Interview with MELISSA F. OLSON

OlsonMF-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Melissa F. Olson?

Oh, boy, I suddenly feel like I’m in Defending Your Life! I’m going to resist the temptation to write in third person, and just say that I’m a writer, a mother, and a bewildered chinchilla owner. By that, I mean that my chinchilla bewilders me, not that the chinchilla himself is in a constant state of bewilderment.

Your new novella, Nightshades (which I enjoyed very much), will be published by Tor.com this month. How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

I hope there will be more Nightshades! One reviewer recently described it as “Criminal Minds with vampires,” and although I’ve never seen Criminal Minds, that does kind of feel right. The book is about the moments right after vampires – or shades, as they’re called in this world – are discovered to be real. The focus is on the government agents who have to deal with all shade-related crime. Continue reading

Quick Review: NIGHTSHADE by Melissa F. Olson (Tor.com)

OlsonMF-NightshadesThe beginning of an intriguing new urban fantasy series…?

Alex McKenna is the new Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago office of the Bureau of Paranormal Investigations — the division tasked with investigating crimes involving shades.

Or vampires, as they’re more widely known.

Children have been going missing, and agents are routinely being slaughtered. It’s up to McKenna, and some unlikely allies, to get to the bottom of the problem, and find the kids before it’s too late.

This is another interesting novella from Tor.com. Olson takes an interesting, newish look at vampire mythology and places them into the global spotlight. I enjoyed this quite a bit.

Vampires have only recently been revealed to a still-skeptical world, and the FBI is trying to get a handle on what they mean for law enforcement, and what they should do about them — they are, after all, far more powerful and dangerous than any other criminal the Feebies are used to tackling. The characters are well-drawn, for the most part, echoing classic types found in urban fantasy and crime/mystery thrillers. There were a few moments of info-dumping or “Now, pay attention, this is important Exposition”, and one instance of slightly-cheesy action-movie partner-bro telegraphing, but generally speaking this is a well-written, tightly told story.

Nightshades offers a good, fast-paced, sometimes creepy (the chase in the field at night!) introduction to this reality, with plenty of potential for expansion. (Something I’d be all for — I finished this definitely thinking, “More, please.”) Certainly recommended for anyone looking for a cool new urban fantasy/mystery.

*

Nightshades is due to be published by Tor.com on July 19th, 2016.

New Books (March)

SW-ChewieChill

Featuring: Daniel Abraham, Jason Arnopp, Stephen Aryan, Madeline Ashby, Adrian Barnes, Terry Brooks, Steve Cavanagh, Catherine Cerveny, Curtis C. Chen, Jennifer Close, Brenda Cooper, John DeCure, Christopher Fowler, Neil Gaiman, Deena Goldstone, Jack Grimwood, Aidan Harte, Nathan Hill, L.S. Hilton, Roger Hobbs, Trevor Hoyle, Richard A. Knaak, Spencer Kope, Giles Kristian, Robert Kroese, Jason LaPier, Glenda Larke, James Lovegrove, Drew Magary, Gail Z. Martin, Malka Older, Melissa F. Olson, Stephanie Saulter, Jon Skovron, Sam Sykes, Laura van Den Berg, Dan Vyleta, David Wingrove, Ben H. Winters, John Wray

SW-KittieLightsabers

Continue reading