All posts by Bradley P. Beaulieu

[GUEST INTERVIEW] : Bradley Beaulieu asks Amber Benson Five Questions

Amber Benson co-wrote and directed the animated webseries Ghosts of Albion with Christopher Golden for the BBC. The duo then novelized the series in two books for Random House. She has written five novels about Calliope Reaper-Jones, beginning with Death’s Daughter, which were published by Penguin Books. As an actress, Benson spent three seasons as Tara Maclay on the cult show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She has also written, produced, and directed three feature films, including Drones, which she co-directed with Adam Busch.

Photo by Luigi Novi.

Bradley Beaulieu:  1. The tone of the Calliope Reaper-Jones series is light and fun with a touch of gallows humor (how can there not be with books about Death, Inc.?), and it seems to me that it matches your personality. But as writers there are any number of places where we’re pushed out of our comfort zones. Where in the writing of The Golden Age of Death were you pushed out of your comfort zone?

Amber Benson:  I’m always accused of being earnest, but secretly I’m a total nut ball – so I’m glad you picked up on that! Well, if we’re talking ‘out of my comfort zone’ here then I should tell you that I actually imposed a whole bunch of that on myself when I conceived The Golden Age Of Death. The first four Death’s Daughter books were written entirely in first person – which was really starting to get boring for me – so I decided to mix it up a little. You still get Callie’s POV, but since I knew this was going to be the last book in the series, I wanted to give the fans some insight into the supporting characters. So Callie’s Executive Assistant, Jarvis, gets some play, as well as Callie’s little sister, Clio. It was scary to write that way, but I enjoyed the challenge. Hopefully it works out – that’s always the rub of experimenting.

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[GUEST POST] Bradley P. Beaulieu and Matt Forbeck Talk About Crowdfunding

SF Signal welcomes Bradley P. Beaulieu and Matt Forbeck as they discuss their respective experiences with crowdfunding through Kickstarter…

Impressions of Kickstarter after Launch

Brad: I’ve just launched my first Kickstarter, and one of the first things I’ve noticed (only a few days in as I write this) is that it brings the author, or any Kickstarter team, much closer to the consumer than ever before, even more than I thought it was going to. Not only is the consumer interacting directly with author by pre-ordering their products, the author is almost by necessity interacting with the consumer. I say “almost” because technically speaking, the Kickstarter owner need not interact with their backers, but boy are you missing out on an opportunity if you don’t.

First of all, your backers have a lot to say. They can add comments to the Kickstarter itself or to the updates that you occasionally add. They give encouragement on stretch goals and even offer up ideas for new ones, especially if you ask. Furthermore, interacting with the people who are buying what you’re selling is immensely gratifying. Having the chance to talk to those who are already champions of your work, or those who might be, is a great way to explore and benefit from the human aspects of Kickstarter. Writing is a lonely business indeed, and the chance to have a high-traffic virtual store for a month or so is an exciting and heartwarming experience.

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[GUEST INTERVIEW] Bradley Beaulieu Asks D.B. Jackson (a.k.a. David B. Coe) Five Questions

Today, Bradley P. Beaulieu chats with D.B. Jackson, who is also David B. Coe, the award-winning author of a dozen fantasy novels. His first book as D.B. Jackson, Thieftaker, is out now and Bradley had Five Questions he wanted to ask him.

Here’s what D.B. Jackson had to say…
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SPECIAL ROUNDTABLE: Bear, Beaulieu, Stross and Ziegler Discuss the Role of Modern Literary Speculative Fiction

Climate change, rampant late-stage capitalism and wealth inequality, political polarization, corporate corruption, impending resource depletion—these are the forces shaping our world today. They’re also the issues driving a new breed of literary sci-fi, fantasy and speculative fiction—genres typically considered literature’s ghetto, but which lately have begun to tackle the problems facing our world with a clarity found nowhere else, not even journalism.

THE PARTICIPANTS: Elizabeth Bear, Bradley P. Beaulieu, Charles Stross, and Rob Ziegler.

MODERATOR: Jeremy Lassen of Night Shade Books.

Jeremy Lassen: The scope of this discussion is pretty broad, so I want to start out by asking a question that hopefully will frame it nicely, and then we can move to more specifics from there.

Question 1: What in your opinions are the benefits and/or drawbacks of using fiction, and specifically Science fiction to talk about pressing contemporary political/social/environmental concerns? To seed the discussion with an example from yesteryear, I’ll point to a hoary old cliché from Science fiction: Star Trek had an Alien on the bridge of the enterprise, and he was a stand-in for “Racial Other.” In what ways was this more effective, or less effective than having an actual person of color as second in command on the bridge, in terms of advancing the cause of the civil rights?
Charles Stross

I have no idea about the American political issue in question, much less the cultural significance of a network-TV show in the 1960s, so I’m going to ignore that aspect and instead tackle the first part of the question.

To which my reply is, it depends what the author is trying to do — and who they are.
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[GUEST INTERVIEW] Bradley P. Beaulieu Chats With Michael Swanwick

Michael Swanwick has received the Hugo, Nebula, Theodore Sturgeon, and World Fantasy awards for his work. Stations of the Tide was honored with the Nebula Award and was also nominated for the Hugo and Arthur C. Clarke awards. “The Edge of the World,” was awarded the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award in 1989. It was also nominated for both the Hugo and World Fantasy Awards. “Radio Waves” received the World Fantasy Award in 1996. “The Very Pulse of the Machine” received the Hugo Award in 1999, as did “Scherzo with Tyrannosaur” in 2000. His stories have appeared in Omni, Penthouse, Amazing, Asimov’s, High Times, New Dimensions, Starlight, Universe, Full Spectrum, Triquarterly and elsewhere. Many have been reprinted in Best of the Year anthologies, and translated for Japanese, Dutch, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, French and Croatian publications. His books include In the Drift, an Ace Special; Vacuum Flowers; Griffin’s Egg; Stations of the Tide; The Iron Dragon’s Daughter, a New York Times Notable Book, and Jack Faust; his short fiction has been collected in Gravity’s Angels, A Geography of Unknown Lands, Moon Dogs, Tales of Old Earth, The Dog Said Bow-Wow and a collection of short-shorts, Cigar-Box Faust and Other Miniatures. Dancing With Bears by Michael Swanwick will be released in trade paperback in January.

Bradley P. Beaulieu: Dancing with Bears tells the story of Darger and Surplus as they head from their adventures in London to a post-Utopian Moscow. I have a strong attraction to Russia, and my debut novel with Night Shade was based loosely off of the Grand Duchy of Moscow. I haven’t, however, had the pleasure of visiting the country. What is it about Russia that attracted you to it?

Michael Swanwick: Russia captures the imagination. Pretty much everyone who visits it falls in love with it, and I was no exception. It’s a beautiful country with a tragic history and a brooding aura of mystery about it. There are no facts in Russia, only conflicting conspiracy theories, which makes it a natural setting for fiction. Then, too, the Russians are serious people in a way that Americans are not. They possess the gravitas that good writing requires. There’s always a sense that they’re leaving things unsaid.

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[GUEST POST] Bradley P. Beaulieu on Writing in Discomfort: One Writer’s Thoughts on Political Correctness

Bradley P. Beaulieu is the author of The Winds of Khalakovo, the first of three planned books in The Lays of Anuskaya series. In addition to being an L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Award winner, Brad’s stories have appeared in various other publications, including Realms of Fantasy Magazine, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, Writers of the Future 20, and several anthologies from DAW Books. His story, “In the Eyes of the Empress’s Cat,” was voted a Notable Story of 2006 in the Million Writers Award.

Writing in Discomfort: One Writer’s Thoughts on Political Correctness

Years ago I had a discussion with a group of writers about writing beyond the boundaries of politeness. It wasn’t couched in quite this way at the time, but I think that’s what it boiled down to, at least for me. The subject came up because someone in the group, a young white man, had written a story about an underprivileged black man from the D.C. Metro ghettos. I remember how uncomfortable I was when reading the story, not because the language wasn’t on the money–it captured the slang and cadence quite well–but because I knew it had been written by a white guy.

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