Interview with DAVID EBENBACH

EbenbachD-AuthorPic(creditJoeKing)Let’s start with an introduction: Who is David Ebenbach?

Hi! Nice to meet you. Well, I’m a writer, which in my case is rooted in a blend of curiosity and introversion. I’m deeply, fundamentally, persistently curious about the human experience — what we feel, what we do, why we do what we do, and how we feel about doing it. At the same time, my favorite place to be, quarantine or not, is at home with just my family (and sometimes all alone at my desk). So that’s where writing comes in — digging into the human experience without, you know, getting overwhelmed by being around humans all the time. If you see what I mean.

And, as you’ll notice in most of my answers in this interview, I’m also a big “on the one hand… but on the other hand” person. Life is complicated!

Your new novel, How to Mars, is due to be published by Tachyon. It looks really fun: How would you introduce it to a potential reader?

On one level, How to Mars is the story of six people who, for a variety of personal reasons, volunteered to go on a dubious one-way mission to Mars. It’s dubious because it’s funded by a reality show that’s being made about the mission and it’s run by a really eccentric organization. The organization has left them with a lot of odd advice and guidance and one ironclad rule: NO SEX ON MARS. Well, of course a couple of the Marsonauts ignore that rule, and now there’s the first-ever pregnancy on another planet. That would be dangerous enough in the hostile environment of Mars, but there are also hints of an alien presence, and the engineer with the somewhat violent streak is starting to behave pretty erratically. Continue reading

Interview with T.A. WILLBERG

WillbergTA-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is T.A. Willberg?

I suppose I should call myself an author now but until four years ago, I was a full-time Chiropractor specialising in spinal deformities. Writing, other than for scientific papers and essays, just wasn’t a part of my life until I moved from my home country (South Africa) to live and work in Malta.

What else? I’m an outdoorsy, animal-loving introvert. I enjoy reading as much as writing, travelling as much as staying at home and chocolate as much as exercise.

Your new novel, Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder, will be published by Trapeze in May. It looks really intriguing: How would you introduce it to a potential reader. Is it part of a series?

Thanks! There’s a lot of genre-mixing going on in my novel so it’s always hard to describe, but I’ll give it a go: Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder is a quirky locked-room murder mystery set in an alternative 1950’s London with elements of grounded fantasy and loads of steampunk gadgetry. Continue reading

Interview with SAMMY HK SMITH

Let’s start with an introduction: Who is Sammy H.K. Smith?

Well, right now I think I’m a human but the lack of decent sleep or coffee is blurring my reality a bit…

I’m a mother, writer, publisher (owner of Grimbold Books), and police detective specialising in domestic abuse and sexual offences. I dabble with all sorts of genres but SF&F (and speculative dark fiction sub-genres) gather my interest the most.

I live and work in Oxfordshire next to the Cotswolds and Warwickshire border, which is an utterly beautiful part of the country.

Your new novel, Anna, is due out in May via Solaris. How would you introduce it to a potential reader?

ANNA is a story of one woman’s survival in a cruel world where might is right and regardless of gender, if you display any weakness, you’re fair game to those that want to control both the lands and the people.

We follow Anna’s story and emotional fallout of dealing with sexual abuse and PTSD in a dystopic future not far from our own reality and timeline. Her strength comes from within and she shows us that whilst physically she appears weak, she’s so much more inside. Continue reading

Interview with G.R. MATTHEWS

Let’s start with an introduction: Who is G.R. Matthews?

That would be me. Hello!

I am a fantasy and sci-fi author who has written a number of books; some set in Ancient China (to try and express my love of martial arts movies from Gordon Liu to Donnie Yen), some set in the far future where we all struggle to exist under the ocean waves (Jack Reacher with more sarcasm, and water).

I live in Kent, in the United Kingdom where I also work in education – writing is a relief from the noise, stress, and pressure of that.

Your new novel, Seven Deaths of an Empire, is due to be published by Solaris in June. It looks really intriguing: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

Seven Deaths of an Empire is at heart a story about loyalty, honour, and duty. How much does it cost to keep true to those ideals, to yourself? How much would you sacrifice?

Oh, and there are great big battles, small skirmishes, magic, and political double-dealing. Continue reading

Interview with GARETH L. POWELL

PowellGL-AuthorPic2021Let’s start with an introduction: Who is Gareth L. Powell?

I’m an author from Bristol, in the South West of the UK. I’m 50 years old and have two teenage kids. I’ve won the British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Novel twice and been shortlisted for the Locus and Seiun Awards.

Your novel The Recollection celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, and will be re-issued by Solaris. For those who didn’t catch it the first time, how would you introduce it to a potential reader?

The Recollection was my first full-length novel (a shorter novel, Silversands, appeared the year before). It follows the adventures of Ed Rico, a failed artist and London taxi driver as he travels into the future to find his missing brother, and the struggles of Katherine Abdulov, a starship pilot, as she races to a distant planet in order to regain the trust of her powerful family. Continue reading

Q&A with BRUCE STERLING

SterlingB-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Bruce Sterling?

Well, at the present moment, I’m some unshaven guy in his mid-sixties surviving a global pandemic in Ibiza while wearing house slippers, linen pajama pants and a poncho.

Your latest book, Robot Artists and Black Swans, will be published by Tachyon in March 2021. It looks really interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader?

It’s a literary conceptual-art piece. I was an American science fiction writer spending time in Italy, so I naturally thought, “I should write some science fiction about Italy!”

But then I surmised: “What kind of science fiction would I write if I myself was Italian?” Then, instead of me peering through a keyhole as a puzzled foreigner, it was like a vast door had opened up into the marbled streets. Continue reading

Interview with GAVIN G. SMITH

SmithGG-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Gavin G. Smith?

Just some guy… I am a science fiction, fantasy and horror writer. I tend to write quite action-oriented stuff and inject a bit of humour in often gritty stories.

Your novel, Spec Ops Z, will be re-issued by Abaddon next month. It looks really interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

I’m not a great respecter of tight genre boundaries and I think Spec Ops Z straddles a few. It’s set in an alternate 1987 where instead of Glasnost, Russia was taken over by hardliners and launched a first strike against the US using a zombie-inducing “bio weapon”. The protagonists (rather than heroes) are the Spetsnaz (Russian Special Forces) squad tasked with infecting New York. The squad are a crew of somewhat embittered misfits led by led by Vadim Socorlenski a tired and disillusioned officer once hailed as a “Hero of the Soviet Union”. The squad get infected in New York and then it’s all about them trying to get home in the face of WW3 and a zombie outbreak. It’s kind-of apocalyptic post-survival action horror, I guess. Continue reading

Interview with ELLY BANGS

BangsE-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Elly Bangs?

I’m a Seattle-based science fiction and fantasy author. I’ve been writing stories and novels since I was a kid, but I only started seriously sending my work out into the world in 2017; around that time I was lucky enough to find a day job that lets me scrape by while still leaving me time to write. Since then I’ve had about a dozen stories out in publications including ClarkesworldBeneath Ceaseless Skies, and Escape Pod. What else? I live with my partner and two cats. I treasure my friendship with my Clarion West class. I enjoy bicycling, tinkering with circuitry, and baking pies — though not at the same time. Continue reading

Interview with KRISTYN MERBETH

MerbethK-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Kristyn Merbeth?

Hi! I’m an author, gamer, and SFF enthusiast. When I’m not writing or reading, I’m often playing video games, board games, or Dungeons & Dragons. I also love to cook, and my latest hobby is making alcoholic ice cream.

Memoria, your second Nova Vita Protocol novel, is due to be published by Orbit in December. How would you introduce the series to a potential reader? What can fans of the first novel, Fortuna, expect from the follow-up?

My usual quick pitch is “a dysfunctional family of smugglers in space!” The five human-settled planets of Nova Vita are all close enough to see one another clearly in the skies above, but a long history of distrust has led to laws that make traveling between them nearly impossible. Fortuna is one of the last remaining ships that can cross otherwise-closed borders — which the Kaiser family uses to smuggle illegal goods between the planets. But when the family is drawn into a messy interplanetary conflict, the two eldest siblings – broody soldier and former golden child Corvus and troublemaking, fast-talking scapegoat Scorpia — are faced with a choice about which of them will inherit the ship, and where they will lead the family if the system goes to war. Continue reading

Interview with RJ BARKER

barkerrj-authorpicWelcome back to CR! For newcomers, let’s start with an introduction: Who is RJ Barker?

Probably a bit of an oddball. I’m English, I live in Yorkshire, in Leeds, in an old house with lots of weird taxidermy, strange art, noisy music, my family and a very pretty but unpleasant cat. I also write books. But you probably knew that if you’re realising this here as it’s all about books. Or maybe you didn’t. If so, books are great, buy loads. You literally can never have enough

The second novel in your Tide Child series, Call of the Boneships, is due out on November 24th via Orbit. How would you introduce the series to a new reader? And what can fans of book one expect from the follow-up?

Right at the beginning I sort of described it as Hornblower vs. Godzilla. Which makes me laugh and is kind of true but like everything I do it’s about people and how they react to the world. It’s all set in a world that will be very unfamiliar to most people, full of strange creatures and a Matriarchal society that isn’t like ours and people that don’t think in quite the same way we do. But they still have relationships, and they still fear and they still fight for what they believe to be right. And there are massive sea dragons. Absolutely huge. Continue reading