Tag Archives: abaddon

Author Interview: David Thomas Moore


Today I am interviewing David Thomas Moore, editor of the new fantasy anthology, The True History of Strange Brigade.

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DJ: Hey David! Thanks for stopping by to do an interview!

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

David: Hi there! I’m David Thomas Moore, the Fiction Commissioning Editor at Rebellion Publishing (that’s Solaris and Abaddon Books, for those at the back). I’ve also edited a handful of anthologies, including Not So Stories, Dracula: Rise of the Beast and The True History of the Strange Brigade. If we’ve ever met, there’s a good chance I was doing karaoke at the time.

DJ: What is The True History of Strange Brigade about?


David: It’s a companion volume for the Strange Brigade videogame, coming out on the 28th August on all major platforms. It tells the backstories of the four main playable characters and four of the initial downloadable characters – who they are, and what unearthly encounter first brought them to the attention of the Department of Antiquities, the so-called “Strange Brigade” that protects the world from the supernatural.

The stories are set in our world, sometime in the 1930s – the time of Indiana Jones, of The Shadow, of Doc Savage – and terrible things lurk in the shadows of the world: monsters, old gods, ghosts, alien intelligences and worse. The Department of Antiquities, an unofficial and unacknowledged branch of His Majesty’s Government, holds the duty of rooting these creatures out and making the world safe. The Brigade itself, formed of agents from around the world – from India and Japan, from Kenya and America, from everywhere the Empire has a presence – are the sharp edge of the Department, travelling where needed and doing what must be done. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Alex Thomson

36373679Today I am interviewing Alex Thomson, author of the new sci-fi novel, Death of a Clone

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

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

Alex Thomson: I’m a French and Spanish teacher at a secondary school in Luton, and this is my first novel. I came to sci-fi/fantasy relatively late – someone lent me a copy of Foundation when I was in my late twenties – and have spent the last decade making up for lost time and reading as many different authors and sub-genres as I can. I love how sci-fi gives authors so much scope to explore ideas about what it is to be human.

DJ: What is Death of a Clone about?


Alex: Death of a Clone is a sci-fi/crime mash-up – a murder mystery set on a mining asteroid called Hell, populated by a small community of clones. The main character, Leila, is a Miss Marple buff, and when her clone sister is killed, she tries to investigate the murder herself, using Miss Marple’s methods. However, it turns out there are plenty of secrets on Hell, and someone is prepared to kill to make sure those secrets stay hidden.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Death of a Clone?

Alex: It was influenced by a lot of classic “soft sci-fi”, for example the short stories of Isaac Asimov and Philip K Dick. More recently, by Adam Roberts, who is one of my favourite contemporary sci-fi authors, and always manages to make extraordinary ideas seem completely natural. And in particular, I first started writing Death of a Clone after reading Michel Faber’s The Book of Strange New Things; I had always been a bit too intimidated to attempt to write sci-fi myself, but Faber (who doesn’t normally write sci-fi) reminded me that all you need is a good story and characters you care about – the rest will follow. Continue reading

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Author Interview: David Thomas Moore


Today I am interviewing David Thomas Moore, editor of the new fantasy anthology, Not So Stories.

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DJ: Hi David! Thanks for stopping by to do an interview!

David Thomas Moore: Hi DJ! Thanks for having me.

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

David: Hello readers! I’m the recently-promoted fiction commissioning editor at Rebellion Publishing (that’s Solaris and Abaddon Books, chiefly). As well as being one of those shadowy, behind-the-scenes editors who decide what gets published, I’m also one of the other type, whose names appear on the front of anthologies (specifically, Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets, Monstrous Little Creatures and Dracula: Rise of the Beast, inspired by the Sherlock Holmes books, the works of Shakespeare and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, respectively).

DJ: What is Not So Stories about?


David: It’s an anthology of short stories inspired by and responding to Rudyard Kipling’s 1902 children’s classic Just So Stories, written entirely by authors of colour from around the world.

DJ: What were some of the inspirations behind Not So Stories?

David: As you can probably tell from the list above, my anthologies are generally about dusting off and playing with the classics. Just So Stories came up in conversation in the office, and I thought about how important the collection had been to me as a kid, inspiring a fascination with etiological stories that played a large part in my engagement with mythology later in life.

But it’s also, frankly, pretty problematic stuff! Even leaving aside the outright racism found in, say, “How the Leopard Got His Spots” or “The Crab Who Played With the Sea” (and by all means let’s not leave that aside), Kipling’s complacency and imperialism are on show on every page. Inviting writers of colour to interrogate that seemed like the right step.

It also meant keeping myself out of it as much as practical: I’m white, I’m Australian/British, I’m not the person this anthology’s about. I invited Nikesh Shukla – whose The Good Immigrant was one of the standout releases of 2016 – to write a foreword. I provided the platform, but I left it to others to use it. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Pat Kelleher


Today I am interviewing Pat Kelleher, author of the new fantasy novella, Drag Hunt, a bonus story in the re-release of Unclean Spirits by Chuck Wendig.

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

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

Pat Kelleher: Hi, DJ. Well, I live in Manchester in the north west of England. I’ve been a making a living as a jobbing writer working in a variety of media from comics, books and radio to video games. My first novels were the No Man’s World books published by Abaddon, a pulp science fantasy series following the adventures of a First World War battalion of soldiers stranded on an alien world.

DJ: What is Drag Hunt about?


Pat: It’s an urban fantasy about two people who have lost everything they hold dear and who are thrown together in order to get it back. It just happens that one of them is a Native American trickster god who has had his penis stolen. The other is a mortal who finds himself adrift and powerless in a horrifying world he never knew existed and how he ultimately comes to terms with that.

DJ: How did you come about to writing this novella? 

Pat: I’d just finished the third book of the No Man’s World series when Rebellion asked me if I’d be interested in writing an urban fantasy novella for the new Gods and Monsters shared world series they were launching. Chuck Wendig had written the first book. It hadn’t yet seen print, so they sent me Chuck’s manuscript, as it lay the groundwork for the shared world. Chuck has a distinct style and a unique voice. He’s a hard act to follow, so I was a little nervous, but the world he created was rich with possibilities. And after the epic scale of No Man’s World, I relished the opportunity to tell a smaller story. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Nate Crowley

Today I am interviewing Nate Crowley, author of the new sci-fi horror novel, The Death and Life of Schneider Wrack.

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

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

Nate Crowley: Sure! I used to be a journalist, but a couple of years ago I wrote a massive story about my mate’s birthday on twitter, and that somehow led me into a career as a fiction writer.

DJ: What’s The Death and Life of Schneider Wrack about?

Nate: The book is about political prisoners who get executed, then reanimated to work as slave labour aboard whaling ships on an alien sea. The protagonist, Schneider, can’t remember whether he was a librarian who was framed for sedition, or a dangerous rebel leader. In any case, he’s ended up dead and working in the most nightmarish environment imaginable, so he decides to give himself the benefit of the doubt and start a slave revolt.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Death and Life of Schneider Wrack?

Nate: You can’t write a whaling story without a bit of Moby Dick getting in through the cracks, so there’s a little of that general flavour in there. I’m massively into natural history too, so there’s an awful lot of unusual and grotesque wildlife in the story, both in the oceanic setting the book starts in, and in some tropical locations later on. In terms of other influences, I’m very much into China Mieville – I love the way he writes about social structures that are even more monstrous than his actual monsters, and I’d like to think I’ve managed something a little of the same. I’m also a great fan of the late Iain M Banks, particularly in the way he managed to inject humour and humanity into the most horrendous situations. Continue reading

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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


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?


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?


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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