Today I am interviewing Jack Campbell, author of the new military SF, space opera novel, Vanguard, first book of The Genesis Fleet series.
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DJ: Hey Jack! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Jack Campbell: I’m a retired US Navy officer who lives in southern Maryland with my wife and three kids. I’ve lived a lot of places and done a lot of different jobs, but basically I’m a sailor. I started writing seriously back in the mid-1990s, mostly science fiction and fantasy, but a few other things as well. Vanguard will be my 30th book in print.
DJ: What Vanguard about?
Jack: Humanity is expanding rapidly into new star systems, many people wanting to leave behind the rules and restrictions on crowded worlds. But when they left behind the old restrictions, they also left the old protections that had maintained order. When some of the new worlds decide to take advantage of their neighbors, seeing opportunity for power and gain where others had seen freedom, the new worlds have to depend on improvised weapons and volunteers to defend themselves. If they fail, the growing power of aggressor worlds could turn regions founded on freedom into the first interstellar empires.
DJ: What were some of your influences for Vanguard and The Genesis Fleet series?
Jack: Vanguard is a prequel of sorts to the popular Lost Fleet series, with The Genesis Fleet series showing how and why the Lost Fleet’s Alliance first formed. It’s the Lost Fleet universe still in terms of how things work and in familiar star systems. I had to keep Vanguard consistent with that.
My other influences are the authors I admire who told big stories. Andre Norton, Leigh Brackett, Robert Heinlein, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and C. J. Cherryh, just to name a few. I have to add Tolkien to that mix, because he showed me the importance of building a big, new world where everything makes sense in the context of that world. Continue reading