Tag Archives: tor.com publishing

Author Interview: Cassandra Khaw

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Today I am interviewing Cassandra Khaw, author of the new horror novella, Hammers on Bone.

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

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

Cassandra Khaw: Hey! Glad you took the time out to interview me. Always feel fancy when someone decides I’m cool enough for that. Let’s see. I work business development for a micropublisher called Ysbryd Games. I really like chocolate. I am a lapsed journalist who has had the good fortune of seeing her byline appear in places like Engadget, The Verge, PC Gamer, and an assortment of other fabulous places. I really like reading.

My job involves me travelling a lot and that saps a ton of my energy. (You’d be amazed how exhausting sitting down for 20 hours can be, if it involves being claustrophobic and trapped in a metal can full of recycled farts.) When I can, however, I run, dance, and punch things.

DJ: What is Hammers on Bone about?

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Cassandra: A ten-year-old boy asking a private investigator, who may or may not be a monster, to kill an abusive stepfather. Set in Croydon, it is both an experiment in Lovecraftian noir and also a discussion of domestic abuse, how readily invisible such things are, and how easily we mistake our neighbourhood monsters for something else.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Hammers on Bone?

Cassandra: Lavie Tidhar’s The Violent Century, Rin Chupeco’s The Suffering, ian Tregillis’ Something More Than Night, Victor LaValle’s The Ballad of Black Tom, John Carpenter’s The Thing. Loads of things. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Walter Jon Williams

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Today I am interviewing Walter Jon Williams, a Nebula-Award winner, and author of the new science-fiction novel, Impersonations: A Story of Praxis.

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

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

Walter Jon Williams: I view science fiction as a kind of infinite playground in which I can move from one set of equipment to the next, from the slides to the monkey bars to the swings— which is a way of saying that I don’t just write the same sort of book over and over. I’ve written cyberpunk (Hardwired, Voice of the Whirlwind, Angel Station), near-future thrillers (This Is Not a Game, The Rift), classic space opera (Dread Empire’s Fall), “new” space opera (Aristoi), post-cyberpunk epic fantasy new weird (Metropolitan and City on Fire), and of course the world’s only gothic western science fiction police procedural (Days of Atonement).

As you might guess, some of my books escape easy categorization.

I’m also a reasonably prolific writer of short fiction, including contributions to George RR Martin’s Wild Cards project.

I’ve been nominated for numerous literary awards, and for a number of years was science fiction’s “Bull Goose Loser,” the person who had the most award nominations without having actually won anything. But then I won Nebula Awards in 2011 and 2005, and I became Just Another Award-Winning Author.

DJ: What is Impersonations about?

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Walter: On one level, it’s a space opera adventure, with alien species, plenty of action, a knotty mystery, and a huge explosive climax.

On another level, it’s an exploration of identity. Sula, my protagonist, is not what she seems, and she’s been putting on a false front for so long that she doesn’t quite know who she is anymore. Others in the story are hiding secrets and inhabiting false identities, and engaged in complex conspiracies that reflect Sula’s own situation, while putting her in peril.

On a third level, it’s about what happens when a young woman confronts the dream she had as a child, and finds it isn’t quite what she thought it was.

DJ: I understand that Impersonations actually takes place in the your Dread Empire’s Fall series. Where does Impersonations take place in that time line, and can readers unfamiliar with your Dread Empire’s Fall series still read Impersonations?

Walter: Firstly, you can read it without knowledge of the other books. I bring any new reader up to date very quickly.

In the Dread Empire timeline, Impersonations takes place after the first three books, following the conclusion of the Naxid War. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Brian Evenson

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Today I am interviewing Brian Evenson, author of the new science-fiction novella, The Warren.

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

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

Brian Evenson: Thanks, very happy to do it! I’m a writer who is known for having one foot in literature and one foot in genre, for bringing elements of both literary fiction and genre fiction together. I’ve published a dozen books of fiction under my own name. Under the slightly different name B. K. Evenson, I’ve published an Aliens novel, two novels set in the world of the video game Dead Space, and a collaboration (Lords of Salem) with Rob Zombie.

DJ: What is The Warren about?

Brian: It’s about a person, named X, who may or may not be human. He is alone in a place he calls the warren, on a hostile planet, with only a kind of machine he calls the monitor to advise him. But the monitor is old and flawed and has vast sectors of data that are corrupted. He knows that there have been others like him—some of their memories seem to have been implanted in him, maybe even their whole personalities—but he’s alone now. When he encounters someone who is both like him and not like him, his questions really begin. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Marie Brennan

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Today I am interviewing Marie Brenna author of the new fantasy novella, Cold-Forged Flame.

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

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

Marie Brennan: I’ve been a professional novelist for a little over ten years, writing full-time for eight of those. It’s almost all fantasy, though a couple of things veer over toward science fiction or horror. Other than that, I’m a thorough-going RPG nerd, a black belt in karate, an amateur photographer . . . I keep busy in a variety of ways.

DJ: What is Cold-Forged Flame about?

Marie: You know how some stories lend themselves to an “elevator pitch,” a single-sentence summary of what they’re about?

This isn’t one of those stories.

Or rather, the elevator pitch makes it sound terrible. “A pessimistic amnesiac is sent on a quest she doesn’t understand across an uninhabited island!” The real story is about what’s going on inside that character’s head. She’s been magically bound to do as she’s told — or at least try to — and remembering nothing makes it more difficult for her to succeed at her task . . . but she’s also been warned that the more she remembers, the more she might lose. The tension between those two impulses, memory and ignorance, is the engine at the heart of the story. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Kij Johnson

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Today I am interviewing Kij Johnson, author of the new fantasy novella, The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe.

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

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

Kim Johnson: I try never to write the same sort of story twice, so this is hard to answer. I’ve written some historical fantasy and some secondary-world fantasy, as well as some SF and a lot of short experimental works. I also occasionally write things that can only by a real stretch be called genre at all. The Dream Quest of Vellitt Boe is me writing a classic sort of story in a classic sort of way.

DJ: What is The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe about?

KJ: The book is set in the dreamlands of H. P. Lovecraft: a professor of Mathematics in the ancient university town of Ulthar has to retrieve one of her students, who has eloped with a man from the waking world. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Adrian Tchaikovsky

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Today I am interviewing Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of the new fantasy novel, Spiderlight.

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

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

Adrian Tchaikovsky: I’m a British writer known for my fantasy series Shadows of the Apt, an epic fantasy about people with the powers of spiders and insects, and also for my (Clarke-shortlisted!) SF novel, Children of Time, about hyper-evolved sentient spiders. So you might see something of a theme there. J

DJ: What is Spiderlight about?

AT: Spiders. Well, partly spiders. Spiderlight kicks off looking like any other fantasy quest novel. There is a dark lord. There is a prophecy. There is a ragtag band of adventurers intent on using the latter to defeat the former. But things go south when the have to recruit a horrible hairy giant spider into the party to satisfy (their interpretation of) the more arcane strictures of the prophecy. The spider, ‘Nth’, is less than delighted with this state of affairs, as are most of the adventurers. Hilarity, and arachnophobia, ensues. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Michael R. Underwood

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Today I am interviewing Michael R. Underwood, author of the science fiction and fantasy, including the genre-hopping novellas series, Genrenauts, which currently has a Kickstarter running for a complete season one collection.

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DJ: Hey Michael! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview! You are an extremely active member of the SF/F community. For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Michael R. Underwood: Hi! I’m Michael R. Underwood, but I go by Mike everywhere but my byline. I’ve written eight books across several series, from the Ree Reyes Geekomancy books where fandom is a magic system to Shield and Crocus, a weird fantasy supers novel and The Younger Gods, a supernatural thriller.

DJ: What is the Genrenauts series about? And what is a “genrenaut”?

MRU: Genrenauts is an adventure science fiction series told in novellas, for fans of Leverage, Quantum Leap, Redshirts, and/or the works of Jasper Fforde.

In Genrenauts, our Earth is one of many. Every other world is the home of a story genre, from Western or Fantasy to Romance, Action, Crime, etc. Stories play out in these worlds – familiar tale types, archetypal characters, and so on.

When stories on these worlds go off-track, you send in the Genrenauts. This team of narrative specialists travels across dimensions to find, analyze, and fix broken stories. If they don’t, the ripples manifest as violence and upheaval in our own world (when Science Fiction World goes off-track, scientific innovation stagnates and exploration halts; when Fantasy World goes off-track, xenophobia rises and cultural rifts widen, etc.).

Stand-up comedian Leah Tang is recruited to join the Genrenauts as stories are breaking at a record pace. Will she adapt to the bizarre and dangerous life of a Genrenaut, or will she end up as just another broken story? Continue reading

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