Justina Ireland: Dread Nation

Justina Ireland was born in French Camp CA, and grew up in San Bernadino and outside Sacramento. After graduating high school, she joined the Army, got married, and later settled in Pennsylvania with her husband. In addition to writing, she works as a supervisor in logistics for the Department of the Navy.

First novel Vengeance Bound, a YA fantasy about a girl with a psychic link to the Furies, ...Read More

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Kameron Hurley: Did “Being a Writer” Ever Mean… Just Writing?

I have spent an inordinate amount of time this year Being a Writer, and far less of it doing the writing part. Oh, the words get done. In fits and starts and large binge sessions, I squeeze out stories in a few days and large swaths of whatever novel is in progress over a week at a time.

But an increasing amount of my waking hours have been spent re­viewing ...Read More

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Cory Doctorow: Bugging In

Cory Efram Doctorow was born July 17, 1971 in Toronto, Canada. He attended alternative schools and worked at SF specialty store Bakka Books, but dropped out of high school at 17 and briefly moved to Mexico to write. He dropped out of four universities in two years, and worked as a CD-ROM programmer, website designer, volunteer in Central America, CIO for a film company and an ad agency, founder of ...Read More

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Sam J. Miller: A Better Power

Sam Joshua Miller was born February 7, 1979 in Hudson NY. He attended Rutgers University, where he studied cinema studies and Russian language and literature (and met his future husband).

Miller began publishing stories in ’zines and online in the early 2000s, and attended the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop in 2012. In recent years he’s published a slew of award-quality short fiction, including Shirley Jackson Award winner ...Read More

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Cory Doctorow: Be the First One to Not Do Something that No One Else Has Ever Not Thought of Doing Before

The legendary musician, producer, and weirdo Brian Eno has many notable accomplishments and high among them is the production of the ‘‘Oblique Strategies’’ deck, a deck of cards emblazoned with gnomic and hard-to-parse advice that is meant to shake your creative rut: ‘‘Fill every beat with something,’’ or ‘‘Infinitesimal gradations’’ or ‘‘Do nothing for as long as possible.’’

My favorite of these – first learned from Bruce Sterling – is ...Read More

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Cat Sparks: Strange Directions

Catriona Sparks was born September 11, 1965 in Sydney Australia. She studied film making and photography at the City Art Institute, and worked as a media monitor, political photographer and graphic designer for many years, as well as traveling through Europe, the Middle East, Indonesia, the South Pacific, China, and the Americas.

Sparks began publishing short fiction in 2001, and has since published around 70 stories, including Ditmar Award winners ...Read More

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Spotlight On: Scott H. Andrews, Beneath Ceaseless Skies

Scott H. Andrews is a writer, editor, chemistry lecturer, musician, woodworker, and connoisseur of stouts. His literary short fiction has won a $1,000 prize from the Briar Cliff Review, and his genre short fiction has appeared in Ann VanderMeer’s Weird Tales and in On Spec. He is editor-in-chief and publisher of the four-time Hugo Award-finalist fantasy e-zine Beneath Ceaseless Skies and its five-time Parsec Award finalist podcast. Scott lives in ...Read More

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John Kessel: Over the Moon

John Joseph Vincent Kessel was born September 24, 1950 in Buffalo NY. He received a dual BA in English and Physics from the University of Rochester in 1972, an MA in English from the University of Kansas in 1974, and a PhD in English from the University of Kansas in 1981. From 1979-82 he was a copy and news editor at Commodity News Service in Kansas. In 1982 he began ...Read More

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Spotlight On: Heather Shaw, Persistent Visions

Heather Shaw is an editor, writer, performer, mother, lindy hopper, and bookkeeper living in Berkeley CA with her husband and son. In addition to editing Persistent Visions, she has in the past edited poetry, erotica, catalog copy, and technical manuals. Her fiction has appeared in nice places like Strange Horizons and The Year’s Best Fantasy, and she’s performed everywhere from small stages in San Francisco to the Lollapalooza poetry ...Read More

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Kameron Hurley: Story Isn’t Just “Stuff Happens”

I brought my dogs to a new dog park this weekend, one frequented by experienced dog owners who enjoyed socializing their dogs. The park I usually go to is less frequented, with fewer dogs, and the owners are all worried and anxious sorts. Their dogs tend to be unsocialized, which contributes to their own fear about their dog’s potential behavior, and then their anxiety gets to the dogs, too, making ...Read More

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Ellen Klages: Magic in the Mix

Ellen Janeway Klages was born July 9, 1954 in Columbus OH. She attended the University of California at Berkeley in 1972, but dropped out in her sophomore year, spent time as a camp counselor and working at a book factory, then returned to college, graduating from the University of Michigan in 1976 with a philosophy degree. She worked at a pinball arcade and as a photographer before moving onto various ...Read More

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Paul Tremblay: Aftermath

Paul Gaetan Tremblay was born June 30, 1971 in Aurora CO, and grew up in Beverley MA. He attended Providence College in Rhode Island, graduating in 1993, and in 1995 obtained a Master’s in Mathematics from the University of Vermont (1995). He became a math teacher and junior varsity basketball coach for a private high school after graduation. He began publishing with ‘‘King Bee’’ (2001), and most of his early ...Read More

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Scott Westerfeld Guest Post–“Sisters and Family in Spill Zone”

Spill Zone is about what we’re left with after our family is destroyed.

It’s about two sisters, Addison and Lexa, who’ve lost their parents and hometown in an event called the Spill. The older sister, Addison, is left with the task of raising and providing for Lexa, which is in some ways like trying to keep a culture alive. Every family is its own world, after all. Only the people ...Read More

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Cory Doctorow: Weaponized Narrative

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’’ To this day, especially in times of ‘‘disaster,’’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.

–Mr Rogers

In ...Read More

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Salik Shah Guest Post–“Unmaking the Post-Truth World With Global SF”

Mithila is a glorious kingdom ruled by philosopher kings in the Sanskrit epic Ramayana. Millennia later, say in an alternate universe, it’s a decolonized terrain beset with intolerance and violence, a symbol of a civilization in decline.

Science fiction and fantasy that draws its power from actual science and history—a scientific spirit based on evidence, logic and rationality—could be a fluid and powerful language of protest in the new era ...Read More

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Spotlight on: Rovina Cai, Artist

Rovina Cai is a freelance illustrator from Melbourne, Australia. She creates intriguing images that make you linger, hungry to know the story behind them. Her work is often inspired by the past; from fairy tales to gothic novels, these stories resonate with her because they bring a little bit of magic and wonder to the present day. Rovina has worked with an eclectic range of clients, including The Folio Society, ...Read More

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Kinuko Y. Craft: Light & Shadow

Kinuko Yamabe Craft was born January 3, 1940 in Kanazawa, Japan, and began painting and drawing at an early age. She received her BFA from the Kanazawa Municipal College of Fine and Industrial Art in 1962, and decided to continue her studies in the US. She studied for a year and a half at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1964-65), and then took the first of two ...Read More

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Jess Nevins Guest Post–“How It All Started”

1905 was a landmark year as far as global pulp culture was concerned, because that was the year that Street & Smith, at the time the purveyor of a number of very successful dime novels, decided to expand its operations into Europe. The countries of Europe had not been without their own versions of dime novels, in some cases for decades, but Street & Smith–which was looking to expand its ...Read More

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Spotlight on: Jeffrey Alan Love, Artist

Jeffrey Alan Love is an award-winning artist and writer whose clients have included The New York Times, TIME, The New Yorker, Tor, Gollancz, Scholastic, HarperCollins, and others. Nominated for the World Fantasy Award, the British Science Fiction Award, the British Fantasy Award, the Chesley Award, and the Spectrum Fantastic Art Award, he has won a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators and two Academy of British Cover Design Awards. ...Read More

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Kameron Hurley: How to Write a Book in a Month

We all want to learn how to write books faster. The pace of the news cycle today has heated up to such an extent that for those of us who aren’t in the 1% of writers, if we don’t come out with a book a year, it feels like the world has forgotten us amid the buzz of ever more intensifying world horror. I’m not immune to this pressure. Juggling ...Read More

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Jane Yolen: Accidental Novelist

Jane Hyatt Yolen was born February 11, 1939 in New York City. She received a BA from Smith College in 1960 and a master’s in education from the University of Massachusetts in 1978. She married David W. Stemple in 1962 (he died in 2006), and has a daughter, two sons, and six grandchildren. She has collaborated on works with all three of her children, fantasy most extensively with Adam Stemple. ...Read More

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John Joseph Adams: The Stars His Destination

John Joseph Adams was born July 31, 1976 and grew up in Perth Amboy NJ until moving to Florida at age nine. He dropped out of high school at 16, but got his GED and later attended Indian River Community College in Fort Pierce and then the University of Central Florida in Orlando. After graduation, he returned to New Jersey and got his first job in publishing. He began working ...Read More

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Cory Doctorow: The Jubilee: Fill Your Boots

In 1972, a group of researchers funded by the Volkswagen Foundation published a seismic book called Limits to Growth, which used the most sophisticated techniques of the day to model the planet Earth and project its future. The book’s authors were trying to figure out how rosy a future the world’s poor could count on: would they some day enjoy the cars and refrigerators and other benefits of the ...Read More

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Alastair Reynolds: Expanding Universe

Alastair Preston Reynolds was born March 13, 1966 in Barry, South Wales, and spent his childhood in Cornwall and Wales. He earned degrees in astronomy from the University of Newcastle in England (1988) and a PhD from the University of St. Andrew’s in Scotland (1991). In 1991 he moved to The Netherlands to work for the European Space Agency, where he remained (apart from a break in 1994-96 to do ...Read More

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Kameron Hurley:If You Want to Level Up, Get Back to the Basics

There are few things, for me, that are as equally depressing and energiz­ing as reading a really great book. Great books are why I got into this business in the first place, which is why I’m often so shocked when I hear from other professional writers that they don’t read anymore. Try ask­ing a panel of professional writers at your next convention to name five books they read this year. ...Read More

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Spotlight on: Kelly Abbott, Great Jones Street

Kelly Abbott is CEO and co-founder of Great Jones Street. He’s helped launch and grow social media, dating, and publishing products purchased by Match.com, Adobe, and Oprah. Now his mission is to meld his literary roots and tech chops to transform the world of short fiction for readers and authors alike. He plays soccer, roots for Cleveland, and lives in San Diego by the ocean with his wife, his son, ...Read More

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Steve Rasnic Tem Guest Post–“The Long Gestation Period of UBO”

The journeys taken by my most recent novels from idea to completion have been lengthy and complex. Deadfall Hotel (Solaris, 2012) began as a novelette first published in Charlie Grant’s Shadows series in 1986. My southern gothic Blood Kin (Solaris, 2014) started with a few paragraphs written during my senior year in high school in 1968. And now comes UBO (Solaris, February 2017), a dark science fictional exploration of violence, ...Read More

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Spotlight on: Ellen Kushner, Tremontaine

Ellen Kushner lives in New York City with her wife, the writer and teacher Delia Sherman. They have no cats, just plane tickets and theater stubs. After college, Kushner lucked into jobs as a fantasy editor for Jim Baen at Ace Books, and then for David G. Hartwell at Pocket/Simon & Schuster. She quit to write her first novel, Swordspoint, which took longer than she thought it would, so ...Read More

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Chuck Wendig: An Invasive Interview

Alvaro Zinos-Amaro: What’s your favorite ant or insect movie?

Chuck Wendig: Probably Heston’s The Naked Jungle.

A Z-A: By any chance have you watched Saul Bass’ movie Phase IV (1974)? Or read Barry Malzberg’s novelization?

CW: When I was first writing Invasive, I hadn’t seen it — had only heard about it, like an apocryphal tale. But then Paul Tremblay (author of the astonishing Head Full of Ghosts) said, you ...Read More

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Blake Charlton: Forward & Backward

Blake Randolph Charlton was born December 30, 1979 ‘‘on Stanford campus, quite literally,’’ where his parents were faculty in psychiatry. He was diagnosed with dyslexia in kindergarten and spent much of elementary school in special ed classes. He excelled at sports, but at age 12 still couldn’t read a book on his own, until a love for SF and fantasy led him to books by Robert Jordan, Ursula K. Le ...Read More

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