Science Fiction & Fantasy

Open Road Summer Vacation

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Author Spotlights

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: A.M.J. Hudson

Unfortunately, a lot of the experience with depression detailed in “Red Run” is similar to my own. When I began to question my sexuality, I met a lot of resistance from my family. When I came out, they didn’t talk about it. No one did. I was met with silence and blank stares, the shrugging of shoulders. Having to internalize so many things that defined who I am destroyed the trust I had in those around me.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Amal El-Mohtar

It percolated for a long time before I decided to try and make it my submission to QDSF. When I focused on the relationship I was imagining instead of the time-travel MacGuffin, though, it started coming together — and it was in trying to figure out a frame for that relationship, and figuring out Madeleine’s character, loneliness, and motivation, that the story really emerged.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Chaz Brenchley

“If Mars were a province of the British Empire” has been the constant theme running through my head like an earworm. How it could have happened, what it might have meant, what it might imply for science, for politics, for international relations, for empire on two planets (or three, in fact, because the Russians have Venus). One of the consequences is that I keep interrupting myself with new revelations.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: K.M. Szpara

The Internet, via role-playing and online accounts, message boards wherein no one can see or hear you, acts as an escape for many trans people. You can be your true self there without being questioned. That was the SimGrid portion of the story. When Ash plugs in at a young age, his avatar generates in his self-image. He gets to be “a character who just happens to be gay” — though he is unaware of this, that’s how the story begins for readers.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: RJ Edwards

I knew I wanted to write something about the Large Hadron Collider, this inconceivably huge and important thing that might change the world, and relate it back to these small decisions made by individuals. And I wanted to write about a relationship between two trans people. I started with this image that is very much rooted in my relationship with this friend. I borrowed his postcards and his laugh. Though it diverged from there.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Kate M. Galey

I studied to be an EMT in college and spent a short time working in that field, and especially on an ambulance, that’s a daily reality. There are well-known interventions — like C.P.R. or defibrillation — that, despite what we see on TV, aren’t usually successful. It’s a hard situation to be in, because you can do everything perfectly and still lose someone. And even if it works, it doesn’t always work for long, and sometimes the damage you do trying to save someone isn’t worth it to them.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: John Chu

Go suggested itself at first because, unlike chess, modern day computers don’t play it very well. (I should point out here that I play even worse.) This is, in part, because Go has a huge state space. To me, plays in Go can feel rather subtle. Placing a stone off by a point can have drastic ramifications. A fight on one side of the board may affect the situation on the other side of the board. There’s a lot to keep track of.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Matthew Hughes

Since I was quite young, I have had this sense that the fourth-dimensional universe we inhabit is a kind of conjuror’s trick, especially the part about sequential time. If we could see reality as it is, rather than how we’re merely wired to experience it, we’d say, “Oh, well, of course.” Back when I used to take LSD, that sense was reinforced, because I got to see mundane objects in all their actual splendor. The feeling has stuck with me for almost fifty years now.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Sean Williams

It’s so odd to sit here, remembering my half-self writing characters like Kris and Max, who seemed impossibly ancient then but now feel like contemporaries. It’s more depressing to see how many of the themes of this story are still current: the consequences of environmental degradation and war, patriarchy and the violent means it pursues to retain power, the costs of survival . . . I guess it’s the last that has stuck with me down the years, from the older Hogarth’s perspective.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: R.C. Loenen-Ruiz

I believe that speculative fiction is not only about ideas or about technology, but is how society and people interact with ideas and with technology. Advancements in science change us, movements in society change and transform existing structures, conflict arises from these changes; how do we deal with these things? Do we become tougher? Do we become harder? How do we continue to hold fast to human connections in a world that dehumanizes so many of us?