Monthly Archives: October 2019

Author Interview: Christopher Hinz and Etan Ilfeld

Today I am interviewing Christopher Hinz and Etan Ilfeld, co-authors of the new fantasy novelette, Duchamp versus Einstein.

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DJ: Hi Christopher Hinz & Etan Ilfed! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

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

Christopher Hinz: I’m the author of seven novels as well as screenplays, graphic novels, short stories and comics for DC and Marvel. As well as Duchamp Versus Einstein co-written with Etan Ilfeld, I also have a new novel, Starship Alchemon, coming out in November.

Etan: I’m a publisher, chess player and serial entrepreneur. I studied physics at university so this book brings together many of my passions: chess, art, physics, sci-fi and history.

DJ: What is Duchamp versus Einstein about?

Christopher: An ethereal female, able to move freely through space and time, arranges for the artist Marcel Duchamp and the scientist Albert Einstein to play a surreal game of chess that could have a major impact on world history. 

DJ: What were some of your influences for Duchamp versus Einstein?

Christopher: I’ve always been fascinated by Einstein, whose pivotal theories have so strongly influenced scientific and technological development. For instance, our modern-day GPS wouldn’t be accurate unless the underlying math took into account Einstein’s theory of general relativity.  

Etan: I’ve always been inspired by both Duchamp and Einstein. Duchamp was one of the greatest artists of the 20th century and a master provocateur. For a decade he gave up art and became a master chess player–representing France in several chess olympiads. Both had failed first marriages and stable second marriages. Duchamp’s first wife was so jealous of his passion for chess that she glued his chess pieces to the board, which made him furious and precipitated the end of their short lived marriage. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Jay Allen

Today I am interviewing Jay Allan, author of the new science-fiction novel, The Emperor’s Fist, fourth book in the Far Stars series.

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DJ: Hi Jay! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview! 

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

Jay Allan:Sure.  I’ve been writing since 2012, mostly military science fiction and space opera, though I do have a fantasy novel floating around out there, too.

DJ: What is The Emperor’s Fist and then the Far Stars series about?

Jay:  The Far Stars series is set in a universe dominated by a brutal empire.  The Far Stars is a distant cluster of roughly 100 systems, separated from the empire by a vast navigational hazard called The Void.  For this reason, it is a wild frontier, and also the only place in the galaxy where people are not under the emperor’s boot. At the end of the last book (Funeral Games) the people of the Far Stars drove the emperor’s forces out of the sector.  The Emperor’s Fist is about the response to that.

DJ: What were some of your influences for the Far Stars series

Jay:  Well, there’s a little Star Wars in it, I suppose, more in superficial ways.  There’s definitely some influence from pirate movies and the like, things like Captain Blood.  A lot of my stuff is pretty gritty military SF. Far Stars is definitely more space opera (though not without some grit). Continue reading

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Author Interview: Cat Rambo

Photos from the World Fantasy Convention 2011 in San Diego, CA

Today I am interviewing Cat Rambo, author of the new fantasy novel, Carpe Glitter.

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DJ: Hi Cat! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview! 

What is Carpe Glitter about?

Cat: Carpe Glitter is about a woman who, while clearing out the detritus left by her hoarder stage magician grandmother, finds a magical artifact that has drastically affected her family’s history.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Carpe Glitter

Cat: The story grew out of the title, which was a play on the Latin phrase, “carpe diem,” or seize the day. I made Gloria Aim a stage magician, because I love the glitter and theatrics of stage magic, and I also used the story as a way to explore female lineage and mentorship.

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? 

Cat: Persephone Aim is determined to be neither like her mother or her grandmother, but she’s been a pawn between them in their ongoing battle all her life. In cleaning out her grandmother’s belongings, packed into three Las Vegas houses, she finds out unexpected things that shed new light on that battle. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Cynthia von Buhler

Today I am interviewing Cynthia von Buhler, author of the new graphic-novel, The Illuminati Ball. 

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DJ: Hi Cynthia! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview! 

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

Cynthia von Buhler: Hello! I’m an artist and writer. I’ve shown my 3-D and interactive paintings/sculptures in galleries and museums worldwide. I’ve also illustrated for most well-known magazines, newspapers and publishers –and won awards for that. For the past ten years I’ve been focusing on writing and illustrating graphic novels and staging interactive theater based on them. 

DJ: What is The Illuminati Ball about?

Cynthia: It’s is a warning call about new scientific discoveries, human greed, and corrupt governance on our planet subversively hidden in a provocative book about joining the Illuminati.  In real life I have been holding Illuminati Balls of varying sizes for the past four years (with the same premise). Guests need to apply in order to attend. They take part in a variety of rituals, anthropomorphic escapades and morality tests. My hope is for humans to stop being a cancer on earth and live harmoniously with nature.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Illuminati Ball

Cynthia: Several years ago, my choreographer, Delysia La Chatte, sent me intense photographs of the Rothschild’s Surrealist Illuminati Ball from 1972 as inspiration. Audrey Hepburn, one of the attendees, wore a birdcage over her head and the Baroness de Rothschild wore a stag head mask with diamond tears. These images made me think about the sadness of animals. I thought about global warming, factory farming, vivisection, hunting and so many other ways humans hurt animals. I decided to create an immersive play combining a Surrealist Eyes Wide Shut-type party with a story about non-human animals. I was also inspired by The Georgia Guidestones, a monument erected mysteriously in the eighties in Elbert County, Georgia, USA. The commandments engraved in it’s massive granite stones struck me as deeply pertinent advice for our times. At one point some thugs spray painted “Die Illuminati Pigs!” on one of the stones. This made me think, what if the Illuminati was an organization of pigs? Continue reading

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Author Interview: Jason Arnopp

Today I am interviewing Jason Arnopp, author of the new horror novel, Ghoster.

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DJ: Hi Jason! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview! 

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

Jason Arnopp: Hi there DJ! Thanks for having me here. I’m a writer of scary novels, who also tries to make you laugh from time to time. My background’s in journalism, originally rock journalism for the weekly UK magazine Kerrang! The exclamation mark is in the mag’s title, by the way. My first novel for Orbit Books was 2016’s The Last Days of Jack Sparks, about an arrogant celebrity who sets out to prove that the supernatural doesn’t exist and ends up in trouble with certain parties when he laughs during the exorcism of a teenage girl. And now here we are with Ghoster.

DJ: What is Ghoster about?

Jason: It’s about a paramedic called Kate, whose boyfriend Scott disappears on the eve of her moving across the country to live with him. When she breaks into his apartment, all his possessions have disappeared too… except for his mobile phone. As a self-identified phone addict, should Kate crack into Scott’s phone to find out where he’s gone and why he’s done this to her. Why do scratches keep appearing on the inside of the front door? And why does she feel so very watched? 

Beyond that summary of the premise, Ghoster is about modern dating, digital addiction and exactly what the hell the internet might have done to our brains.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Ghoster

Jason: In terms of real-world influence, as with The Last Days of Jack Sparks, the story was driven by my concerns about the dark sides or consequences of all this hyper-connectivity. I certainly feel like my attention span has reduced a fair bit over the last 10 years and I’m none too sure of how I feel about that. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Sofiya Pasternack

Today I am interviewing Sofiya Pasternack, author of the new MG fantasy novel, Anya and the Dragon.

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DJ: Hi Sofiya! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview! 

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

Sofiya Pasternack: Hi everyone! I’m an author, a trauma and disaster nurse, and a grad student getting a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Psychiatry! I’m also mom to two great kids. I live in Utah but I grew up on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

DJ: What is Anya and the Dragon about?

Sofiya: It’s about an 11-year-old Jewish girl in 10th Century Russia who teams up with the village idiot to save the world’s last dragon. There’s magic, monsters, baking, bravery, and goats.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Anya and the Dragon

Sofiya: I was absolutely inspired by Slavic folk tales and Russian epics. I grew up obsessed with these bonkers Russian fairy tales and when I grew up I really wanted to turn one (or many) of them into adapted stories. I read a lot of Russian fairy tale books and collections. I also read Katherine Arden’s WINTERNIGHT TRILOGY. I loved seeing her different takes on the same mythology. We both have a domovoi and a rusalka in our stories, but they’re very distinct from each other. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Tim Pratt

Today I am interviewing Tim Pratt, author of the new space opera novel, The Forbidden Stars, final book in the Axiom series.

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DJ: Hi Tim! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview! 

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

Tim Pratt: Thanks for having me! I’ve been publishing stories for 20 years and novels for about 15, and have done a bunch of different things, from urban fantasy to sword-and-sorcery to steampunk to middle-grade spy fiction! The Axiom series is my first space opera though, something I’ve wanted to try for ages. I have a day job as senior editor at Locus Magazine, a trade publication for the science fiction and fantasy publishing business, where among other things I write the obituaries. I live in Berkeley CA with my wife and kid, surrounded by a community of like-minded weirdos. I publish a new story every month at my Patreon, and have been doing so for over four years, so there are lots of stories there: 

DJ: What is The Forbidden Stars and then the Axiom series about?

Tim: Short version: Several hundred years in our future, a ragtag crew of posthumans discover strange alien technology and uncover a secret that threatens all sentient life in the galaxy. They spend three books trying to end that threat.

Long version: About 600 years from now, humankind has spread to colony worlds throughout the galaxy, and have a centuries-long relationship with an enigmatic race of aliens known as the Liars, who provided the wormhole gates that enabled galactic expansion. The (partly posthuman) crew of the White Raven, an independent freight/salvage/occasional security ship operating out of a huge space station on the edge of our solar system, discover a “goldilocks ship” drifting among the icy planitesimals: these were colony ships with small crews in cryonic suspension and lots of seedbanks, sent out five hundred years before, in the early 22nd century, when the Earth was nearly destroyed ecologically. Lots of the ships were launched toward any halfway plausible possible planet in the “goldilocks zones” of nearby stars, sent on long slow voyages in the hope that some of them would find habitable worlds and keep humankind alive if Earth perished. There’s no reason one of those ships should be anywhere near our solar system centuries after it launched, and when the crew of the White Raven investigate, they find all but one of the ship’s cryo-pods empty, and discover weird (seemingly alien) technology on board. Continue reading

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