Science Fiction & Fantasy



Feature Interviews


Interview: Daniel Handler (a/k/a Lemony Snicket)

I was in my early twenties, and a friend of mine made me some Lemony Snicket business cards for my birthday, and I used to give them out at bars, and I used to write long, rambling letters to the editors of newspapers and sign them “Lemony Snicket.” And so then years later when I started writing for children, it occurred to me that it would be fun to write them and publish them under the name of the narrator rather than the name of the author. And then I had this name lying around gathering dust.


Interview: Cory Doctorow

Pirate Cinema was inspired by a legislative event in the United Kingdom, where I live. In 2009, they introduced legislation called the Digital Economy Act, which includes something called “three strikes,” which says that if you’re accused—without proof—of three acts of copyright infringement, you and your family get disconnected from the internet.


Interview: Tad Williams

For me, any book I’m writing is also a chance to get in and research and read and learn things that I maybe only knew a little bit about before. So one of the fascinating things about researching heaven and hell is, of course, the fact that there are so few descriptions of heaven, because most people can’t really explain what it would be like beyond a couple of sentences, whereas hell is quite often personal.


Interview: Junot Diaz

When you look at a lot of science fiction novels they’re asking questions about power. There are questions about what it means to have power and what are the long-term consequences of power. When you think about the Dune novels—the original Dune novels start out as this Machiavellian fix-up—the battle between these houses—but they turn out to be a very troubling meditation on what it means to take over an entire civilization and set it on a certain path.


Interview: Terry Brooks

[Wards of Faerie] is the first in a trilogy that I have been thinking about for quite a bit of time. It’s in the future of the Shannara world, not in the prehistory where I have been working. It is a direct sequel to the High Druid set of books, and it’s about a topic that has been discussed ever since I wrote Elfstones back in the day—1982 or whatever it was when it was published—about the Elfstones themselves, which were forged in the ancient world of Faerie before humans, and nobody knows what happened to them.


Interview: Alastair Reynolds

[Blue Remembered Earth] is a big departure for me. It’s my attempt to get back to something a little bit closer to the present in terms of the way I think about science fiction. So it’s a novel which looks at where we might be in a hundred and fifty years in terms of going out into the solar system, going back to the moon and Mars, but also looking at the Earth, the kind of trends that we might expect to see over the next century and a half on our own planet—things like artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, and ubiquitous surveillance technology.


Interview: Ursula K. Le Guin

I do try to separate my personal activism—showing up at a demonstration or something—from what I write. I don’t write tracts, I write novels. I’m not a preacher, I’m a fiction writer. I get a lot of moral guidance from reading novels, so I guess I expect my novels to offer some moral guidance, but they’re not blueprints for action, ever.


Interview: David Brin

If ETs want to contact new tech races, they’re not likely to waste time and resources on gigantic beacons. They’ll know the thousand—or ten thousand, or fifty thousand—life worlds around them that have oxygen atmospheres. But the odds that any one of those has a shiny new civilization will be very small, at any one time. So they’ll just send a ping to each of them, once every hundred years—or maybe once a year—saying, “Is there anybody there yet?” Because that’s cheap to do.


Interview: John Scalzi

We have some of the best writers in science fiction and fantasy today that we’ve ever had in the genre. That said, one of the things is that when you have people who are really engaged on the literary side of writing, as many of our current really excellent writers are, there is a question of how approachable it is to someone who is just coming fresh into the field.


Interview: Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant

In order to come up with the Kellis-Amberlee virus, I read enough books on viruses to qualify for some kind of horrible extra credit program, audited a bunch of courses at UC Berkeley and at the California Academy of Sciences, and then started phoning the CDC persistently and asking them horrible questions.