Science Fiction & Fantasy

The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination

Author Spotlights

Author Spotlight: K.J. Bishop

Alsiso may be out there waiting to get his/her revenge on me. Maybe I’ll be turned into a toaster oven or something. I’m fascinated by the rise and fall of mythic figures—ancestors and heroes becoming gods, gods becoming another culture’s demons, the modern mythologies around products. I don’t think our belief in magic has died…

Author Spotlight: Linda Nagata

A lot of my stories have vague beginnings, making it hard to say specifically what inspired them, but “Codename: Delphi” is an exception—it was directly inspired by my novel THE RED: FIRST LIGHT. Delphi is an important character in that novel, but because TR:FL is told in first person from the point of view of a soldier in the field, we never have a chance to get inside Delphi’s head to experience war as she experiences it. So writing the short story gave me a chance to remedy that.

Author Spotlight: Carmen Maria Machado

A few years back, I was poaching an egg and found myself staring into the pot and got a little lost. I made a note about the experience and then promptly forgot about it. Last summer, I spent some time writing in a cabin in the White Mountains, and I rediscovered that file on my computer. The story poured out of me after that.

Author Spotlight: Scott Sigler

I think that many of our great creators are fueled by hubris. For the people who come up with something truly revolutionary (those who are first with an idea that no one has had before), having the innate idea that you are special, unique, smarter than the average bear allows them to look beyond the accepted boundaries and limitations of what is possible. In “Complex God,” Petra has no doubt that she’s on another level.

Author Spotlight: RoboNinja

Your dreams are the lunatic weeping of some caged madman in a sideshow where the audience is as bestial as the attractions they gawp at. What emptiness brought you to this?

Author Spotlight: Matthew Hughes

It’s a universe I’ve been writing about for twenty years: a far-future, galactic civilization. The thing most of its inhabitants don’t know is that every few thousand years, the universe arbitrarily shifts its fundamental operating principle between rationalism and magic. And one of those changes is just about to happen.

Author Spotlight: Jo Walton

I was on a panel about generation starships and people kept talking about how small they could make them, the minimum number of people you could have and keep genetic diversity and have enough people to work the ship. And I said “But what if they didn’t all want to do their jobs, after the first generation?” and Alison Sinclair said “What if they don’t want to be engineers, what if they want to be ballet dancers?”

Author Spotlight: Eileen Gunn and Michael Swanwick

I think what keeps the game of collaboration going (for me, anyway) is that it could change at any moment. At some point, Michael would yell, “Okay! We’re done! Don’t you do another thing! I’ll write the ending!” And then he’d finish it and send it back to me with the warning, “Don’t you change anything!” And I would change something.

Author Spotlight: Chen Qiufan

There are several layers of deception in the story: The father hides the truth of his illness from the daughter; the state falsifies and tampers with history; and finally, the daughter, taught by everything around her, begins to view the world through a distorted lens, following unspoken rules. This is, of course, like the reality of today’s China.

Author Spotlight: Robert Jackson Bennett

I started thinking about exactly how to write a speculative story set in the 1920s, as that was the theme of this anthology. Naturally, I started thinking about aspects of the era I’ve researched before and just generally liked, and that made me gravitate toward the P.G. Wodehouse stories about Bertie and Jeeves and the other foppish, empty-headed aristos boozing it up and causing havoc.