Science Fiction & Fantasy



Feature Interviews


Interview: Kim Stanley Robinson

The two things I postulated that I think make [my new novel] workable as a realistic kind of fantasia are space elevators on Earth and self-replicating machinery, and these are two supposedly possible engineering feats that are discussed in the literature, so they’re not physically impossible. They might be hard engineering feats, but it seems like they could be done, and there are even companies working on at least the space elevator.


Interview: Garth Nix

The idea of Mister Fitz, who’s a puppet who is also a sorcerer, I’m sure comes from the fact that my mother made papier-mâché puppets when I was a child, and in particular one year she made puppets of all the Moomintroll characters, and put on a show of Moominland Midwinter for me for my birthday party.


Interview: Brian Greene

Because there isn’t just one flavor of parallel universe—there’s a version that comes out of quantum mechanics, there’s a version that comes out of cosmology, a version that comes out of string theory, and so forth. But one thing that they do share is it’s pretty tough, if not impossible, to go from one universe to another in any of these versions—in any conventional notion of what it would mean to travel from one universe to another.


Interview: Anne Rice

There [has] to be a seductive side to the power, of feeling yourself gain strength, and your muscles get stronger and your limbs get longer and your whole body becomes invulnerable with a soft wonderful coat of hair. And you get fangs and you get claws and you are able to really destroy your enemies without much thought. And I thought, “That’s got to be seductive. That’s got to be great.”


Interview: Morgan Spurlock

Comic books succeed—and have succeeded for decades—because of fans, because of people who love them. Big, giant Hollywood genre movies succeed because of fans. Video games have become more popular over the years because of fans. So for me this is a film that was very much rooted in those people—in their passions, in their desire, their obsessions.


Interview: Michael Chabon

[Science fiction and fantasy] were the kind of books that I loved to read, so at any given moment in my life from the point that I decided to be a writer forward, which was around this time—I discovered Burroughs and then Arthur Conan Doyle right around the same time, and those were kind of my first two crushes—I would imagine writing books that I loved to read.


Interview: Vernor Vinge

[On coining the term “the singularity”]: I used that term first, I think, at an artificial intelligence conference in 1982. […] I made the observation that if we got human-level artificial intelligence, that would certainly be a world-shaking event, and if we got superhuman-level intelligence, then what happened afterward would be fundamentally unintelligible.


Interview: William Gibson

Futurists get to a certain age and, as one does, they suddenly recognize their own mortality, and they often decide that what’s going on is that everything is just totally screwed and shabby now, whereas when they were younger everything was better.


Interview: Robin Hobb

If you read a number of the older books about doing magic, and what people believed you could magically do, there is supposed magic whereby if you take the correct bone of a cat and put it under your tongue, you could become invisible. From there it was a short step to say, “What if, instead of that, it simply conferred this wonderful, huge rush of—not necessarily immortality—but renewed youth and vigor, and you didn’t need anything else except that? How would that work? What would you be willing to give up for that? Would you actually be giving up anything?”


Interview: R. A. Salvatore

I kind of took The Godfather and put it in extreme mode, you know? They relish power, they crave power—the only reason for the dark elves to have a system of justice to exact punishment, since they’re all a bunch of murderers and thieves anyway, is if someone else can bring a complaint against them. Their entire justice system is a mockery. If it’s not based on the priestesses and what Lolth says, then it goes, unless someone is wronged and can prove it. So, if you kill all the rest of them, nobody can bring the complaint. If nobody can bring the complaint, it never happened.