Posts Tagged With: interviews

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in Muscle Cars

Hellbringer 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona

Don’t try this at home. Really.

True story: before I wrote this book, I was a professional prototype vehicle test driver.

So when I set out to write about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse tearing up the highways in Christine-ish muscle cars, you can bet I had fun with it.

Check out this interview on MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape where I not only talk about cars, I also go pretty deep into the cool quirks of my characters, and what exactly Dru’s universe (or the “Druniverse”) is really like.

Plus, I share some cool insights about the “magic” properties of crystals (including how the pharaohs of ancient Egypt used to protect themselves against the evil eye).

And the surprise fan favorite character that everyone is talking about. Hint: this particular character has four wheels. (!)

Check out the interview here on MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape.com >

Don’t forget: free short stories and more in your email when you subscribe to my author newsletter. >

Categories: It Happened One Doomsday | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jeffrey A. Carver talks to Sci Fi Bookshelf about Sunborn

Jeffrey A. Carver was a 2001 Nebula finalist, and is famed not only as the author of the Star Rigger books and the Chaos Chronicles series, but also for writing the Battlestar Galactica novelization.  His latest science fiction novel, Sunborn, has just hit the shelves.  He took a break from writing about heady concepts like noncorporeal symbiotes and sentient stars to give Sci Fi Bookshelf a peek into his unique universe. 

Sci Fi Bookshelf.com:  For those readers who are new to the Chaos Chronicles series, do you think Sunborn is easy to pick up?  Or would you recommend starting at the beginning of the series?

Jeffrey A. Carver:  I did my best to make Sunborn accessible to readers new to The Chaos Chronicles.  That said, it’s always best to start a series at the beginning if you can—especially since the reader is plunged into the middle of an ongoing galactic adventure.  For readers new to the series, I put all three of the preceding books, starting with Neptune Crossing, into ebook format for free download from my website.  Just visit http://www.starrigger.net/Downloads.htm and download the format of your choice!

SFB:  Is it hard to write a series of this complexity and keep it fresh?

JAC:  Yah.  There was a long delay between books 3 and 4 because I took time out to write Eternity’s End between the two, and that book took a very long time to write.  Coming back after six or so years away was hard.  Also, I keep trying to set myself new challenges with each new book, and sometimes I find myself wondering, “What have I gotten myself into?”  The chaos theme of the series closely mirrors my state of mind at times.

SFB:  Are you planning any future Chaos Chronicles books?

JAC:  I’m currently working on book 5, The Reefs of Time, which takes up where Sunborn left off.  (Note: Sunborn is a complete story, set within the larger framework.  It doesn’t end with a cliffhanger, but rather with suggestions of what may come next.)  My plan is for 6 Chaos books altogether.

SFB:  A lot of readers may know you from Battlestar Galactica.  Do you feel that writing in the Galactica saga had any impact on the style of your latest work?

JAC:  It’s more that writing BSG was a welcome change of pace, and a chance to play in someone else’s playground for a while.  It posed different storytelling challenges, and allowed me to take a deep breath, while still writing the book quickly, as the publisher demanded.

SFB:  Do you have a favorite Battlestar Galactica character?

JAC:  I suppose Starbuck.  The web comic Sheldon said it best, when the kid in the comic got a bunch of BSG action figures for Christmas.  Each came with a list of 10 reasons why he or she was conflicted and would never find true happiness.  Starbuck came with a list of 30.  Besides, what’s not to like about Katie Sackoff?  Although, now that I think about it… Six is pretty amazing, too.  :)   Actually, besides the obvious attraction of Six, Tricia Helfer proved herself to be an astoundingly good actor by the end.  It’s been fun to watch where the various actors from BSG have wound up since the end of the series.

SFB:  But the real question is, did the studio send you any cool BSG toys?

JAC:  Well, they sent me a DVD of the miniseries, and production DVDs of Season 1, because they were already well into Season 1 when I wrote the book.   No working Vipers, alas.  I would have liked one of those.

SFB:  Any advice for aspiring science fiction writers today?

JAC:  Read a lot, and write a lot.  Take a good workshop.  See my Advice to Aspiring Writers page at: http://www.starrigger.net/advice.htm — and for that matter, my free online writing course at: http://www.writesf.com .   Also, my blog at: http://starrigger.blogspot.com/ is a good place to see what I’m up to.

SFB:  Jeff, thank you so much for your time!

JAC:  You’re very welcome.

Links for science fiction author Jeffrey A. Carver:
Science Fiction Worlds at http://www.starrigger.net
Pushing a Snake at http://starrigger.blogspot.com
Write Science Fiction at http://www.writesf.com

Available now from these and other fine book sellers:
Better World Books
Powell’s Books
Alibris.com

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Sci Fi Bookshelf interview: Harry Connolly on Child of Fire

Harry Connolly is making waves with his debut novel Child of Fire, the start of a new urban fantasy series that mixes explosive action with magic.  Harry was kind enough to share some insights with Sci Fi Bookshelf about dark heroes, inspiration and the fatal mistake made by most aspiring writers.

Sci Fi Bookshelf: For someone who hasn’t picked up Child of Fire yet, how would you describe it?

Harry Connolly: I call it a dark supernatural crime novel about a guy forced to help a powerful, dangerous sorcerer hunt down and kill someone even worse.

SFB: The main character is a convicted felon.  Was it hard to write a story from that perspective, and make him a hero the reader could root for?

HC: It wasn’t hard to write a character from that perspective, once I’d done a little research.  The important thing is that, however compromised he might be, the people he’s up against are even worse.  That’s a general rule for anti-heroes–not that I consider my protagonist, Ray Lilly, an anti-hero.  I’m just saying.

SFB: What inspired you to write Child of Fire?  Was it a particular experience or idea?

HC: I read and loved Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest and spent weeks figuring out how to adapt that feeling, of one man pitted against an entire community, to a story with supernatural elements in it.  It wasn’t as easy as “The Crime Lord Is A Vampire!”–fantasy elements have to be restricted in specific ways to make a mystery plot really work, and vice versa.

SFB: Can you tell us anything about the follow-up book, Game of Cages?

HC: Sure.  It’s darker than Child of Fire and has a touch of tragedy to it.  Ray is press ganged into an emergency job for the Twenty Palace Society.  He has to investigate an auction for a supernatural predator in a remote corner of the state.  Once he arrives, though, he discovers that things are much worse than he expected, and he has to deal with several very dangerous threats.

SFB: What’s the best book you’ve read lately?

HC: Probably The Galton Case by Ross Macdonald.  Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker is also terrific, and so are the first two volumes of Joe Hill’s Locke and Key.

SFB: Do you have any advice for new writers trying to break into the market today?

HC: My advice is simple: Writers should treat every rejection as though it was their own fault.  Even if it’s not true (and it isn’t always true–sometimes rejection is about the buyer having a similar story in inventory, or a deep hatred of some story element, like cannibalism) assume that it is.  The reason I say this is that the biggest stumbling block to most writers is the book they write.  It is on the writer to improve, to change, to strive.  As soon as a writer starts thinking “They just don’t understand me” or “NY publishing only wants best-sellers” or “Editors only want to publish their friends” or any of the other ways people push blame onto others, they lose the power to reach their own goals.  Actually, they give that power away to figments of their imagination.  Keep the responsibility for your success for yourself, the good parts and the bad.

SFB:  Harry, thank you for your time!

HC: Thanks so much.

Child of Fire
Harry Connolly  harryjconnolly.com
Mass Market Paperback
Del Rey (September 29, 2009)
ISBN-13: 978-0345508898
Available from Powell’s Books

Categories: writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sci Fi Bookshelf interviews Walter Jon Williams on This Is Not a Game

This Is Not a Game is not just a cool title, but a cool near-future novel from acclaimed science fiction writer Walter Jon Williams, who has been nominated for every major SF award, including the Hugo and the Nebula Award. He was kind enough to dish the latest to Sci Fi Bookshelf:

Sci Fi Bookshelf: What inspired you to set This Is Not a Game in the near future, rather than doing something farther out, say, a century from now?

Walter Jon Williams:
A few years back, Sean Stewart and Maureen McHugh hired me to help them write an alternate reality game called Last Call Poker. I was so taken by this state-of-the-moment electronic art form that I determined to take this bleeding-edge phenomenon and turn it into ink on dead paper.

Cuz that’s what I do, man.

There are a number of reasons why TINAG isn’t set farther into the future. First, there is my suspicion that in a few decades, alternate reality gaming will be indistinguishable from advertising, and about as interesting. But more importantly, the novel is about the intersection of common reality and the enhanced alternative reality of online gaming, and about how one can crawl unnoticed into the other. In order for that to be an interesting reading experience, the baseline reality of the novel has to be recognizable for the reader. If it’s a made-up future interacting with a made-up gaming environment, it’s entirely detached from our world, and the whole point of the experience is compromised.

SFB: Among other things, you’re noted for your groundbreaking contributions to the cyberpunk movement in years past. Do you see near-future thrillers like this one as being the current definition of cyberpunk?

WJW:
I see the tropes of cyberpunk all over the map these days. While This Is Not a Game does in fact feature a number of these elements, I’m inclined to think that true cyberpunk requires a more radical brand of extrapolation.

SFB:
Is there any truth to the rumor of a sequel to This Is Not a Game?

WJW: Yes. The sequel is titled Deep State, and I finished it a few days ago. In the first book, Dagmar was caught by surprise as reality and the gaming world began to cross one another. In the second book, she attempts to achieve this deliberately.

There will also be a third book, but I’m not ready to talk about it yet.

SFB: Stepping back a bit to Metropolitan and City on Fire, do you think there’s an untapped audience out there for science fiction powered by fantastic elements?

WJW: I hear from readers all the time, but publishers aren’t exactly beating down my door about it. In these contracting economic times — which for publishers has been the last 15 years — they are buying much more conservatively. I think it’s a strategic error, but then it’s not my money on the line.

SFB: Do you have any advice for aspiring science fiction writers today?

WJW:
Network. It’ll save you a lot of time and wasted effort. When I began, I was so isolated that I practically had to invent the novel on my own.

I also advise workshops, at least if you’re the kind of writer who can take face-to-face criticism without exploding. I run a workshop myself, aimed primarily at the novel. For further information, check out www.taostoolbox.com.

This Is Not a Game
Walter Jon Williams

walterjonwilliams.blogspot.com
978-0-316-00316-2
January 2010

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SciFiBookshelf.com interview: Mike Resnick on Flagship (Starship, Book 5)

Mike Resnick is the leading award winner for short fiction among all science fiction writers, living or dead. He has won five Hugo Awards, a Nebula Award, and has been nominated for 30 Hugos, 11 Nebulas, a Clarke (British), six Seiun-shos (Japanese) and a mind-boggling array of other awards. He has sold fifty-eight novels and more than two hundred short stories. And he has edited fifty anthologies.

Not only that, he’s a swell guy who took time out of his jam-packed schedule to reveal what’s going on behind the scenes with his latest book, Flagship.


SciFiBookshelf.com: For a reader who hasn’t read any of the Starship series yet, do you think it would be hard to jump in? Or would you recommend going back and starting with Book 1, Starship: Mutiny?

Mike Resnick: If it’s difficult to jump into any of my series at any point, then I did something wrong. I’d like to think that a reader would enjoy reading them all, and in order, but no, it’s not necessary.

SciFiBookshelf.com: Do you draw on any real-life battles for inspiration, or make them up entirely?

Mike Resnick: I make them up entirely, and I’m a lot less concerned with the weaponry and the blood than I am with the brains and motivation behind them.

SciFiBookshelf.com: Being such a prolific and award-winning writer, do you have any advice for aspiring science fiction writers you’d like to share? (Without, of course, spoiling the upcoming release of The Business of Science Fiction?)

Mike Resnick: Same that I’ve been giving out for 40+ years. Writers -write-; dilettantes talk about writing, but hardly ever get around to actually doing it.

SciFiBookshelf.com: What’s the best book you’ve read lately?

Mike Resnick: In the field, Jack McDevitt’s TIME TRAVELERS NEVER DIE. Ouside the field, SERIOUSLY FUNNY, a study of the cerebral stand-up comics of the 1950s and early 1960s.

SciFiBookshelf.com: And finally, what are you working on next?

Mike Resnick: The novel I’m working on now, for Pyr, is THE BUNTLINE SPECIAL, a kind of Western Steampunk. I owe a novella, tentatively titled “Six Blind Men and an Alien”, to Subterranean. And I owe four or five stories to anthologies. All of these should be done no later than mid-April. Then Eric Flint and I have to write an overdue (due to his heart surgery) novel for Baen titled THE GODS OF SAGITTARIUS, and Lezli Robyn and I will owe a YA novel or two before the year is done, and I’m sure I’ll sign for and at least start another solo novel by summer. Oh, and Barry Malzberg and I do a quarterly column for the SFWA Bulletin; a collection of 26 of the better ones will be out this summer, titled THE BUSINESS OF SCIENCE FICTION.

Starship: Flagship (Hardcover)
Book Five of the Starship Series
Mike Resnick
ISBN: 978-1-59102-788-1
December 2009
MikeResnick.com
pyrsf.com

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