Today I am interviewing Spencer Ellsworth, author of the new science-fiction novel, A Red Peace, first book in the Starfire trilogy.
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DJ: Hey Spencer Thanks for agreeing to do this interview! For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Spencer Ellsworth: Hi DJ!
I’m a lifelong science fiction and fantasy writer. It started when I read The Hobbit at the age of six. I currently work for a tribal college in the Pacific Northwest, and have previously worked in the publishing industry, along with stints in wilderness survival and special education.
The most interesting thing I’ve ever done was probably when I lived off crayfish and rattlesnakes for three days.
DJ: What is A Red Peace about?
Spencer: A galactic empire falls, the Resistance sweeps into power, and their first order is “kill all the humans.”
I like to think of it as a kind of Russian Revolution—or pick your other idealistic-revolution-gone-wrong—in space. Our main characters are a smuggler who helps some humans on the run, and a soldier dealing with internal conflict over his orders.
We’ve been trained by Star Wars to identify with a plucky rebellion, often forgetting that such plucky rebellions usually become demagogues clamping down on free speech.
DJ: What were some of your influences A Red Peace and the series?
Spencer: On the respectable end, I’ve always loved how Octavia Butler could write a serious social critique with all the high energy and pace of a pulp novel. My favorite novel of all time is Wild Seed. Every time I reread it I just get pulled in and totally caught up and I find new dimensions to the ending.
On the less respectable end, I will consume any Star Wars or Transformers comic book. I tend to like my cheesy sci-fi franchises a lot more in comic book form. I love a big planet-eating robot or weird insectoid creature, limited only by the artist’s imagination. Continue reading