2212: Book of Rayla follows Rayla Illmatic, a third generation citizen of Planet Hope, a former Earth colony that’s claimed its independence. But the utopian world has turned upside down and Rayla is on a quest to right the wrongs and end the rule of the Dirk.
After her lover and rebel leader Carcine disappears on a mission to find mystical scientist Shakur Moulan, Rayla embarks on a journey to complete the mission. She soon finds herself on a journey to find The Missing, a group of New Age Astronauts who were lost in the teleport project.
This story ties reincarnation, space travel, virtual worlds and love as Rayla seeks to make her world a better place. As Rayla discovers new worlds, she comes to discover herself and her power.
We talked to the author, our friend Ytasha Womack.
What inspired you to go into this genre?
I wanted to explore fiction writing after Post Black. I thought about taking some of the concepts in the book and writing a story a few decades into the future. I thought about 50 years out, then 100 years out and then decided that the ultimate challenge would be to write a story 200 years into the future.
Once I put the characters on another planet, I was freed to write anything I wanted. At the same time, I'd been researching afrofuturism so the two ideas came together nicely.
What inspired the heroine figure?
I wanted the character to be a woman but I wanted her to explore some heavy ideas in a very
physical way that was also relatable. So I think the love triangle and her ability to rule from the heart is easy for readers both sci fi lovers and otherwise, to relate to.
What does her name mean and how do you pronounce it?
(RAY-LA) Rayla is similar to the name Layla which means "dark night" or "dark beauty" in Hebrew. I liked the name Layla but thought it would be cool with an R. As a derivative of Raymond, it also means "wise protection" which works because she has a warrior princess vibe.
Was the music on the site done exclusively for the the book?
Yes. Leon Q, a talented composer and trumpet player really liked the story and I asked if he would create music for the character.
Why did you decided to release it online?
The ebook experience gives me an opportunity to create a world for Rayla 2212 that readers can
participate in with the website. We have video and music on the site and I'm looking forward to adding more. Very spacetastic.