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Dan Moren: Hello! Absolutely. By day I’m a millionaire playboy, by night I fight crime dressed as a bat. Wait, sorry, wrong interview! I’m a sci-fi author, freelance tech journalist, and podcaster. My first book, The Caledonian Gambit, came out in May 2017 from Talos, and my latest book is The Bayern Agenda, which is now out from Angry Robot. For my day job, I write about tech for places like Macworld and Six Colors and host tech podcasts Clockwise and The Rebound. And, in my “spare” time, I also host a few shows on The Incomparable podcast network, including nerdy quiz show Inconceivable!
Dan: The Bayern Agenda is a sci-fi spy thriller, set against the backdrop of a galactic cold war between two rival superpowers: the Illyrican Empire and the Commonwealth of Independent Systems. Our story follows Simon Kovalic, a covert operative for the Commonwealth, as he tries to get to the bottom of mysterious ties between the Illyricans and the independent financial hub of Bayern. Unfortunately, when he’s wounded on a mission, his team of operatives is put temporarily under the command of his ex-wife. Intrigue ensues!
Dan: Sci-fi and spy stories are two of my favorite genres, so the opportunity to mix them together was hard to resist. On the epsionage side, I love the works of John Le Carré, TV shows like The Sandbaggers, the Mission: Impossible film series, classic Hitchock thrillers, Greg Rucka’s Queen & Country spy comics—pretty much any great espionage story. On the sci-fi side, I tend towards fun space adventures that are full of intrigue and complicated characters, including the works of Lois McMaster Bujold, John Scalzi, and James S.A. Corey. Continue reading →
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Amber Royer: Hi DJ! Thanks you for the opportunity.
I write science fiction, much of it comic. I also teach creative writing to both teens and adults for Writing Workshops Dallas and UT Arlington. About a million years ago, I was a youth librarian, so I come at books and writing from a number of different directions.
I’m also a bit of a geek and a bit of a foodie, and both of those show when you read the Chocoverse books.
I’m known among my friends for making decorated cupcakes.
Amber: You have a future where aliens (the Krom) make a secret first contact. They buy samples of commodities, which they then plan to share with the galaxy. They take coffee and sugar cane, but they miss chocolate. Which becomes the only unique thing Earth has that the galaxy is hungry for.
Amber: This story is basically a telenovela on the page. So it’s going to share a lot of the plot elements and sensibilities from that genre. And there will be novela-ish character arcs. There’s glitz and glamour and celeberazzi fun. Think how people react in soap operas . . . there’s going to be that level of drama. But at the same time this is a comedy, and I’m playing with the overused soap opera tropes as the punch lines to jokes, to the point where by the time you get to the second book Bo is actively wondering how her life has taken on so many elements of a novela.
There’s also a bit here from the culinary mystery tradition, especially in the first book (a number of corpses do hit the ground in this series). Bo’s the daugher of one of Earth’s biggest celebrity chefs, and after her acting career crashbangs, she flees to the other side of the galaxy to get away from the press — and her family, who think she has behaved badly. Bo’s boyfriend, Brill is also a foodie — he’s a galactic trader who specializes in luxury foodstuffs and he’s also a connoisseur of fine wine.
And of course, this is space opera. There’s tons of geeky in references to everything from Jurassic Park to Star Wars to The Thing to E.T., but there’s a big bit about how we didn’t get the first contact Star Trek promised. Continue reading →
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D.B. Jackson: Gladly – and thanks so much for taking time to chat with me. I’m a veteran of the fantasy and science fiction field, having been at this professionally for over twenty years. Writing as D.B. Jackson, and also under my own name, David B. Coe, I’ve published twenty novels and at least that many short stories. I’ve written epic fantasy, urban fantasy, media tie-ins, and a bit of science fiction. I’m probably best known for the the LonTobyn Chronicle, my first series, which won the Crawford Award, and for the Thieftaker Chronicles, a historical urban fantasy set in pre-Revolutionary Boston. I also have a Ph.D. in U.S. history. Most important, I’m married to the World’s Best Spouse, and I have two daughters, ages 23 and 19.
D.B.: Time’s Children is the opening volume in an epic fantasy/time travel series. It tells the story of Tobias a fifteen-year-old time traveler, or Walker, as they’re known in Islevale. He is sent to a royal court, where the sovereign directs him to Walk back in time 14 years to prevent a war. Just after Tobias arrives in that past, though, the sovereign, most of his ministers, and most of his family are killed by assassins. Tobias survives, as does the sovereign’s infant daughter. Tobias, with help from Mara, his friend and love, who follows him back through time, has to keep the princess safe, restore the royal line to power, and find his way back to his own time. But he’s being pursued by the assassins, and, well, it kind of takes off from there.
D.B.: The world itself is an homage to Ursula K. LeGuin’s Earthsea. The original Earthsea trilogy has long been among my favorite works – along with Lord of the Rings, it’s the reason I fell in love with fantasy. I’ve created lots of worlds through my career, but I wanted this one to be different from those others, and so I made it a world of islands and seas, archipelagos and straits. As I say, similar to Earthsea, though it has plenty of unique elements.
And then, I would say that I was influenced in this project, as with all my work, by the novels of Guy Gavriel Kay. Guy may well be my favorite fantasist. I so admire the flow and beauty of his prose, the complexity of his settings and characters, the intricacies of his plotting. I strive for the same qualities in my own writing. Continue reading →
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N.S: Sure! I’m an author, Israeli Folk dancer, and cooking enthusiast from the Boston suburbs. I’ve read a lot of Torah in my time, and have many opinions about it, some of them delightfully blasphemous. I have a tremendous amount of fun and I can’t get away from myself, so I must be fun to be around, right?
N.S: The trilogy follows a group of foreign refugees as they seek community, safety, and meaning on an unwelcoming continent, choosing which gods to appease and which to defy and just generally trying to survive when it seems like everyone in heaven and on earth might have it in for them. And that’s not to mention the fairies, who definitely want to eat them.
In the first book, Silent Hall, the main characters stuck together for safety and comfort while doing everything they could to avoid getting squashed by some god or other. They made some questionable choices, but seemed to come out of it okay.
In the second, Among the Fallen, they split up to pursue individual goals, sometimes to disastrous effect, but still managed to keep it together and even advance in the world, for all the danger that that entails.
Now, in the final book, their questionable choices from Silent Hall really come back to bite them as they seem to have unwittingly set an apocalypse in motion. They’ve all got their separate power bases and their separate ideas for how best to respond, and their allies are pushing them in different directions too. Something’s got to give, and, um, that “something” might well be the sky? Continue reading →
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Lauren C. Teffeau: I’m a speculative fiction writer from New Mexico. I grew up on the East Coast in the suburbs outside of Philly, went to undergrad and graduate school in the South, worked as a university researcher in the Midwest, and now live in Albuquerque. I love writing and reading (natch!), biking, hiking, video games, and spending time with my family.
Lauren: The book is about a young woman named Emery Driscoll who’s blackmailed into working as a courier for a shadowy organization and what happens when the life she was forced to leave behind comes back to haunt her after she’s left holding the bag on a job gone wrong. Action and adventure abound, along with high-tech gadgets, light espionage, romance, and hard questions about the future.
Lauren: Take Johnny Mnemonic, add a dash of Person of Interest, mix with Logan’s Run, and wrap it all up in a Blade Runner-meets-solarpunk aesthetic.
Lauren: Sure! Emery has just graduated from the prestigious College of New Worth and is debating whether she wants to meet one of her close friends in person for the first time after years of synching via their neural implants, which allow for the near-instantaneous exchange of thought-text. (Hello, cyberpunk!) But after growing up in the Terrestrial District, Emery’s slow to trust, even though they have so many things in common, including a love for the city’s Arcades where their implants pair with the latest cutting-edge tech for super-immersive games like the one that introduced them in the first place. She also has a BIG secret she’s been keeping from him, and most everyone else in her life, making her easy prey for the folks wanting to turn her into a courier. Continue reading →
Lisa (@ Over the Effing Rainbow), Jorie (@ Jorie Loves a Story) and imyril (@ One More) are delighted to bring you WYRD AND WONDER, where they plan to celebrate all things fantastical throughout the month of May!
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Jeff Noon: I started writing plays in my early 30s, had some success with that, and lots of rejection slips! And then I switched to novels in the early 1990s. My first novel was Vurt, an attempt to portray the city of Manchester as I witnessed it around me at the time, while projecting it into a slightly alternative reality. The book came out on a tiny independent publisher but was lucky enough to win the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and so that was the start of my career as a science fiction author. I have written a good number of novels and short stories since then, in various styles, all of them hovering somewhere around the avant pulp interface.
Jeff: The Body Library is the follow-up to A Man of Shadows and continues my SF Private Eye series. Each novel is set in a different city, and each city contains a different weird or fantastical element. So the first book was set in a city called Dayzone, where the sky is completely covered in lamps of various kinds: it never goes dark. The novel explores the concept of time as a liquid substance. Because the city is completely cut off from the normal cycles of day and night, time has dissolved into a complex series of interconnecting time lines. Nyquist leaves that city at the end of the book and The Body Library finds him taking up residence in a new city, one obsessed with language and stories. He gets caught up in a murder mystery that takes him closer and closer to the heart of storytelling, until he actually becomes a character and enters the story. The book explores many different ideas of narrative and what stories mean to different people. The Nyquist series as a whole places a lone individual against a world he can barely understood in its entirety, and then sets him on a path that leads to the very heart of the mystery. I tried to make sure that the second book stands on its own, separate from the first book, so they could be enjoyed separately. Although, of course, they work best as a series. Continue reading →
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Tristan Palmgren: Hello, and thank you for having me!
I’ve been writing science fiction since grade school, and knew I wanted to keep writing. Unfortunately, that was about the only thing I knew about myself. In my other lives, I’ve been a teacher, a lecturer, a clerk, a technician, a secretary, a store manager, and a rural coroner’s assistant. Quietus is my debut novel.
Tristan: Quietus is a science fiction novel set during the Black Death, about a transdimensional anthropologist, a Carthusian monk, the weight of loss, and compassion in impossible circumstances.
Tristan: The research! It was in reading about the Black Death that I realized that I wanted to write about it. Barbara Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century does not dwell on the Black Death, but the pages it spends on plague were so evocative that I immediately started more research. Barbara Tuchman is a novelist’s historian, and I try to take lessons from her craft every time I read it. Julie Kerr’s Life in the Medieval Cloister helped me solidify Niccoluccio. Continue reading →
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Alex: I’ve been professionally writing science fiction and fantasy for about eight years now. I’m also a geologist; I got my MS in sedimentology, which I’ve been told shows a little bit in how I write things. Deserts landforms are my favorites, which explains a lot about the setting for the books at least!
Alex: It’s about the worker population on a company-owned and controlled planet striking to try to better their living conditions–but it’s also about ultimately who is going to control interstellar travel in this universe, even if they don’t quite realize it. It’s about working people asserting their right to survive and thrive and have control over their own destinies. There’s also, I will note, witchiness. (I’ve been told that Blood Binds the Pack manages to stand on its own, but if you read Hunger Makes the Wolf first, you’ll know the characters better.)
Alex: Definitely Dune and Firefly are aesthetic influences. The biggest influence is actually historical, though. A lot of what happens in these books is influenced by or even directly related to the Colorado Coal Field Wars, which was a series of clashes between company and government men and the union coal miners. Continue reading →
Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.