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Science Fiction & Fantasy

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May 2014 ISSUE

The Immense Costs and a Shred of Optimism: A Conversation with L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

Cyador’s Heirs, a novel of five hundred and twelve pages, begins with a boy and a girl sitting in awkward silence. Two guards watch them and two more guards watch those guards. The detail is fine and the prose discreet:
The boy and the girl sit on a carved wooden bench in the shade beside the [...]

April 2014 ISSUE

The Blue Collar Craftsman & the Salesmen on Mars: A Conversation with Ben Tanzer

Orphans by Ben Tanzer opens with Norrin Radd staring in a mirror. Tanzer isn’t soft-peddling a fiction workshop cliche, here. Pock-marked and shadow-boxing, Radd is pure Willie Loman from Death of a Salesman-meets-Rick Deckard of Bladerunner.
“Always be closing!”
Radd’s working himself up. Or he’s trying to, at least.
“Always be closing!”
He needs work. He needs this [...]

March 2014 ISSUE

Beyond the Boundary: A Conversation with James L. Cambias

Above them is ice and around them, the darkling sea. Three cultures—the lobster-like and territorial Ilmatarans, the hyper-sexual and barely constrained Sholen, and the adventurous and somewhat erratic humans—teeter on the brink of conflict.
But this isn’t just the story of worlds and cultures, but of individual characters: Rob Freeman, Broadtail, and Tizhos—and, sure, even the [...]

February 2014 ISSUE

Dark Hearts & Brilliant Patches of Honor: A Tribute to Manly Wade Wellman

When Manly Wade Wellman died in 1986, he left behind a wealth of stories and novels that continue to resonate into the new century—the silver strings plucked by a master’s hand.
“Manly was first and foremost a storyteller,” said novelist David Drake, who was a friend of Wellman’s and is now the owner of his [...]

January 2014 ISSUE

Driving through a Cloud with Pat Cadigan

Used to be that Pat Cadigan could “do anything in five thousand words or less,” but these days she’s running a little long. Her stories are bumping up closer to ten thousand. Not much else has changed. Her work remains relentlessly unpredictable, and simultaneously forward-looking and retro-flective.
It’s been easiest for critics, reviewers, and fans to [...]

December 2013 ISSUE

A Craftsman of No Small Skill: A Conversation with David Drake

I first met David Drake a little over ten years ago. At the time, I’d read more of his science fiction than his fantasy; I preferred his Hammers Slammers and military SF to his Republic of Cinnabar Navy (RCN) series and other space opera fiction.
What I’d read had moved me deeply and answered many [...]

November 2013 ISSUE

Hard Truths in Our World: A Conversation with Bradley P. Beaulieu

The world of Bradley P. Beaulieu’s, The Lays of Anuskaya trilogy expands ever outward, with windships, mountain peaks, elemental spirits and archipelagos, greed and revenge—endlessly fascinating, always wondrous and evocative, even as the internal conflicts twist and swell and threaten to break even the strongest character.
Here is world-building at its best—character and setting intertwined, the [...]

October 2013 ISSUE

Deep into the Dark: A Conversation with Lavie Tidhar

It was easy to write.
“I honestly wish I knew why,” said Lavie Tidhar. “Some books are like that. Most aren’t! It just felt right but, you know, I wish that could happen with every book, but the truth is it’s so rare, you just have to be thankful when it happens.”
He’s talking about Osama, the [...]

September 2013 ISSUE

Organic Synthesis: A Conversation with Ken Liu

It’s very easy to like Ken Liu—to eagerly anticipate his e-mails, to smile knowingly while reading his fiction, to gasp in surprise, to feel your own view of the world twist and bend, loop and wrap around his in some wonderful flowering knot that both binds and opens outward.
“I tend to be an optimist when [...]

August 2013 ISSUE

Decadence & Buckets of Blood: A Conversation with Holly Black

Holly Black wrote a vampire novel, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, and she had a whole lot of fun doing it.
It’s hard to pinpoint what Black is best known for or what she does best. Her first novel, Tithe, is a modern fairy tale. Her Spiderwick books tell the story of three children, a magic [...]