Monthly Archives: August 2016

Excerpt and Giveaway: A Star-Reckoner’s Lot by Darrell Drake


Darrell Drake has published four books, with A Star-Reckoner’s Lot being the latest. He often finds himself inspired by his research to take on new hobbies. Birdwatching, archery, stargazing, and a heightened interest in history have all become a welcome part of his life thanks to this habit.


A Star-Reckoner’s Lot (excerpt chapters 1-3)

by Darrell Drake


There comes a time in every child’s life when even the disappointed stare of a much-loved, much-respected father is not enough to smother the stupidity of youth. This was Ashtadukht’s time.

She’d wandered off some time prior, her brother reluctantly in tow, as she was wont to do. It had occurred to her that doing so during a royal hunt would be dangerous; it had also occurred to her that it’d be thrilling. Caution had lost that battle, squashed beneath the tenacious curiosity of childhood.

So it was that this day found the siblings mired in an especially precarious situation, one of the sort that threatened the course of history.

“I think we’re lost,” said Ashtadukht. She gripped her brother’s arm and leaned into him. Having an illness that made physical exertion bothersome on the best of days never really stopped her. If anything, it only made her more intent on finding trouble—to challenge her handicap and overcome it. And the presence of her brother meant she benefitted from the reassurance of his carrying her back if she overexerted herself, as he’d done many times in the past.

“We are not lost,” contested Gushnasp. He accepted her weight without realizing it; it’d become second nature for the boy. “We are right where you want us to be. You are not fooling anyone.” He’d been dragged on these adventures often enough to know her aim, and more than anything it irritated him that she persisted in her lie. It was insulting. He wasn’t dull, and he didn’t need convincing to take care of his little sister. “You are—”

“Shhh! There’s something up ahead.” Ashtadukht hunkered down behind an old yew

and peered around, eyes gleaming with excitement. A feeling had led her to this spot, had expressed in what were unspoken but very clear words that she wanted to be here. The why never mattered; she never even bothered asking herself why.

Because he wanted to indulge her, and because he was the more circumspect of the pair, Gushnasp followed suit and squatted behind the trunk.

The thicket they’d been exploring gave way to a small clearing just ahead. The far edge was lined with low-hanging branches and dense shrubbery that stirred in the wake of some hoarsely grunting creature. Ashtadukht leaned forward. Her brother’s hand came to rest gently but firmly on her shoulder, a preemptory tether.

Out charged what Ashtadukht believed to be the largest boar anyone had ever seen, raking at the earth and shaking its head. The beast had shoulders higher than Gushnasp,

Continue reading

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Author Interview: Brian Lee Durfee


Today I am interviewing Brian Lee Durfee, author of the new fantasy novel, The Forgetting Moon, first book of the Five Warriors Angels series.

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DJ: Hey Brian! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Brian Lee Durfee: I am an artist and writer who was raised in Fairbanks Alaska and Monroe Utah. I’ve done illustrations for Wizards of the Coast, Tolkien Enterprises, Dungeons & Dragons, Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust (Denali National Park) and many more. My art has been featured in SPECTRUM: Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art #3 and Writers of the Future Vol 9. I won the Arts for the Parks Grand Canyon Award and the painting is in the permanent collection of the Grand Canyon Visitors Center-Kolb Gallery. I am also the author of the fantasy series Five Warrior Angels. I currently live in Salt Lake City. I work in Law Enforcement as a day job. Reading is my first passion. Writing my second. Watching the Oakland Raiders third. Painting fourth. In fact, I might put watching football first because everything stops on NFL Sunday for me.

DJ: Now, I love epic fantasy – it is my favorite genre – and The Forgetting Moon is a massive book and solely from the book’s intro, I’m getting the feeling the Five Warriors Angels series is going to be quite vast! While that is so awesome(!), that means there is so much to cover! So, I will do my best to ask you questions that will cover as much as possible 😛

Let’s start with the basic one: What is The Forgetting Moon about?

Brian: I am assuming you have a link to Simon & Schuster’s description so we needn’t re-hash that here. So I am going to paraphrase what one Goodreads reviewer (a good friend of mine who gave me permission) wrote, because she did a good job of describing the novel in a different way than what you will find on the back-jacket. “It has been nearly a thousand years since the death and supposed ascendency to heaven of Laijon, King of Slaves, one of five legendary Warrior Angels; history is mute on the fates of the other four: the Princess, the Thief, the Assassin, and the Gladiator. Since Laijon’s death, nations have divided into warring factions worshipping either Laijon, his son, Raijael, or his wife, The Blessed Mother Mia. Now, prophesies near fruition as the followers of Raijael plow a bloody track across the Five Isles, and the infamous weapons of the Five Angels have been rediscovered. (The doctrines and religious fervor that fuel the war remind one of the endless schisms and wars fostered by the Abrahamic religions of our world.)

The story follows those who may or may not be the prophesied descendants of the Five Warrior Angels: Aeros Raijael, the White Prince, sociopathic leader of the invading army; Nail, an orphan from a remote fishing village; Jondralyn Bronachell, sister to a cruel and paranoid king; their sister, Tala Bronachell, who is following an anonymous assassin’s clues to save her cousin from poison; Gault Aulbrek, a disenchanted knight; Ava Shay, prisoner of war and Nail’s one-time girlfriend; Hawkwood, a deadly Bloodwood assassin; Squireck Van Hester, a political prisoner forced to fight in the gladiatorial arena; siblings Zane and Liz Hen Neville, Nail’s hometown friends; and their dog, Beer Mug. The reader should heed the motto of the Brethren of Mia: “Trust no one.” Continue reading

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Guest Post: Writing Through Hurricanes, Grumpy Spouses, And Maniacal Bosses: Finding Your Default Self by Edward Lazellari


Born and raised in New York City, comic books were an important part of Edward’s youth and he spent many years working for Marvel Comics. He wrote his first professional story for Marvel Comics Presents starring Namorita (a.k.a. Kymaera) and illustrated the tale as well. After years as an illustrator, Edward returned to school to study English literature and creative writing at Rutgers.

His first published prose story, “The Date,” a dark comedy about a gigolo hired by conjoined twins, appeared in the October 1999 issue of Playboy magazine. This was an important boost to any budding writer’s confidence and contributed to his finishing his first novel, “Awakenings.” Edward has just completed the third book in the Guardians of Aandor series, “Blood of Ten Kings,” which is pending revisions.

His genre influences include: Stephen King, Roger Zelazny, Alan Moore, George R.R. Martin, Ann Rice, John Grisham, Neil Gaiman, J.K. Rowling, Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, Jean M. Auel, Ben Bova, Arthur C. Clarke, Larry Niven, Frederick Pohl, Diana Gabaldon, Jim Butcher, and Glen Cook.

Literary influences include: William Shakespeare, John Steinbeck, Charles Dickens, Jonathan Franzen, J.R.R. Tolkien, Ayn Rand, Margaret Atwood, Jane Austin, Frank McCourt, Mary Shelley, John Irving, Aldous Huxley, Homer, Dante, and Voltaire.

Edward enjoys playing with his new baby daughter as well as his many hobbies such as poker, bike riding, playing softball, and pissing people off on social media through the use of rational thought and common sense.

Writing Through Hurricanes, Grumpy Spouses, And Maniacal Bosses: Finding Your Default Self

by Edward Lazellari

The universe is trying to keep you from your writing. It will throw all manner of distraction and chaos at you, and bind you with obligations–girlfriends who cry neglect, boyfriends who threaten to step out on your monogamy, bosses who insist that your not getting the work done in 40 hours is your fault not the workload. You will try to reason with the universe, work out a mutual arrangement where you borrow three hours here and two hours there to ply your craft; but the universe is a fickle bitch that knows full well you need uninterrupted blocks of time with which to craft your tales–time to let your story ferment and then time for revisions. You need a thousand hours to write two hundred decent pages. Lie back to the universe, steal the time you need, sacrifice personal pleasure and socializing, and then maybe…maybe, you will have a story of note at the end of the run. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Alyc Helms


Today I am interviewing Alyc Helms, author of the new urban fantasy novel, The Conclave of Shadow, second book in the Missy Masters series.

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DJ: Hey Alyc! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Alyc Helms: Thank you so much for having me!

I’ll try to keep it down to ‘a little’. The thing I usually lead with is that I did my undergrad and graduate work in Anthropology and Folklore. That alone explains 75% of how my brain functions. I love stories, I love tropes, I love the structure of narrative, and I love how stories reveal both the particularities and the generalities of a cultural system. My areas of study definitely feed into my writing. I have a whole treatise on different tendencies in worldbuilding that I don’t have room to go into here. Suffice to say that I lean toward anthropological worldbuilding, which comes out through how characters view and interact with the world and the assumptions they make about it (as opposed to, say, getting your worldbuilding out via an omniscient-view history of a location or a custom – nothing wrong with that style. I love that style. I just don’t do it very often myself).

The other 25% of my brain is occupied with the various hobbies I’ve picked up over the years. I’m a big gamer–I’ve written some freelance content for Green Ronin for their A Song of Ice and Fire and Dragon Age lines. I’m a former competitive Scottish Highland dancer, and I still keep my bell kicks a’rockin’ at my local Renaissance and Dickens fairs. I’m pretty handy with a sewing machine (which helps for the making of corsets and costumes for the aforementioned fairs), and I just taught myself to crochet.

DJ: What is The Conclave of Shadow about? What can readers of the series expect in the latest installment? Anything new? Any surprises?


Alyc: Like I mentioned before, I’m a sucker for narrative tropes and structures. With The Dragons of Heaven, I played with the idea of a pulp adventure-style origin story. For the sequel, The Conclave of Shadow, I decided to write it using the structure of a caper story along the lines of Ocean’s Eleven or Escape from Alcatraz—the sorts of stories that depend on complex plans, many players, and many moving parts. Also, things going wrong, and the creative ways that the characters work around those roadblocks.

One of the worldbuilding elements I left (mostly) unexplored in the first book was the role of the Argent Aces in Missy’s world. These corporate-sponsored heroes act as a sort of private army and give the ambiguously motivated Argent Corporation much of their power. In Conclave, Missy reluctantly teams up with several Argent Aces (and drags a few of her old allies along for the ride) to investigate the theft of Argent technology by the Conclave of Shadow. But of course, there’s more going on than just simple theft, and everyone on the team has their own secrets and reasons for helping. Things get… interesting. Continue reading

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Author Interview and Giveaway: Darrell Drake


Darrell Drake was kind enough to provide three (3) free ebook copies of A Star-Reckoner’s Lot to go along with his interview! The link and details for the giveaway are located at the bottom of the post, following the interview:)

Today I am interviewing Darrell Drake, author of the new, historical fantasy novel, A Star-Reckoner’s Lot!!!

[Insert 80’s montage with guitars and fireworks and Canadian flags]

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DJ: Hey Darrell! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Darrell Drake: There’s one thing you should know about me above all else: that I’m fond of birds. How fond? I once let a Canadian goose eat out of my hand, and Canadian geese are nothing if not vicious. Really. Also, I regularly serenade my cat with power ballads.

DJ: What is A Star-Reckoner’s Lot about?

Darrell: The thriving, culturally rich late-antique empire of Sassanian Iran; a strong yet tragically real heroine whose illness and bereavement hangs over her like a cloud of soot and grime; a system of luck-based magic fueled by astronomy (and unpredictable at best in the case of the heroine); a companion who is, perhaps above all else, a liability, with an unconventional take on reality; and all of this inspired by classics such as the Shahnameh and Arabian Nights.

DJ: What were some of your influences for A Star-Reckoner’s Lot?


Darrell: For the execution of stories within the greater story I drew obvious inspiration from Scheherazade’s delivery of her tales in Arabian Nights—though not nearly as recursive. The tales themselves were influenced in part by the Shahnameh, Iran’s national epic, and the folklore and mythology of the region.

The setting allowed me a wealth of content to draw from, which further seeded the adventures of Ashtadukht and her cohorts. The history and multifarious lands of Sassanian Iran would be the core around which their path wound. The empire spanned four centuries; its domain stretched from Mesopotamia to Central Asia. Needless to say, I had quite a bit to work with on that front.

DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them?

Darrell: Ashtadukht, the heroine of A Star-Reckoner’s Lot, is perhaps the most appealing because of her flaws. She’s constantly struggling with her illness, the weight of her husband’s death (and her headstrong pursuit of the div responsible [a sort of monster]), the enormity of her title as star-reckoner, the contempt with which her peers view her (due to her unpredictable star-reckoning, and leniency toward the divs she’s meant to root out). All the while, she maintains her bearing. She is proud, intelligent, and capable—neither above her faults nor weakened by them. In her adventures, readers will come to find just how heedlessly she follows her course for justice—or what she would call justice.

Waray is one of Ashtadukht’s companions, one who has already endeared readers, and is above all else a liability. A glance at her semi-keeled scales and otherwise viper-like appearance imparts a clear impression of her terrible lineage. She is no normal div, though. A normal div would be a more straightforward problem; Waray is half-div. Her troubled state becomes immediately manifest in unusual idiosyncrasies and an unconventional take on reality, symptoms of her grim personality disorders. What’s more, she harbors a lie so great it entices her own kind to turn on her. Hunted by both sides, running from her past, Waray is in a bad … way when Ashtadukht finds her. Continue reading

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Author Interview: J.R.R.R. (Jim) Hardison

41dHsvxyUKL._UX250_Today I am interviewing J.R.R.R. (Jim) Hardison, author of the debut comedic epic fantasy novel, Fish Wielder, book one of the Fish Wielder trilogy.

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DJ: Hey Jim! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview! Before we actually start this interview, I want to tell you, that strictly from reading the back of your book, it sounds so freaking hilarious and awesome!

But let’s start off with some introductions: for readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

J.R.R.R (Jim) Hardison: Thank you for the kind words about Fish Wielder, DJ. Way back in Ancient Times, when I was in first grade, my teacher Miss Rainwater (I’m not making that up) gave an assignment to write down what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “I am gong to be a wrytr” (spelling wasn’t my thing…still isn’t). Since then, I’ve been trying to make good on that claim. While Fish Wielder is my first novel novel, over the years I’ve written a comedy horror movie (The Creature from Lake Michigan), a TV special (Popeye’s Voyage: The Quest for Pappy), the show bible and an episode of the PBS TV show SeeMore’s Playhouse (Basil’s Surprise) and a graphic novel (The Helm) which was named one of YALSA’s Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens in 2010.

DJ: What is Fish Wielder about?

JIM: It’s an epically silly epic fantasy novel about a muscle-bound barbarian warrior and his talking fish who stumble their way into a quest to recover the lost Pudding of Power and destroy it before the forces of evil can use it to take over the magical world of Grome. It’s more convoluted than that, but that’s the gist of it. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Beth Cato


Today I am interviewing Beth Cato, author of the new fantasy steampunk novel, Breath of Earth.

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DJ: Hey Beth! Thanks for coming by AGAIN this month! This time, for your new novel, Breath of Earth.

So tell us: What is Breath of Earth about?

Beth Cato: The book follows Ingrid Carmichael, a secretary for the Earth Wardens in San Francisco. Unbeknownst to the wardens, she is a far more powerful geomancer than they are. When most of the wardens are killed, it falls on Ingrid to act as a buffer to keep earth energy from causing a cataclysmic earthquake in the city. At the same time, tensions are high with Chinese refugees in the city, and everything threatens to explode at once.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Breath of Earth?

BC: Foremost, my own background as a native Californian growing up with earthquakes and a great deal of curiosity about the “Big One” that hit San Francisco in 1906. I don’t hide that an earthquake happens in my book, but the reasons for it are quite different. I also harken back to the video games I loved growing up. Readers like to find the tribute Easter eggs I hide throughout my books. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Timothy C. Ward


Today I am interviewing Timothy C. Ward, author of the new, apocalyptic fantasy novel, Revolt, first book in the Godsknife series.

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DJ: Hey Tim! Thanks for stopping by (again!) to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, or read any our two previous interviews, could you tell us a little about yourself? What’s new since Scavenger: A.I.’s release?

Timothy C. Ward: I mean, how could someone not have heard of me? It sounds like I practically live here. To steal a line from my bio: I’ve been broke, lost and surfed with sharks on the other side of the world, but now dream up greater adventures from my keyboard in Des Moines, Iowa.

Scavenger: A.I. was my second and possibly last book in my post-apocalyptic scifi series set in Hugh Howey’s world of Sand. I published that in June, and am publishing my first fantasy novel August 22 through Evolved Publishing. It has been a crazy busy summer. I go to WorldCon in three days, where I will hopefully not let my nerves get the best of me as I stand behind a dealer’s table smiling and offering my card as I wait and pray for my stacks of books to steadily shrink into thin air.

DJ: What is Revolt about?

TCW: It is about people I think readers should love. People who have grown up in philosophical systems and imperfect family dynamics that have made them the imperfect heroes of their own story.

In more concrete terms, it’s the violent return of magic to a world like ours, set in Iowa and pieces of the Abyss inspired by my time in South Korea. Characters will fight giant praying mantises and darker corners in their hearts that make them wonder if they’re up for the battle to keep their world steady as it heaves itself end over end. Continue reading

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Author Spotlight: Famished: The Farm by Ivan Ewert

About the Book:

Destiny, manifested.

Having defeated the Gentleman Ghouls of the Farm and the Commons, Gordon Velander—and his attendant spirits, Orobias and Sylvie—head west. They seek to destroy the most remote branch of the cannibal cult that founded America and gnaws at the roots of the free world.

However, Gordon now fights a battle both within and without. His contentious allies first struggle, then revolt, following their own agendas. At the same time, Rancher Dylan Wildye has chosen a new tactic to preserve the family bloodline.

Warring for mastery of his own body, mind, and soul, Gordon must choose not only sides, but also his fate.

Famished: The Ranch is the third and final book in the Gentleman Ghouls series from Ivan Ewert and Apocalypse Ink Productions.

Continue reading

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Author Interview: Alvaro Zinos-Amaro


Today I am interviewing Alvaro Zinos-Amaro, author of the new non-fiction book, Traveler of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg.

Traveler of Worlds is a book of conversations in which Alvaro asks Robert Silverberg all sorts of questions about his life experiences, love of travel and art and music, and of course his long and prolific career, in and out of science fiction.

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DJ: Hey Alvaro! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Alvaro Zinos-Amaro: Thanks for having me! I’m a science fiction and horror writer. I also write nonfiction about science fiction, fantasy and horror, and like to study the history of the fields.

I was born in Madrid, Spain, went to high school in Munich, Germany, and then returned to Madrid for a BS in Theoretical Physics. I’m sure this diverse background contributed to my interest in a type of fiction that specializes in what-ifs, in the creation of alternative worlds and cultures.

DJ: What is Traveler of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg about?

AZA: As mentioned in your introduction, the book is a series of candid, relaxed conversations with Robert Silverberg. Some of the topics we discuss: Silverberg’s extensive travel and anecdotes pertaining to such, collecting artifacts, art theory and art history, painting, classical music, film, all manner of writers, Silverberg’s personal habits, his views on society and science, political positions, his youth and early pets, the “sense of wonder,” existentialism, thoughts on his long career and the meaning of awards,

his library, and the process of getting old. As I was working on the book I also solicited questions from readers and fans via Facebook, and integrated these into our conversations.

DJ: I’m going to ask the obvious question: why Robert Silverberg? Of all the sci-fi authors, what was it about him that made you want to undertake this project?


AZA: When I was seventeen years old, back in that distant year of 1996, I discovered Robert Silverberg’s work with Nightwings. The subtle melancholy of its three lyrical novellas moved me deeply and I hunted down as many books by him as I could find. Over the next two years I read fifty of his novels and non-fiction books on history and archaeology. I was bowled over by the vast range of his work, and how inhumanly prolific he was. I heard about a mysterious breakdown through overwork in the 1960s, a perplexing mid-career retirement in the ’70s, and other unusual developments that added to my fascination. And he had an uncommon persona, cool and phlegmatic, that further contributed to the intrigue.

After years of correspondence, the blooming of a friendship, and our collaboration on a fiction project, When the Blue Shift Comes, in 2012, I thought it would be enjoyable and enlightening to converse with him about a long life well spent, and record his thoughts on various subjects.

I hope that fans of his work, as well as more casual readers who wish to know about the writing life and the history of science fiction, will find the result of interest.

DJ: Why did you want to write this type of book?

AZA: I’ve always been fascinated by writers and the writing process. In addition, in the case of Bob Silverberg, I was struck by a growing number of questions. How could one person have written so much, and at such a high level? His characters seemed to express every possible view and opinion—what did he think, and why? Where had his travels taken him? What kind of music and films did he enjoy? What were his eccentricities and foibles and hobbies? Above all, wherefrom sprang the creative well that had thrust up so many works of visionary wonder?

Traveler of Worlds is my attempt to peel back the layers and connect with Silverberg the man and artist, documenting my journey of discovery along the way.

DJ: Believe it or not, I have never read anything by Robert Silverberg! What are some of your favorite novels by him?

AZA: My friend, you’re in for a treat! You can’t go wrong the following novels: Dying Inside, The Book of Skulls, The World Inside, Son of Man, Tower of Glass, Nightwings and Downward to the Earth. These are all from the late 60s and 70s; intense, and stylistically admirable. If you’re looking for something adventure-oriented, with wonderful attention to setting, and more epic in scope, Lord Valentine’s Castle is a joy to read. From the more recent novels, two of my favorites are The Face of the Waters, for its ending, and The Alien Years, because of the generational, multi-perspective approach to its narrative, and the inscrutability of the aliens’ motives.

DJ: Silverberg has quite an extensive collection of short-stories, but could you name some of your favorite from them too?

AZA: This is tricky. Silverberg has published over a thousand stories, and over the last decade or so his most important science fiction stories have been collected in a staggering nine volumes by Subterranean Press. Out of all these hundreds, here’s a baker’s dozen that I consider top-of-the-line: “To See the Invisible Man,” “Flies,” “Passengers,” “The Science Fiction Hall of Fame,” “Sundance,” “Capricorn Games,” “Born with the Dead,” “The Pope of the Chimps,” “Sailing to Byzantium,” “Multiples,” “Homefaring,” “The Feast of St. Dionysus,” and “Thebes of the Hundred Gates.” Some of these are available in the excellent career retrospective The Best of Robert Silverberg: Stories of Six Decades.

DJ: What were a couple of the greatest things (surprises) you learnt about Robert Silverberg while writing the book?

AZA: People tend to think of Silverberg as an unflappable, aloof guy with a sardonic sense of humor and highbrow interests. Fair enough; but there’s also a mischievous twinkle in the eye and a playful nature behind that persona, as evidenced by some of the anecdotes he shared.

I was surprised about some of Silverberg’s childhood experiences. For instance, he was actually extroverted at the age of six or seven, and then became shy later on, as a result of his extroversion getting him in trouble with classmates. I didn’t know much about Silverberg’s relationship with his parents and that was also fascinating.

DJ: How was the overall experience of putting this book together?

AZA: The conversations that make up the text of Traveler of Worlds happened over the course of 2015 in Silverberg’s living room. My girlfriend, Rebecca, and I drove up to visit Bob and his wife Karen Haber four times, and that provided ample time for the conversations to unfold. I then transcribed and edited them, with Silverberg’s approval, for the book. Gardner Dozois wrote an Introduction and Karen an Afterword. I was lucky enough to get some great blurbs from Nancy Kress, Mike Resnick, Kim Stanley Robinson, Sheila Williams and Jack Skillingstead. It was a delightful experience, all around.

DJ: What was your favorite part about writing Traveler of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg?

AZA: Planning the questions I was going to ask Bob was a blast, because I could roam far and wide in my research on fun subjects. The challenge of adhering to my set questions, while letting the conversations take their own natural course and satisfying my curiosity in the moment, was also stimulating. Bob was pleased with the outcome when he read the final manuscript, and that pleased me. Finally, having produced a book that I myself would have snapped up, had it been written by someone else, is also rewarding.

DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?

AZA: They may meet a Robert Silverberg who doesn’t match their expectations; or they may confirm their initial impressions but glean further insights. Either way, I would be pleased if readers felt like they got a better sense of who Robert Silverberg is, and the way his mind works.

DJ: What was your goal in writing the Traveler of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg? Is there a particular message or meaning you are hoping to get across to readers?

AZA: I hope the book’s informal approach will entertain readers, providing an interesting glimpse into an unusual life and career. Silverberg has gone on record saying he will not write an autobiography, so this may be the closest thing we get. Not everything Silverberg and I talk about will interest everyone, but hopefully something will be of interest to just about everyone who is curious about science fiction and writing. And maybe some folks will find themselves creatively inspired, or will want to learn more about some of the many writers, artists, etc. we talk about.

DJ: When I read, I love to collect quotes – whether it be because they’re funny, foodie, or have a personal meaning to me. Do you have any favorite quotes from Traveler of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg that you can share with us?

AZA: Here are four of my favorites:

  • “I’ve never been an activist. I believe in the futility of marches.”
  • “The indifference of a cat is a beautiful thing to observe.”
  • “I’m a moderate man because I’m designed to be moderate. I wrote an immoderate amount of fiction.”
  • “You can look through a telescope on both ends. If you want to feel like a really big person, look through the other end of the telescope at all that small stuff there.”

DJ: Now that Traveler of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg is released, what is next for you?

AZA: I’d like to try my hand at a science fiction novel next, something short and intense, in the mode of some of my favorite works from the 1970s. I also plan to continue writing short stories, book and film reviews, and would be open to doing another book of Conversations with a different author as well.

DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?

Amazon Author Page:







DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about Traveler of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg that we haven’t talked about yet?

AZA: I just want to thank you for your questions and interest! The book comes out on August 16th, from Fairwood Press, and may be purchased directly from them, or via Amazon, or from IndieBound. Additionally, for those folks attending WorldCon, there will be a special panel to discuss the book on Saturday 20th at 1 pm. And I hope to be able to travel to San Francisco in September for a discussion and Q&A on the book with Bob for the “SF in SF” series, on Sunday the 11th.

DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!

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*** Traveler of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg is published by Fairwood Press and is available TODAY!!! ***

Buy the Book: 

Amazon | Barnes & NobelGoodreads | Kobo

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About the Book:

In addition to exploring Silverberg’s career, now in its sixth decade, this collection of transcribed conversations delves into aspects of Silverberg’s life-such as his extensive travel, passion for film, opera and classical music-not covered elsewhere.

A decade-and-a-half-long friendship, and working together on When the Blue Shift Comes, afforded Alvaro the opportunity to speak at length with Silverberg. The result: a remarkably candid series of conversations that will be of interest to science fiction readers and anyone curious about the writing life.



AZAbioAbout the Author:

Alvaro started publishing around 2008, and has had more than thirty stories appear in magazines likeAnalogNatureGalaxy’s EdgeThe Journal of Unlikely EntomologyLackington’sMothership Zeta,Farrago’s Wainscot and Neon, as well as anthologies such as The Mammoth Book of the Adventures of MoriartyThe Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper TalesThe 2015 Young Explorer’s Adventure GuideCyber WorldThis Way to the End Times [edited by R. Silverberg], Humanity 2.0and An Alphabet of Embers. Alvaro’s essays, reviews and interviews have appeared in The Los Angeles Review of BooksThe First LineAsimov’sStrange HorizonsClarkesworldSF SignalFoundation,The New York Review of Science Fiction and Intergalactic Medicine Show; he also edits the roundtable blog for Locus.


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