Science Fiction & Fantasy

PERSONA by Genevieve Valentine

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Author Spotlights

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Vajra Chandrasekera

The problem is that the dichotomy is false; “real world events” are themselves fictions. I don’t mean that in either the solipsist or conspiracy-theorist senses; I just mean that the true reality of events is always too big to be known and ends up getting folded into simplified cartoon narratives. I do think it’s good for writers to try and complicate that when they can. Writers, unlike gen pop, have the advantage of already knowing themselves to be liars.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Ursula K. LeGuin

I don’t recall having problems with it once I realized that what I thought were two different stories was one story. The “land” story was nearly complete; the “undersea” story was unfinished. When I saw they were separate parts of the same story, all I had to do was figure out how to combine them — where and how they should interlock with each other. And doing that enabled me to see how they both should end.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Naomi Kritzer

I was in a store one day and I heard a parent paged for a lost child, which somehow got me imagining a childless person who hears herself paged, and shows up, and there’s this kid there, insisting that he’s hers. What if, instead of swapping a fairy changeling for a human child, the fairy child just showed up and insisted that he’d been your child all along? I poked at that a little but I couldn’t quite get it to work as the light, humorous story I’d initially imagined.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Cat Sparks

Nearly half the world’s population live on less than $2.50 a day. That’s three billion people locked out of a better life, for starters. I’m not one of them — I grew up lower middle class and am a big fan of that particular strata of society. Middle class is all about having enough (whether we recognize such privilege and advantage for what it is or not), but “having enough” does not fit the capitalist ideology of limitless, relentless expansion. I believe Western middle class society is currently being eroded.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Matthew Hughes

The overarching story is that of Kaslo, an immensely competent man in his natural habitat, who has to learn how to cope with a sudden shift to a very dangerous environment in which his skills are not much use. By contrast, there’s also Obron, who was a bit of a ninny in the old universe but who is becoming a genuine power in the new. The theme there is that we are all creatures of our environments,

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Michael Blumlein

Gender identity, for many of us, is not binary. It’s pleasantly hazy, or can be pleasant, and should be. It’s slippery. Today there’s a growing consciousness of this inherent fluidity. There are pockets where the words “male” and “female” are obsolete, even offensive. Where L, G, B, T, Q, and Z are beginning to lose their meaning. But these pockets are few and far between

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Linda Nagata

I didn’t want to do a story where magic was a normal part of the world or something available to the protagonists. So I went with the classic “portal world” situation, and this is just the setting that came to me. What struck me on re-reading the story long after it was written is that, despite the fantastical setting, and despite John’s admonition, it feels like a science fiction story.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Marissa Lingen

I’m a freshwater person. Lake Superior is my idea of a wonderful body of water. But I was thinking of where people go to flee a bad political situation, or where they might go. Historically, that’s hills, forests, and the sea — stay tuned for more stories set in the hills and forests of this world.Also, I like cephalopods. They’re neat. Any time there’s room for cephalopods, I say they hardly ever make a story worse.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Will Kaufman

I sort of pictured the narrator as a bit of an extension of the wet gentleman himself. He gets some satisfaction from the fear, uncertainty, and suffering of the characters in his story, and the wet gentleman’s victory is his victory. All that bonhomie is part of his shtick. He’s the kind to get you to buy him a drink in a way that makes you think he’s doing you a favor.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: David Barr Kirtley

I have two themes that I seem to return to over and over. One is characters with good intentions who somehow find themselves having created a horrible mess and who are now seen as villains or monsters. The other is the idea that reality is not what we perceive it to be, that one day we’ll suddenly find that impossible things are happening to us, because we were ignorant of the bigger picture. Many of my favorite stories deal with that idea of upending reality.