Science Fiction & Fantasy

Missing Signal

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Author Spotlights

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Yoon Ha Lee

I ended up first with Arighan’s Flower, because I figured wiping out whole ancestral lines would be a pretty big threat. I also knew from the beginning that I wanted the gun to be one of a set. … One of my beta readers actually wanted this story to be about five times as long as it is right now, and to follow that kind of structure, detailing Shiron’s adventures with each gun. Quite probably it would have been a good story, but it wouldn’t have been the story I wanted to tell.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Joe Haldeman

Published in 1985, “More Than the Sum of His Parts” was set in the then-distant future of 2058. “It seemed a reasonable time frame, when we were somewhat more optimistic about space industrialization,” Haldeman says, “although the waldo technology is wishful thinking, or arm-waving—I didn’t have any actual technological rationale for it happening that soon, or ever. The waldos themselves were inspired by the story ‘Waldo,’ by Robert Heinlein. The idea of smaller and smaller waldos building their miniaturized successors came from the notions about self-replicating ‘von Neumann’ machines that were cutting-edge techno-dreaming at the time.”

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Adam-Troy Castro

This is a post-poverty utopia where everybody lucky enough to be plugged into the society’s opportunities—the passengers or if you prefer “pilots” of the arvies—gets to do whatever the heck they want to do with their lives, indulging their slightest whims via the bodies whose wombs they occupy. I left unexplained what criteria determine who gets to enjoy all of this world’s vast opportunities and who becomes an enslaved recreational vehicle; that decision is made, from standards you and I can only guess at, long before any fetus is granted the gift of adult awareness. There must also be genetic and medical issues involved far beyond us. But no doubt, if some zygote possesses genetic gifts that promise vast talent in athletic pursuits, that’s a quality that would render their future body very very much in demand as athletic gear for some fetus interested in enjoying the ride from the safety of the amniotic fluid.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Tananarive Due

“I had a story I really wanted to tell about a child being raised in isolation, ignorant of an apocalyptic infection raging in the outside world, so my approach to ‘Patient Zero’ was probably something like ‘A spoonful of science helps the narrative go down.'”

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Catherynne M. Valente

“Mars is just one of the dominant images and metaphors of SF. So the question is, if you write about a Mars that is different from the one we know from probes and images sent back to earth, is that still SF, or does it become a willful kind of fantasy, creating a world that never did and never will exist? After all, much of fantasy consists of alternate Earths. I don’t know. I’d like Mars to be an interstitial space, one which is still the focus of so many longings and dreams, and yet is unavoidably a real place, and one which is not perhaps as writers 70 years ago hoped it would be.”

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Genevieve Valentine

Steampunk tends to live in the space between science fiction and fantasy, depending on how it’s utilized in each particular piece. I think that both the science fiction canon and the science fiction community have accepted steampunk elements for a long time; I think that as steampunk earns its permanent place in the canon, it will do so via the examination of some of the tropes on which previous steampunk has been built, which will both broaden and strengthen the collective canon.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Tobias S. Buckell

Mostly I became interested in memory loss when I started reading about the fact that people are starting to figure out how to erase, block, and alter memories in labs. And I began thinking, since corporations are always viewing everything as a potential acquirable resource, why wouldn’t they own someone else’s memories? As a down payment on services? You can walk away from a house that’s been pledged as collateral, or savings. But your identity? They’d really own you.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Carrie Vaughn

The initial seed of inspiration was my ocean-going characters, who made their livelihood by the sea. I had to find a world to put them in, and I thought about what a positive post-apocalyptic future would look like. That is, the civilization-shattering disaster happened, but humanity didn’t lose its technology.”

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: David Barr Kirtley

“The version of history I was taught in school as a child was wildly inaccurate: Columbus proved that the world was round, the pilgrims and Indians were best friends, and America is the best at everything and is always on the right side of everything, and so on. […]”

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Jack McDevitt

“SETI has been trying to pick up signs of technological civilizations for more than half a century. I can remember thinking when they first started that it wouldn’t take long. Too many stars out there. But here we are, a couple of generations later and we haven’t heard so much as a hiccup. Why not? […]”