Science Fiction & Fantasy

Imago Mortis




Book Reviews: April 2015

This month, Andrew Liptak reviews Paolo Bacigalupi’s forthcoming novel, THE WATER KNIFE, and Edan Lepucki’s powerful debut, CALIFORNIA. In this month’s column, we’ve ended up with two books that look at the collapse of society in very different ways.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Ken Liu

To me, steampunk is a genre that straddles the border between fantasy and science fiction, with one foot in each camp. It’s also a genre that is inextricably bound up with the history of colonialism and empire. As such, it’s particularly suitable for telling metaphorical stories about the impact of technology as one aspect of cultural invasion and the responses of the colonized peoples.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Jason Gurley

I tend to think of myself as a quiet writer, meaning that when given the opportunity to write about something big — like destructive climate change, for example — I’ll usually look inward for the emotional struts that get knocked over by such life-changing events. With so many bombastic, epic destruction stories in our lives — the “disaster porn” of modern cinema a prime example — I often find myself most moved by the portrayal of believable, honest people who are unfortunately living in the shadow of such towering events.


Interview: Chris Williams

Chris Williams has been with Walt Disney Animation Studios for twenty years, working on a variety of projects, including MULAN, THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE, and BOLT. He also co-directed BIG HERO 6, winner of the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Joseph Allen Hill

The original spark came when I was brainstorming an urban fantasy novel that I ended up shelving. It was meant to be about young people in the city doing magic stuff while having a lot of young people feelings. The image of people using a love potion like a recreational drug was the only bit that stuck with me.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Carolyn Ives Gilman

This is a story about the commodification of absolutely everything. It portrays a future world where culture, religion, and people themselves are consumer goods bought and sold on the open market. No one in the story thinks they are living in a dystopia; they cheerfully collaborate and celebrate their own commodification — until they can’t any more.


Editorial, April 2015

For a run-down of this month’s content and all the latest news, make sure to read the Editorial.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Sonya Taaffe

I tried to write about Váli for the first time in my junior year of college, right after my first few short stories had been published. It was not a success. I don’t know why I tried again in 2010, during a painful drought in my writing life — by the time I finished the story in December of that year, it was the first piece of fiction I had managed to complete since early 2008 — but this time it took. To date, it’s still my only successful attempt at Norse myth in fiction.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Kat Howard

In a way, I had the inspiration for this story far before I ever thought about writing. It came from the idea of the music of the spheres — the idea that the movements of the moon and planets have their own tones or harmonies that are based on the proportions of their orbits. I first learned of the concept studying Shakespeare in high school, but it’s an idea that has fascinated me whenever I’ve come across it.

Artist Showcase

Artist Showcase: Wylie Beckert

Chance plays a major role in my compositions — sometimes it’s the only thing to fall back on when my imagination fails me and all my ideas start to look the same. Studying natural, randomized elements like tree bark or smoke helps remind me that shapes don’t need to be precise or carefully planned to be beautiful — borrowing from these sketches and snapshots provides a wealth of new ideas.