Archive for the ‘interviews’ Category
The other day I got to interview Gillian Philip, author of one of my favorite new novels, Firebrand. I got talking on twitter with Seth MacGregor (the main character of Firebrand), and managed to convince him to answer a few interview questions too. He claims Gillian doesn’t let him have any fun, but he has got a weakness for twitter, Joss Whedon TV shows, modern conveniences, and finding trouble.
Gillian never lets you do anything fun? I find that hard to believe. I also find it hard to believe she could stop you, if you really wanted to do something. I’ve never interviewed someone like you before. be gentle with me.
Hi Andrea! Oh, Gillian’s such a control freak. At least she’d like to be, and she thinks she has a say in anything I do. Ha. Given what she puts me through, I think I deserve a bit of fun. And thank you for interviewing me. She-Who-Would-Like-To-Be-Obeyed has tried to make me promise I won’t flirt, but hey, I have given no oath, and all that.
Unlike many other Sithe, you can actually physically feel the veil, you can pull it and pinch it, hold it between your fingers. What does it feel like? you wouldn’t um, do anything to harm it, would you?
I’m absolutely not supposed to be able to do that, so this is between you and me, okay? I mean, the Sithe don’t burn witches, and they have a healthy respect for them, but… they tend not to be all that fond of them. So anyway, yes, I can feel the veil. It’s kind of… elusive. Sometimes it feels like very, very fine silk; sometimes it’s so fragile it’s more like mist. Or like mist would be if you could touch it, if that makes sense. It isn’t visible.
And no, I wouldn’t harm it even if I could. It’s too valuable as a defense. I am tempted to tweak it a little, just occasionally; like, say, if a gorgeous full-mortal blogger is asking me questions and I want to hold her attention.
But I can’t damage it, or tear it. There’s no-one on earth who can do that, even if the blasted thing is dying all by itself.
Can you tell me more about your water-horse? the first time you met it (her? him?) was one of my favorite scenes in Firebrand.
Ah, thank you! That is one of my favourite memories, I’ve got to say. I think I fell in love with that kelpie before I’d even seen it. It’s pretty hard to master a water-horse; once you get on one you can’t get off, and they’ll only answer to the right bridle and the right mind, so I was kind of proud I didn’t get killed.
My blue roan isn’t exactly Champion the Wonder Horse; if he found a kid in trouble he’d probably eat it instead of going for help. He’s voracious and he’s violent – great in a fight – and he can be fickle. He’s not as obedient as Conal’s horse, and I wouldn’t trust him with puppies or small children. But he’s loyal to the death and I love him.
Welcome to the Guy Hasson THE EMOTICON GENERATION blog tour! Today we kick the tour off, and be sure to check here for the schedule and links to the other blogs.
Guy Hasson writes near-future science fiction, intimate stories suggesting technologies that fifty years away, or twenty years away, or maybe twenty minutes away. His stories are all different, but what they share in common is characters the reader instantly cares about, and a story that pulls you right in. THE EMOTICON GENERATION deals with a wide range of technological questions, but most importantly (at least for me), the idea that just because we can create a technology that does something, that doesn’t mean we should use it, that we should play God with it. Guy Hasson is also serializing his new mythology/fairy tale story TICKLING BUTTERFLIES on his blog. After a handful of e-mails back and forth with Guy I finally formalized a few questions for him.
Guy took time out of his busy day to answer a few questions for me, what a great way to kick off the blog tour!
You publish in both Hebrew and English. Do you find certain words, phrases, or even types of scenes work better in one language or another?
Oh, there are many, many differences, even between two Western societies that are basically similar. I’ll give you an example from The Simpsons. In season one’s first episode, five hundred years ago, what did Bart call a mailman that’s actually a woman? He called her a ‘fe-mailman’ (or a ‘femaleman’, depending on how you want to spell it). Try translating that into another language you know. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
I’ve lived in two different countries, in two different societies, speaking two different languages, and I write my science fiction to fit both of them equally. To do that, I use a few tricks. Here’s one of them: Americans find it very hard to have the ‘hero’ of a science fiction story or novel be anyone but an American. Now you’d think that for other countries, they would need the hero to be from their country. But that’s not the ‘foreign’ mentality. The US has dominated world SF for practically a hundred years now in stories, books, and film. So readers and movie-goers in foreign countries expect to see American heroes star in their SF. So Americans and ‘foreigners’ expect to see the same thing, for completely different reasons.
Have any funny stories about translations gone wrong?
None that have to do with my stories come to mind. But here’s one that didn’t happen to me. Once, a translator had to translate the sentence “I saw Christian Slater.” You’d think that’d be a simple enough sentence to translate.
But this translator never heard of the Christian Slater the actor. So the translation read, “I saw a Christian roofer.”
That really happened.
You work in films and the written word. When an idea forms in your mind, how do you decide if it would work better as a written story, or as visual media?
I recently had the opportunity to get to know Matt, from 52 Book Reviews, a little better. Father, scifi/fantasy fan, and all around cool guy, Matt is pretty new to the blogging community. This is his first year blogging, but he’s been on GoodReads for ages, and I think he has more Goodreads reviews up than the number of books I own. Matt has recently reviewed the newest short story collection from Saladin Ahmed, Wool by Hugh Howey, and has a very in-depth interview with Ken Scholes as well. have you bookmarked 52 Book Reviews yet? It’s cool, I’ll wait.
Here’s my interview with Matt:
LRR: your blog is fairly new, what made you decide to start blogging about books?
52BR: Obviously, I read a lot. I can’t think of a time when I haven’t had at least one or two books in process in the last ten years or so. What is not so obvious is that I have always dreamed of being a writer. After two abortive attempts at a novel, I decided to channel my need to write in a slightly different direction, and writing about books seemed the best fit. I already volunteer book recommendations to my family, friends, and strangers in the bookstore, so I thought why not do it online to a bigger audience of strangers. At least they won’t look at me funny, like some of the folks in the bookstore.
LRR: Your blog might be new, but you’ve got hundreds of books on Goodreads, going back years! I’m not on Goodreads, do you recommend it an online community that book bloggers should all be involved with?
52BR: To be honest, up until now I’ve only used Goodreads to keep a record of what I read. No one was more shocked than me to find out just how many books I’ve read. These days I’m posting my reviews on the site and have seen a small uptick in hits since then. But nothing beats networking with other bloggers in my experience.
LRR: What are your favorite genres to read and review?
I was gone for a few days, and someone started giving away some of my Very Good Books? As much as I love getting and receiving VeryGoodBooks, it’s also great to share them and pass them on when I’m done with them. Maybe I should do these long weekends out of town more often!
While I was gone, I devoured Madeline Ashby’s debut novel vN, which hits bookstore shelves in late July. I did truly devour it. I had planned to read it a little bit here, a little bit there, over coffee, enjoying my Mom’s garden, and nope. Once I picked it up I couldn’t put it down. It was finished before I even got to my parents house. Alluring cover art and a fascinating premise of a future where self replicating humanoids live side by side with humans, marrying humans, being raised as human children, being told they are equal to humans, and well, sometimes not.
With nods to Bladerunner and AI, vN is what you should be reading if you’re canny on the uncanny valley. Suffice to say, I was thrilled when Ms. Ashby offered to answer a few questions for me. While you’re waiting for my review (it’ll post tomorrow if I can get my act together later today), let’s better get to know Madeline Ashby – Strategic Foresight Consultant, science fiction writer, lover of manga and anime, and the woman who proved you CAN do a masters degree on a science fictional topic. Twice.
L.R.R. You can find manga in any bookstore and anime on nearly any television station these days, but this wasn’t always the case. How did you get hooked on manga and anime? Where would you suggest someone new to those forms start?
M.A. I had friends in high school who were interested in anime. Specifically, someone who used the characters of Haruka and Michiru (Sailors Uranus and Neptune, respectively) on Sailor Moon to talk about her own sexuality. But she wasn’t the only one. I had friends who were into Evangelion and Utena and Fushigi Yuugi. I watched movies like Akira and Ghost in the Shell with them. That pattern didn’t change in university or afterward. I still watch anime with friends.
If I were suggesting anime titles to anyone, I would ask them what genres they like in the first place. If they want science fiction with a side of deep characterization and pulse-pounding action, Cowboy Bebop. If they want a thoughtful slice-of-life dramedy with a side of tender romance, then Fruits Basket. If they want something totally surreal, then FLCL or Paranoia Agent. If they want something meta, something that comments on a genre from within that genre, then Madoka or Evangelion.
She writes space opera, she writes fantasy, she writes young adult and even paranormal mystery. Even better, she’s a fellow mid-westerner. In the last year or so, Sarah Zettel has quickly become one of my favorite science fiction writers. Her space opera is phenomenal, with characters that leap off the page and show you they are real people with real challenges. I don’t envy any of her characters, but I feel like I can relate to them. I’ve recently enjoyed Zettel’s Fool’s War and Bitter Angels (written as C.L. Anderson), and her new paranormal Vampire Chef series is getting rave reviews as well. I was beyond thrilled when Sarah agreed to do an interview on my blog.
So let’s get to the fun stuff, the interview!
L.R.R.: Your debut novel, Reclamation, won a Locus award for best first novel in 1996, and more recently Bitter Angels (2010) won the Philip K Dick award for best paperback original novel. Between 1996 and now, how have you seen the writing industry change? As a writer have you felt pressured to change with it?
S.Z.: The big change, of course, has been e-books. There’s now, unquestionably an audience for e-books, and a whole infrastructure to bring readers what they want. That’s opened up a lot of new avenues for writers and publishers to get their work to those readers. Is there pressure to change and adapt? Always. But that can be a good thing. I’m been part of a professional writer’s co-operative (Book View Cafe) where we as authors got together to help each other get our backlists out in e-book form. It’s been a lot of work, but a tremendous experience.
L.R.R.: There’s been a lot of attention, recently, on strong female lead characters in Speculative fiction, something you’ve been doing for years. Can you speak to any barriers you’ve experienced (or broken!), being a woman who writes speculative fiction with strong female characters?
S.Z.: When my 2nd novel Fool’s War came out, I had so many women come up to me and say “Thank you!” for writing protagonist who is a married woman. I think traditional literary science fiction is perceived as a male-oriented genre, and men are perceived as not being interested in reading about women or “women’s issues” read: relationships. There has always, always been SF by strong women, about strong women. Ursula K. Le Guin, Vonda McIntyre, Julie Cznerda, Octavia Butler, are just a few of the authors. But that’s not the perception of the genre, and so they don’t get talked about a whole lot. However, what has happened and what’s been interested is how speculative fiction that features strong women and relationships moved beyond the SF genre. It’s on the romance shelves, on the mainstream shelves, on the manga shelves, and, hurray, hurray, on the Young Adult shelves.
L.R.R.: One of the many things I loved about Fool’s War is that one of the two main characters is a devout Muslim woman. I don’t claim to be well read, but come on, how often do you run into science fiction that stars a Muslim woman? When you were working on that novel, how did her character come to be, and what type of research did you do get all those cultural details just right?
S.Z.: Fool’s War came from a short story I wrote for Analog Science Fiction & Fact called “Fool’s Errand.” I wrote that story during the first Gulf War. At that time, some, well, idiots, beat up a Sikh man because they couldn’t tell the difference between a Muslim and a Sikh. And this wasn’t a lone incident. I was angry, but what could I do to help combat the prejudice? It occured to me I could show competent, strong Islamic characters in the future, and so I made the ship’s engineer a Muslim woman. When I started out on Fool’s War, I realized it made sense for the person who maintained the ship to also be the person who owned the ship, so Al Shei became one of the major protagonists.
L.R.R.: You write in multiple genres – science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, and more urban fantasy (American Fairy trilogy) and paranormal mystery (Vampire Chef series). Does it ever get confusing to be working on different projects in different genres at the same time? Are different genres more fun to write in than others?
S.Z.: Actually, I find writing in mulitple genres not only helps keep me fresh, it keeps me learning. Each genre has a different focus and a different set of expectations, and each focus teaches you something new about the craft of writing. All genres are fun. I will say that of them all, science fiction is probably the most work, because of the nature and the level of the world building you have to do to create a solid, complete SF story.
L.R.R.: Speaking of The American Fairy Trilogy, can you tell us a little about the first book in the series, Dust Girl, which is scheduled to hit bookstore shelves this summer?
S.Z.: June 26, to be exact (VBG). Sure. It’s my first Young Adult series, and I’m very excited about it. It’s about a girl named Callie who lives in the heart of Kansas during the Dust Bowl. Callie’s father disappeared before she was born, and she always suspected he was African American. He was. It turns out he’s also a fairy prince. Callie’s inherited his magic, and a world of trouble as a result, especially when the fairies come calling to her dust bowl home.
L.R.R.: Do you have any plans to be at any upcoming conventions (WorldCon perhaps?) or bookstore signings? Where and how can your fans connect with you?
S.Z.: I am going to be at McLean & Eakin in Petosky Michigan on July 13. I’ll also be at Nicola’s Books in Ann Arbor July 25. I’m not going to make WorldCon this year, but I will be at BoucherCon in Cinncinati, OH.
L.R.R.: Hear that midwesterners? I don’t know about you, but I’m planning a field trip to Ann Arbor! Thank you so much Sarah, for spending some time on this blog. I’ve enjoyed everything of yours that I’ve read, and I can’t wait to read more!
If you’re a book blogger, know a book blogger, read a book blogger, or simply think that book blogs are cool, post this as your status. oh, wait, this isn’t facebook?
but it’s still Book Blogger Appreciation Week!
My favorite book blogger appreciation week event (and actually, the only one I participate in) is the interview swap. It’s super fun and easy, you sign up, and they partner you up with another awesome blogger to chat with a bit. kinda like match.com, but for bloggers, and like, not romantic? My partner this year is the hilarious Alison from Piling on the Books. You can read her interview with me on her site, and while you’re over there, make sure to check out her Wizard of Oz blog posts. Alison is teh soopah cool. and i got to interview her!
It must be heaven working in a library, surrounded by all those books! How has being at the library affected how you blog and what books you read?
Oh my word, I have got to stop working at a library (not really!). I did a post about a month and a half ago about thirteen booksI had brought home from the library after cataloging them, and I’m just about ready to put up another one! That’s crazy but also good, because for a while I was only reading books that I had already read a review of, and I find it very exciting to delve into a book without someone else’s opinion coloring my view. It’s also fun to be the first person to read and persuade others to read an awesome book!
more with Alison, after the jump!