Science Fiction & Fantasy

Missing Signal

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Feature Interviews

Nonfiction

Interview: Robert J. Sawyer

Robert J. Sawyer—called “the dean of Canadian science fiction” by The Ottawa Citizen and “just about the best science-fiction writer out there these days” by The Denver Rocky Mountain News—is one of only eight writers in history (and the only Canadian) to win all three of the science-fiction field’s top honors for best novel of the year: the Hugo Award (for Hominids), the Nebula Award (for The Terminal Experiment), and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award (for Mindscan). He has written more than twenty books, including Flashforward, which was adapted into a television series on ABC. The show ended in 2010, but more Sawyer adaptations are in the works, and the author himself has been tapped to write the screenplay for a feature film version of his 2012 novel Triggers, a near-future conspiracy thriller.

Nonfiction

Interview: Nalo Hopkinson

Jamaican-born author Nalo Hopkinson burst onto the publishing scene in 1997, when her novel Brown Girl in the Ring, set in present-day Toronto and featuring supernatural events drawn from Caribbean folklore, won the Warner Aspect First Novel Contest. She followed that up with a string of other successes, including 2001′s short story collection Skin Folk, which was acclaimed by The New York Times. Her two latest novels are Sister Mine and The Chaos.

Nonfiction

Interview: Gregory Maguire

Gregory Maguire is the author of The Wicked Years, a four-book cycle including Wicked, Son of a Witch, A Lion Among Men, and Out of Oz—all New York Times bestsellers. Wicked: The Musical is soon to celebrate its tenth anniversary on Broadway, and is one of the top dozen longest-running shows in Broadway history. Maguire has written five other novels for adults and two dozen books for children, and has written and performed pieces for National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and Selected Shorts. His novel Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister was an ABC film starring Stockard Channing.

Nonfiction

Interview: Karen Russell

Karen Russell is the author of the story collection St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves and the novel Swamplandia!, a Pulitzer Prize finalist and one of the New York Times’ Top 5 Fiction Books of 2011. Her new story collection, Vampires in the Lemon Grove, was released by Knopf in February 2013.

Nonfiction

Interview: Brandon Sanderson

I felt when I first read it that it was a satisfying ending. I felt it was the right ending. It’s been my guidepost for all the work I’ve done on this. There are going to be some holes. Robert Jordan told fans before he passed away that he didn’t want everything wrapped up neatly with a bow. And so there are no major cliffhangers, but there are some indications of things that happen after the series, things that continue on.

Nonfiction

Interview: Jane Yolen

Just like the old Wizard of Oz, I wanted everything black and white, and then when she saw the faeries, a burst of color. As I was going through it the second or third time for the revisions, it occurred to me that it didn’t make much sense unless she was color-blind. Otherwise, why is she, who is really our eyes here, not seeing things in color, why is everything in black and blues and gray tones?

Nonfiction

Interview: Angélica Gorodischer

Once at a friend’s house I saw a book called The Martian Chronicles. How odd, I thought. I opened it and I was trapped. I want to clarify that Ray Bradbury was never one of my favorite authors: He’s a little soft, kind of romantic, and, worst of all, moralizing. But The Martian Chronicles is a great book. And looking for similar things, I found the great writers of the 1950s and later.

Nonfiction

Interview: Philip Pullman

Oh, brutal punishments—eyes being pecked out by birds, people being put in barrels full of nails and rolled downhill, or sent out into the stormy sea in a ship where it’s going to sink. Things like that. But there’s always a principle of justice underneath it. It’s always the bad people who get punished, and it’s always the good people who get rewarded. So it’s not gratuitous, it’s not horror for the sake of horror.

Nonfiction

Interview: Lois McMaster Bujold

Q: To what extent do you think the future depicted in the Vorkosigan Saga might actually come true? A: In bits and pieces, I think it will. The space travel part I think is entirely bogus at this time. There’s no reason to believe that we will ever have cheap, easy interstellar travel. Other parts of it—usually the parts that I concentrate my plots on—are more realistic: the biology, the biotechnology, the genetics, and the genetic engineering, they’re more grounded.

Nonfiction

Interview: Steven Erikson

Some people on the Malazan Empire fan site were sort of saying, why go for something where we know what’s happened? My response would be you only think you know what’s happened. One of the things I’m pushing for is the notion that history is not an accurate portrayal of anything at all.