EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Mike Resnick on The Fathomless Abyss

Mike Resnick is the winner of 5 Hugos (from a record 36 nominations) a Nebula, and other major awards in the USA, France, Japan, Poland, Croatia, Catalan, and Spain, and has been short-listed in England, Italy and Australia. He is the author of 71 novels, over 250 stories, and 3 screenplays, and is the editor of more than 40 anthologies. His work has been translated into 25 languages, and he is the Guest of Honor at the 2012 World Science Fiction Convention.

SF Signal had the opportunity to talk with him about shared worlds and The Fathomless Abyss, a shared world anthology featuring stories from Mike, Jay Lake, Cat Rambo, Mel Odom, J.M. McDermott, Brad Torgersen and Philip Athans. In The Fathomless Abyss, a bottomless pit opens who-knows-when onto who-knows-where, just long enough for new people from a thousand different worlds and a million different times to fall in and join the fight for survival in a place where the slightest misstep means an everlasting fall into eternity. In this world, the laws of physics work against you, there’s no way out, and time means nothing…


CHARLES TAN: Hi Mike! Thanks for agreeing to do the interview. First off, how did you get involved with The Fathomless Abyss series?

MIKE RESNICK: Phil had solicited a couple of stories from me at his previous job, we hit it off, and he thought of me when he decided to do the Fathomless Abyss.

CT: What’s the appeal of the Fathomless Abyss setting for you?

MR: The possibilities within the framework are endless, and it’s a type of fiction I haven’t written in decades.

CT: What was the collaboration process like, whether it’s with your co-author Brad R. Torgersen, or with the rest of the contributors?

MR: I have had 52 collaborators over the years — 2 on screenplays, 3 on novels, and 47 on short fiction — so I’m pretty well used to it, and can adapt to my partner’s needs. The usual procedure is that I got the assignment, I invite my collaborator (Brad in this case), we discuss the story briefly, s/he writes the first draft, and I do the rewrite and polish. I must confess to not having interacted with the other contributors at all.

CT: What were the challenges in writing your story?

MR: The first challenge, as I said, is that it’s a type of fiction I literally haven’t written since the 1970s. The second was finding stories to tell that we didn’t think anyone else would tell.

CT: What’s the appeal of the short story and novella format for you? What can you share with us about your upcoming novella?

MR: I make my living with novels — we all do — but I prefer the shorter formats. According to Locus I am the all-team leading award winner, living or dead, for short fiction, so it obviously agrees with me.

As for the upcoming novella, sorry to disappoint, but I never discuss a project until it’s absolutely finished and accepted, and we’re still working on this one. Brad may feel differently, so you might get a better answer out of him. :-)

Charles Tan is the editor of Lauriat: A Filipino-Chinese Speculative Fiction Anthology.

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