July 2013 ISSUE

Giving Birth to the Dark Monster: A Conversation with J. M. McDermott

Never Knew Another, the first novel in J. M. McDermott’s Dogsland Trilogy, opens with a husband and wife placing a head on a rock face high on a hill so that the half-demon blood won’t poison the earth. The novel and its sequel, When We Were Executioners, get progressively and deliciously weirder from there.
Both novels [...]

June 2013 ISSUE

Eccentric Relatives and Raw Grief: A Conversation with Susan Palwick

In the opening moments of Susan Palwick’s Mending the Moon, four-year-old Melinda Soto looks up at the moon and notices the “pits and shadows” for the first time. The moon doesn’t look like she was told it should look. It is not “purely white, as spotless and serene as a newly peeled egg.”
She wants to [...]

May 2013 ISSUE

Assassinating the Reader: A Conversation with Yoon Ha Lee

Yoon Ha Lee’s collection Conservation of Shadows contains sixteen stories, but seems far faster in the reading. Lee’s many worlds seem to multiply exponentially with each paragraph, and each turned page.
There are soldiers and scientists, space travel and dragons, leather-bound books, locked doors, and genocidal rampages. Each tale strains at the edges of possibility. No [...]

April 2013 ISSUE

The Military, Magic, and the Misery Ethic: A Conversation with Myke Cole

In Shadow Ops: Control Point by Myke Cole, Oscar Britton is an officer attached to the Supernatural Operations Corps. He might doubt the system now and then, but he puts his life and the life of his men on the line to uphold it.
And then he begins to manifest magical abilities. According to the post-Great [...]

March 2013 ISSUE

Accepting a More Profitable Shoe: A Conversation with M. C. Planck

There’s much to enjoy (and admire) about M. C. Planck’s debut novel, The Kassa Gambit. There’s the gritty, well-textured world-building; the lead characters Lt. Kyle Daspar, a “Bruce Willis-like” spy, and Prudence Falling, a “kick-ass . . . but not brash” heroine who holds together a motley crew of space adventurers.
The prose stays punchy and tough throughout, but [...]

February 2013 ISSUE

Always a New World: A Conversation with Karen Lord

A man emerges from the sea with news of death. “Our home is no more,” he says.
It’s that simple, at first. Complete catastrophe; total loss. But it’s not the end for the characters in Karen Lord’s The Best of All Possible Worlds. It’s merely the beginning, as the men of a once powerful culture, decimated [...]

January 2013 ISSUE

Riding a Whale through an Ocean of Lard: A Conversation with Jesse Bullington

Two men row a boat above the trees. Below them, eels swim through the branches and bream swirl in birds’ nests. Soon, the two men float over a silt and moss covered town; they hear “unquiet spirits” and remembered laughter. The opening pages of Jesse Bullington’s new novel, The Folly of the World, flow with [...]

December 2012 ISSUE

A Thousand Words You Can Hear All at Once: An Interview with Todd Lockwood

Todd Lockwood’s illustration work has appeared on NY Times best-selling novels, magazines, video games, collectible card games, and fantasy role-playing games. It has been honored with multiple appearances in Spectrum and the Communication Arts Illustration Annual, and with numerous industry awards. Always known for the narrative power of his paintings, Todd now turns his hand [...]

November 2012 ISSUE

The Art of Brutal Prose: An Interview with Mark Lawrence

Mark Lawrence is the author of the recent fantasy series The Broken Empire. There are two books in the series to date: Prince of Thorns and King of Thorns. Written in the same literary vein as Joe Abercrombie and George R. R. Martin, the story is a bleak portrayal of Prince Honorious Jorg Ancrath, scion [...]

October 2012 ISSUE

A Germ of an Idea: An Interview with John Varley

In Slow Apocalypse by John Varley, sitcom writer Dave Marshall’s life is disintegrating. His career has fallen apart. His finances are a mess. His wife isn’t really speaking to him. It’s all happening in a sort of painful slow motion.
Then Marshall stumbles upon a story that just may be his lucky break—a bacteria that eats [...]