that may be.
Link to store.