Tag Archives: abaddon

Author Interview: Alec Worley

Today I am interviewing Alec Worley, author of the new science-fiction novel, Judge Anderson: Year One.

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

Alec Worley: Thanks for having me, DJ!

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

Alec: I write comics for 2000 AD, as well as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Star Wars (both for younger readers). Fiction-wise, I’m currently writing stories for Black Library’s Warhammer series.

I’ve been writing professionally for about ten years now. I started out as a projectionist in the picture palaces and fleapits of London’s West End, before becoming a movie journalist and eventually got into comics through the slush pile at 2000 AD. Working under Tharg the Mighty, editor of the Glaxy’s Greatest Comic, I’ve written stories for Judge Dredd, Judge Anderson and Robo-Hunter, as well as two original series: the ‘spookpunk’ action-comedy Dandridge and the werewolf epic Age of the Wolf. I’m from Tooting in South London and for years I thought a ‘cream tea’ was tea with cream in it.

DJ: What is Judge Anderson: Year One about?

Alec: It’s a collection of three interlinked novellas (plus a bonus short story and rambling introduction) about the psychic Judge Anderson’s traumatic first year on the streets of Mega-City One. The first story, Heartbreaker, has her on the trail of a killer terrorizing the Big Meg’s most popular dating site ‘Meet Market’ (a cross between eHarmony and eBay); the second story, The Abyss, is way darker and sees her fighting to save her own sanity when she finds herself trapped inside a psychiatric prison following a botched breakout; the third story, A Dream of the Nevertime, is a mystical road trip in which she journeys into the bizarre wastes of the Cured Earth to find a cure for a psychedelic virus that threatens to destroy both her and the city.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Judge Anderson: Year One?

Alec: Movies like Silence of the Lambs, Manhunter, Die Hard, Haywire, and Red River, books like Stephen Hunter’s Point of Impact, Dirty White Boys and Black Light, Garth Ennis’s Punisher MAX series by Marvel, David Simon’s Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, and a bunch of critical essays by Stephen Hunter, Kim Newman and Marina Warner. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Toby Venables

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Today I am interviewing Toby Venables, author of the new epic historical-fantasy novel, Hunter of Sherwood: Hood, final book in the Guy of Gisburne trilogy.

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

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

Toby Venables: Well, I’m a writer in various media – novels, screenwriting, journalism – and author of four novels, all of which have been in some way historically based. The first was The Viking Dead, which threw together Vikings and zombies, but was as much a love letter to Viking culture as anything else. Then came the Hunter of Sherwood trilogy (AKA the Guy of Gisburne novels). I’ve also written a couple of screenplays – nothing yet produced, but the next one is looking good – teach students in Cambridge, have contributed to an academic tome on zombies, am married with two children and shoot English longbow.

DJ: What is Hunter of Sherwood: Hood and then the Guy of Gisburne trilogy about?

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Toby: Essentially, it turns the Robin Hood legend on its head. Abaddon – who had published The Viking Dead, and who knew I had a thing for medieval subjects – suggested the idea of having Sir Guy of Gisburne, the traditional villain of the piece, as a hero of a series of novels. As it turned out, I had been thinking about new ways to tell the Robin Hood story – kind of a Dark Knight version – so I jumped at the chance. I went away and worked out some ideas and they liked them, so we went for the first novel, Knight of Shadows. The challenge I set myself was that the story I wrote had to fit with the real history of the period (it’s set it at the time of King Richard and Prince John) and also had to fit with the legends we know. But it also had to have a genuinely admirable character in Gisburne, and a real villain in Hood, and real reasons why we would root for the man who legend has remembered as the bad guy. Originally, there was talk of this being an ongoing series. After the first book, though, it was clear that this needed a distinct narrative arc, and we all agreed that a trilogy would work better. Gisburne and Hood are destined to have a showdown, and that showdown is what the novel Hood is all about. It has a bit of a Magnificent Seven feel to it. And it is quite grim. Although it isn’t horror, I have a love of that genre, and there are moments where it becomes horror. Comedy too. I like that contrast of tones, and that kind of richness. Life is like that. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Una McCormack

Una McCormack talks to Paul Kirkley at Fitzbillies, Cambridge

Una McCormack talks to Paul Kirkley at Fitzbillies, Cambridge

Today I am interviewing Una McCormack, author of the new science-fiction novel, Weird Space: The Star of the Sea.

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

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

Una McCormack: Hi there! Thanks for asking me! For readers who don’t know me, I’m a science fiction writer based in Cambridge, UK, who mostly writes tie-in fiction based on shows such as Doctor Who and Star Trek. My first book for the Weird Space universe, The Baba Yaga, was my first non tie-in novel.

DJ: What is Weird Space: The Star of the Sea about?

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Una: The book is an action-adventure space opera in which a group of characters band together to fight off the threat from some all-consuming, dimension-hopping aliens, while trying not to get arrested by their own government.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Weird Space: The Star of the Sea?

Una: The first couple of books in the Weird Space series, of course, which are by Eric Brown (Satan’s Reach and The Devil’s Nebula). I was also influenced by ensemble shows like Firefly and Blake’s 7, and by classic feminist SF by writers like Joanna Russ.

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 will sympathize with them?

Una: The main characters are all struggling to protect themselves and their nearest and dearest from the threat from the Weird, who are Lovecraftian aliens intent on consuming everything in their path.

My main characters are Maria, a young mother who fled the Expansion after discovering a secret about a massacre carried out by her government. She’s inexperienced but brave, and she learns a lot about looking after herself and her little girl in this book.

There’s also Yale, who ran away from the Expansion some years ago for reasons that are made clear in the book. She’s been hiding away on a remote world called Stella Maris, where a Weird portal has opened, but hasn’t tried to destroy the locals. Yale is fast-talking, likes a fight, and is mostly out for herself – but she ends up having to return to the Expansion to fight the Weird.

The other main character is called Eileen O’Connor. She’s a scientist who comes to Stella Maris to learn more about this special portal, and who learns that her government have been guilty of terrible crimes. This makes her question which side she’s on. Continue reading

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