Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Author Spotlights

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Sam J. Miller

There’s an estimated eighteen million empty homes in this country — and an estimated three million homeless households. (That means every homeless family could have six homes!) Because property rights trump human rights in this country — they always have, going back to when human beings were property. But the banks aren’t dumb, and they’ll put a lot of resources into keeping their buildings in good shape — I just started thinking about what that would look like in a more magical world.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Vylar Kaftan

I hoped people would see that despite the way humanity repeats the same damn mistakes over and over . . . we do make progress. A little, even when it seems hopeless. And that the best way to handle the utter chaos of the bigger world around us is to remember to love and connect to each other. Those deep connections are intensely meaningful.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Ursula Pflug

The story isn’t literal truth — it’s a fantastical quest inspired by the feel of New Orleans and my memories of Mardi Gras. When writing semi­autobiographical fiction, I tell students, there’s a point where you change everyone’s names, appearances, and styles of dress, and they start to behave in ways that are divergent from the people who inspired them, and have undreamed of adventures.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Sarah Pinsker

I’ve always had vivid and strange dreams that don’t map well to interpretation. I’m interested in the idea that dreams are the brain’s way of working out something that is going on in the present by applying past experiences. That makes more sense to me than the idea that a dream of a wind-up toy monster spitting sparks across a backdrop of Georgia O’Keeffe skyscrapers would somehow mean the same thing to everyone.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Genevieve Valentine

The relationships between women in folklore seem sadly mapped over the myth of exceptionalism we see so often today — one woman’s the fairest or the kindest, and the others are wicked and cruel. You see so many news stories about how a woman is “the next X” (a replacement for that one elusive position) or a headline with a “vs.” in it, like just having two women existing at the same time means they’re in a standoff.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Vandana Singh

I’ve always been interested in themes of home and family, since I have spent so much time apart from the place and the people who formed me. I am also well aware of the Indian colonial legacy from 200 years of British rule, and how it shapes us today. As an accidental Indian expatriate living in America, the notion of otherness fascinates me — how we humans distance each other and then attempt to build bridges of connection.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Many of my stories are about a desire to escape, which is simply one of the earliest emotions I recall. I cannot speak about fiction in general but my fiction is based on my life and the people in my life. One of the things that happened when you were a woman, and still happens, is that you exist with a set of limited opportunities. Men, they can go to sea and explore the seven seas, but for a long time in many societies women could not do the same thing.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Chen Qiufan

I started outlining this story back in 2006, when Beijing’s smog problem was nowhere near as severe as it is now. But my body is very sensitive to the surrounding environment, and so when the air quality declined, I could clearly sense changes in me, both physiological and psychological. I was living and working in Beijing’s international trade central business district, in the heart of the city, where conditions were especially crowded, busy, and oppressive.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: William Alexander

East Wells is a blend of several towns outside Philadelphia; FAR, far outside Philadelphia. These are tiny places with long traditions of hushed, whispered folklore about “gangs.”

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Taiyo Fujii

Even with short stories, I design the plot as carefully as a standard-length novel. “Violation of the TrueNet Security Act” shares a background with my novel GENE MAPPER, so I only set up the drama for this short story. I enjoyed thinking the way Minami talks.