Author Interviews

Authors, thanks so much for spending time with us!

Author Marc Aramini talks to Stuart about the complicated works of Gene Wolfe

Last year I tried twice (unsuccessfully) to finish The Best of Gene Wolfe: A Retrospective of His Finest Fiction, giving up in defeat. Many SFF readers are baffled and frustrated by his stories, because they are packed with metaphors, literary references, hidden themes, and require extremely close reading to understand and appreciate. I did get a lot of supportive feedback from various readers who encountered the same difficulties, including a very knowledgeable person named “Aramini”.

When the 2016 Hugo Awards were announced, Marc Aramini’s Between Light and Shadow: An Exploration of the Fiction of Gene Wolfe, 1951 to 1986 was the runner-up in the Best Related Work category. It’s an 826-page analysis covering Wolfe’s output through 1986, including ... Read More

Peter S. Beagle stops by to chat SUMMERLONG, mythology & beer. Win a free book!

Peter S. Beagle has a long and celebrated writing career, and his most recent novel, Summerlong, is the latest well-received addition to his extensive body of work. Today Mr. Beagle stopped by Fantasy Literature to discuss mythology, fantastical realism, and good dark beer.

One random commenter with a U.S. mailing address will win a signed copy of Summerlong!

Jana Nyman: Classic myths, along with their various heroes and gods, seem to be back in vogue right now. Why do you think they have such an enduring charm throughout the ages? What is the appeal to you, personally?

Peter S. Beagle: When I was ten or eleven years old, my father gave me a copy of Bulfinch’s Mythology, which I s... Read More

A chat with Robert Brockway (and a giveaway!)

Today Fantasy Literature welcomes Robert Brockway, currently celebrating the recent release of The Empty Ones, the second instalment in his horror-comedy-punk VICIOUS CIRCUIT trilogy. Mr. Brockway made time to chat with Marion Deeds and Jana Nyman about his wide-ranging influences, his reading preferences, and how he makes unlikeable characters interesting.

One random commenter with either a U.S. or Canada mailing address will win one copy each of The Unnoticeables and The Empty Ones.

Marion Deeds: As an editor for
Cracked.com, you’ve written nonfi... Read More

Joseph Nassise talks collaboration and URBAN ALLIES. Win a copy of his latest!

Today, Fantasy Literature welcomes Joseph Nassise, an author and editor whose latest feat is truly impressive: Urban Allies, an urban fantasy anthology which pairs up twenty authors who created ten brand-new stories featuring some very well-known characters. Mr. Nassise was kind enough to chat with Jana and reveal some of the process behind this collaboration, authors he’d love to work with, and his favorite writing incentive. And we’re giving away a copy of Urban Allies to one lucky commenter with a U.S. mailing address!

Jana Nyman: I’m impressed that you managed to wrangle twenty authors into writing ten collaborative stories, and even more impressed that the stories are successful! How did you manage to bring this project together, particularly with r... Read More

Caighlan Smith talks about CHILDREN OF ICARUS and gives away a book!

Today Fantasy Literature welcomes Caighlan Smith, whose short fiction has been featured at Tor.com and whose full-length novel, Children of Icarus (which I reviewed here), is now available! Ms. Smith took some time to chat with me about malleable myths, academia, and ridiculously tasty drinks. And we’ve got a copy of Children of Icarus to give away to one lucky commenter with a U.S.-based mailing address!

Jana Nyman: Congratulations on your recent graduation from university! Was it hard to balance writing an internationally-published novel against your studies, or are you the type of person who revels in that kind of pressure? How did you manage the stress?

Caighlan Smith: Thank you! A part of me still can’t believe I... Read More

Genevieve Cogman talks about her INVISIBLE LIBRARY and gives away a book!

Genevieve Cogman’s first novel, The Invisible Library, was released in the US earlier this month. Before turning to the LIBRARY series, Cogman wrote for role-playing games like The Dresden Files and Vorkosigan games. She lives in the north of England and works for the National Health Service. Genevieve chatted with me about The Invisible Library, writing and knitting yarn.

One random commenter with a USA address will win a copy of The Invisible Library.

Marion Deeds: I know from the afterword and a couple of interviews you’ve given that you live in the north of England, you like musicals and that you’re a quilter. What else would you like to tell your American audience about yourself?

Genevieve Cogman: It’s difficult to know what ... Read More

Kat chats with Dexter Palmer and gives away a copy of Version Control

Dexter Palmer



My favorite book so far this year is, without a doubt, Dexter Palmer’s Version Control which I reviewed in March. It’s about the wife and colleagues of a physicist named Philip Steiner who is working on a device that he hopes will disrupt the space-time continuum, allowing time travel (though he doesn’t want to become a laughingstock in the physics community by actually using the term “time travel”). In the novel Palmer employs several well-worn science fiction tropes to freshly and humorously explore an array of human experiences. Version Control is exactly what I am always looking for in a science fiction story — heavy on the science and heavy on the humanity.

After I finished V...

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Caitlin Kittredge talks HELLHOUND CHRONICLES and gives away a book!

Caitlin Kittredge is no stranger to dark fantasy and magic. She’s probably best known for her BLACK LONDON series, gritty urban fantasy that follows the adventures of a woman police detective in that magical city. She also has a series called NOCTURNE CITY, some YA (The Iron Thorn is Lovecraft-tinged steampunk fantasy) and Coffin Hill, a comic book for Vertigo. The HELLHOUND CHRONICLES series is her latest, set in the American Midwest, and following the adventures of Ava, a hellhound, and Leo, who is a Reaper.

Kittredge manages to keep busy, but she took some time to answer a few questions for us. Marion interviewed her about her latest projects, regional magic, hellhounds, and the difference betwee... Read More

Four Quick Questions for Greg Van Eekhout

Greg Van Eekhout



Greg Van Eekhout is known here on the site mostly for his DANIEL BLACKLAND series, beginning with California Bones (here are our reviews), but he also writes middle-grade fantasy/science fiction, and adult urban fantasy. Greg lives in Southern California. He’s a very busy guy, but in between all his tasks and attending the Phoenix ComiCon he set aside some time for a few quick questions from us.  Thanks, Greg!

One random commenter in the USA will win a copy of California Bones.

Marion Deeds: You have been working on a comic set in the California Bones universe. Please tell us everything you th... Read More

Ada Palmer talks TOO LIKE THE LIGHTNING and gives away a book!

Ada Palmer is true Renaissance woman: she's a professor by trade, specializing in history and the history of ideas at the University of Chicago, a Manga Scholar, composer, and has published the nonfiction work Reading Lucretius in the Renaissance. Palmer's fiction debut, Too Like the Lightning, is a complex and broad-reaching work of sci fi, that smartly wraps several interconnected mysteries within a serious suite of philosphical and cultural themes. I was able to grab some time with Ada Palmer as she was in the midst of promoting the book. One commenter with a U.S. or Canadian mailing address will win a copy of Too Like the Lightning. See below for details.
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Gwenda Bond talks LOIS LANE: DOUBLE DOWN and gives away a book!

Today Fantasy Literature is glad to host Gwenda Bond for another chat with Jana — this time, in celebration of Ms. Bond’s second novel in the DC Comics universe, Lois Lane: Double Down. She and Jana discuss authorial freedom, the most amazing detective trio in the history of head-canons, and bubbly drinks. One commenter with a U.S. mailing address will win a copy of Lois Lane: Double Down!

Jana Nyman: Writing within an established universe, with established characters, can’t be easy. How much leeway does DC Comics allow you with the Lois Lane novels? Do you have guidelines that you know you’ll have to work within, other than expected characterizations of Lois and Clark? Does someone at DC have to approve your manuscripts before they go to print, or are you relativ... Read More

Charlie Jane Anders talks ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY and gives away a book!

Charlie Jane Anders’s novel All the Birds in the Sky came out earlier this year, and has been very well received. This unusual tale follows the lives of a witch and a super-scientist who were best friends in middle school, and raises lots of questions about science, magic, popular culture, and coming of age. Anders is well known for her short fiction and her work on the pop-culture website IO9. Anders recently read at a bookstore event in Petaluma, California, which Marion attended, and took some time to talk about the book, her influences, San Francisco, and Writers with Drinks.

One commenter with a USA or Canadian address will win a signed copy of All the Birds in the Sky.

Marion Deeds: You are a very well-known essayist and columnist with a track record with short fiction, but All the Birds i... Read More

Author Philip Reeve talks RAILHEAD, Easter eggs, and gives away a book!

Today Fantasy Literature welcomes Philip Reeve, whose most recent novel, Railhead, is accruing rave reviews (including ours). Jana chatted with him about Easter eggs within his novel, his thoughts on grimdark, and more. One lucky commenter will win a copy of Railhead!

Jana Nyman: I recently discovered that Railhead is being adapted to film, so congratulations are absolutely in order! How excited are you to see your novel morph from page to screen? Are you involved with the process at all?

Philip Reeve: Yes, Warner Brothers bought the rights for the director Doug Liman, and I believe they have someone at work on a script — I’m not involved in the process in any way. Doug Liman’... Read More

Mark Andrew Ferguson chats LOST BOYS SYMPHONY

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Today, Mark Andrew Ferguson visits Fantasy Literature to celebrate the paperback release of his well-received debut novel, The Lost Boys Symphony, which brings mental illness, time travel, and the bonds of friendship into a compelling and cohesive whole. He was kind enough to talk with Jana about his novel, sharing insight into his writing process and an upcoming project. One lucky commenter will win a copy of The Lost Boys Symphony!

Jana Nyman: I appreciated your treatment of Henry’s mental state: you took a serious approach with a very real illness and added a fantastical layer to it, which then affects Gabe and Val as... Read More

Jordanna Max Brodsky chats THE IMMORTALS, Artemis, and gives away a book!

Fantasy Literature is pleased to welcome Jordanna Max Brodsky, whose recently-published novel, The Immortals, brings the ancient Greek gods to modern-day Manhattan in a supremely entertaining way. She was kind enough to chat with Jana about the inspirations and challenges she faced in bringing disparate elements together into a cohesive whole, and we’ve got a copy of The Immortals to give away to one lucky commenter!

Jana Nyman: Many books which feature Greek gods and mythology are kid-friendly or YA-oriented, even though the original stories can contain some very adult themes and events. What inspired you to write for a more mature audience?

Jordanna Max Brodsky: I’m glad yo... Read More

Tim Hanley talks about INVESTIGATING LOIS LANE and gives away a book!

Today Fantasy Literature welcomes Tim Hanley as he celebrates the release of his second book, Investigating Lois Lane: the Turbulent History of the Daily Planet’s Ace Reporter. (Jana, unsurprisingly, loved it.) Mr. Hanley was kind enough to chat about the Daily Planet’s most-decorated employee, his research methods, and his favorite tea. Plus, we’ve got a copy of Investigating Lois Lane to give away!

Jana Nyman: What was your initial impetus behind writing a comprehensive survey of Lois Lane as she appeared in various media like comic books, television, and film throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries?

Tim Hanley: In part, I wanted to write about Lois just because she's such a great character. I read a bunch of Lois comics for my first book, Wond... Read More

Lee Kelly talks about A CRIMINAL MAGIC and gives away a book!

Today, Fantasy Literature welcomes Lee Kelly, whose second novel, A Criminal Magic, was released in February of 2016 (and Jana thought it was fantastic). Ms. Kelly was kind enough to chat with Jana about inspirations, sorcery, jazz music, and letting the reader become part of the creative process. Comment below for a chance to win a copy of A Criminal Magic!

Jana Nyman: The idea of a government-sanctioned prohibition of sorcery — particularly in the vein of the very real prohibition of alcohol in the U.S. in the early 20th century — makes sense when you think about it, but I’ve never seen it implemented before. How did the idea come to you, and did the concept undergo any revisions as you wrote A Criminal Magic?
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Kevin Hearne talks about IRON DRUID CHRONICLES and gives away four books!

Thanks to retired reviewer Justin Blazier who recently caught up with Kevin Hearne at his local bookstore. Kevin is celebrating the release of Staked, the next installment in his popular IRON DRUID CHRONICLES. Leave a comment for a chance to win one of three paperback copies of Hounded, the first book of the series, or one hardcover copy of Staked. This giveaway is open to readers in the U.S. and Canada... And here's Justin:Last week, Kevin Hearne, author of THE IRON DRUID CHRONICLES, was scheduled for a book signing in Crescent Springs, KY, which just happens to be about a mile from my house. I had just recently discovered Kevin’s work at that very book ... Read More

Robert Jackson Bennett talks CITY OF BLADES

Since the publication of Mr. Shivers in 2010, award winning writer Robert Jackson Bennett has not looked back. He has won the Shirley Jackson award twice, once for Mr. Shivers and once again for American Elsewhere in 2013. His current series is the brilliant second-world fantasy THE DIVINE CITIES. Bennett’s work is wildly imaginative and heart-breakingly human. City of Stairs introduced us to The Continent, a collection of conquered city-states still mourning their fall from glory, and the island nation of Saypur, who rebelled against the slavery imposed by the Continent and became conquerors themselves.... Read More

Daniel José Older talks MIDNIGHT TAXI TANGO

Daniel José Older wrote the YA urban fantasy Shadowshaper, co-edited the fantasy anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, and has had his short fiction published at Tor.com. He is the author of the new urban fantasy series BONE STREET RUMBA, the latest of which, Midnight Taxi Tango, was released on January 5, 2016. When he’s not writing fantasy, Older composes and plays music, conducts writing workshops, and blogs about his decade of experiences driving an ambulance. Despite this busy schedule, Older took some time to answer some questions for Marion and Jana about social media, music, and his latest book.

One commenter with an address in the USA or Canada will win copies of both Half... Read More

Greg Van Eekhout talks about OSTEOMANCY with Marion

Greg Van Eekhout has written middle grade novels like Kid vs Squid, adult SF (The Norse Code) and his well-known OSTEOMANCY trilogy, set in a magical California, where sorcerers absorb the magic of mythical creatures by eating their bones. Against this backdrop, Daniel Blackland struggles to survive, and maintain his created family. The final book in the trilogy, Dragon Coast, is out now. Greg chatted with me about magic, families, tacos and the awesome power of the avocado. One commenter with a USA or Canadian address will win a copy of Dragon Coast.

Marion Dee... Read More

Michael Livingston talks about THE SHARDS OF HEAVEN

Jason talks with Michael Livingston, historian, author, and Professor of Medieval Literature at The Citadel in South Carolina. Michael's fiction debut was recently released: The Shards of Heaven, a historical fantasy mashup set in the ancient Roman Empire. Jason and Michael talk about the worries of a historian moving into the world to fiction and his passion for the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Plus, we're giving away a copy of his book to one U.S. and one Canadian commenter. See below for details.

Jason Golomb: You've written a lot of in-depth and detailed history like ... Read More

Stuart chats with Cixin Liu

Cixin Liu is the most popular SF writer in China, having won the Galaxy Award (the Chinese Hugo) nine times, but it wasn’t until 2014 that The Three-Body Problem, the first volume of his enormously popular THREE BODY trilogy, was first published in English. Amid the Sad Puppies controversy, it deservedly won the 2015 Hugo Award (first time for an Asian writer and first translated novel to win) and was nominated for the 2014 Nebula Award. The Three-Body Problem was translated by Ken Liu, author of the highly-regarded fantasy novel The Grace of Kings Read More

Marion chats with Ann Leckie

In 2013, Ann Leckie published Ancillary Justice, the first book in her RADCH EMPIRE series. The book swept the 2014 awards, garnering a Nebula, an Arthur C Clarke and a Hugo award for best novel. In 2014, Leckie followed it up with Ancillary Sword, and the final book of the trilogy, Ancillary Mercy, came out this October, and landed on the New York Times best-seller list. Leckie keeps a busy schedule with writing, book promotion, managing a family, and occasionally beading. She took a few minutes out of her day to chat about Ancillary Mercy, distributed consciousness and working on a surveying crew. One commente... Read More

Bradley Beaulieu chats with Jana and Bill

Today, Bill and Jana chat with Bradley P. Beaulieu, whose most recent novel — Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, from DAW Books — is a richly detailed epic fantasy set in a bustling desert city. We discuss story structure, the difficulties in thinking outside genre molds, and literary influences. One lucky commenter will win their choice of a book from our stacks or a Fantasy Literature t-shirt!

Bill Capossere: Can you talk about your decisions regarding structure — the use of flashbacks, the ordering of them, etc. Did you start with this structure in mind or is it one you worked your way through? Did you have a specific goal in mind with the structure beyond just not using the same old same old linear structure?



B... Read More