Today I am interviewing Joe M. McDermott, author of the new science-fiction novel, The Fortress at the End of Time.
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DJ: Hey Joe! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Joe M. McDermott: I am a pudgy, middle-aged white guy. My wife is cooler than I am.
DJ: What is The Fortress at the End of Time about?
Joe: In some ways, it is about the difference between what is sold to someone, and what is actually given. It is also about pride, and how it hardens as a survival mechanism. It is also about clones in deep space, at a miserable posting with very little hope for anything better.
DJ: What were some of your influences for The Fortress at the End of Time?
Joe: The book was born out of reading other books. The first book was recommended to me by Larry Nolen from OF Blog of the Fallen. He suggested I read Dino Buzzati’s The Tartar Steppe, and I loved it and found The Opposing Shore by Julian Graq on the same Amazon page. I loved that, too. I had been tinkering with ideas about clones as a method of space travel, inspired by such authors as James Patrick Kelly, and the sort of worlds created by Ursula K. LeGuin and Maureen McHugh.
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?
Joe: I don’t think my brain works the way yours does about characters. Quirks and habits are annoying, to me, as a reader. My characters are as human as I can possibly make them, and I push them into the prison-like pressure cooker of the Citadel. They do what I think any person would do, each in their way. If they have anything that can be described as a quirk, I’ve failed as an author attempting to create something true. Continue reading