All posts by Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Bryan Thomas Schmidt is the author of the space opera novels The Worker Prince, a Barnes & Noble Book Clubs Year’s Best SF Releases of 2011 Honorable Mention, and The Returning, the collection The North Star Serial, Part 1, and 102 More Hilarious Dinosaur Jokes For Kids from Delabarre Publishing. He edited the anthology Space Battles: Full Throttle Space Tales #6 for Flying Pen Press, headlined by Mike Resnick. His stories have appeared in anthologies and magazines. He’s also the host of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Chat (SFFWRTCHT) every Wednesday at 9 pm EST on Twitter, where he interviews people like Mike Resnick, AC Crispin, Kevin J. Anderson and Kristine Kathryn Rusch. A frequent contributor to Adventures In SF Publishing, Grasping For The Wind and SF Signal, he can be found online as @BryanThomasS on Twitter or via his website. Bryan is an affiliate member of the SFWA.

[GUEST POST] Bryan Thomas Schmidt on 5 Fantasy Series Military Fantasy Fans Don’t Want To Miss

Bryan Thomas Schmidt is an author and editor of adult and children’s speculative fiction. His debut novel, The Worker Prince received Honorable Mention on Barnes & Noble Book Club’s Year’s Best Science Fiction Releases for 2011. His short stories have appeared in magazines, anthologies and online. His anthologies as editor include Shattered Shields with co-editor Jennifer Brozek for Baen, Mission: Tomorrow and Galactic Games (both forthcoming), also for Baen, Choices and Gaslamp Terrors (forthcoming), Space Battles: Full Throttle Space Tales #6, Beyond The Sun and Raygun Chronicles: Space Opera For a New Age. He hosts #sffwrtcht (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writer’s Chat) Wednesdays at 9 pm ET on Twitter as @SFFWRTCHT.

5 Fantasy Series Military Fantasy Fans Don’t Want To Miss

by Bryan Thomas Schmidt

As the co-editor of Baen’s new anthology of high fantasy with a military feel, Shattered Shields, I have spent a lot of time reading and researching military fantasy. But unlike military science fiction, it’s not a clearly defined subgenre, so most of the books falling into the category must be discovered within other categories. Everyone’s heard of big series like Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Erickson’s Malazan, and Cook’s Black Company, but there are other high fantasy series with great military elements. So here are a few recommendations for military fantasy fans of series they might want to discover.
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Table of Contents: SHATTERED SHIELDS Edited by Jennifer Brozek & Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Here’s the book description and table of contents for the upcoming anthology Shattered Shields edited by Jennifer Brozek & Bryan Thomas Schmidt, releasing November 4, 2014 in trade paperback from Baen Books:

Swords and Shields. Faith and Magic.

Grab yours and get ready, for the enemy is on the move.

High fantasy and mighty conflicts go hand-in-hand. In great wars, armies rise to fight evil hordes and heroes struggle to push beyond their imperfections and save the day. These stories include more than just epic landscapes and characters…but also epic battles.

Imagine a doctor struggling to identify the spy who has infiltrated his company’s ranks and poisoned his colleagues or a boy suspected of murder by a king yet protected by a princess as he helps her father against his own people. Imagine a butcher discovering that he’s called to lead an uprising, or a First Born knowing that she must betray her own in order to save humanity.

The possibilities are endless, but at the heart they have this in common: soldiers—ordinary and otherwise–struggling against extraordinary odds to survive the day. They must withstand dark magic, dodge enemy blades, and defy the odds to survive SHATTERED SHIELDS.

Here’s the table of contents…
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SFFWRTCHT: A Chat With Fantasist D.B. Jackson (aka David B. Coe)

D.B. Jackson, a.k.a. David B. Coe, was born the youngest of four children who all grew up to be writers. His novels include Children of Amarid, volume one of The LonTobyn Chronicle. Which is one of my favorite fantasy series. In 1999, The Lon Tobyn Chronicles was awarded the William L. Crawford Memorial Fantasy Award by the (IAFA). Thereafter followed the critically acclaimed Winds of the Forelands, five volumes, and Blood of the Southlands set in the same world. He’s also written Robin Hood, a tie-in novelization for the Russell Crowe film and is a founding member and proud contributor to the Magical Words blogsite, dedicated to the craft and business of writing. The Magical Words crew collaborated on How To Write Magical Words: A Writer’s Companion from BellaRosa Books. His first urban historical fantasy, Thieftaker, released from TOR last year, and the sequel, Thieve’s Quarry, is out now. Both are fantasies set in the Revolutionary War period and absolutely blasts to read. David can be found online via Facebook, Twitter as @DavidBCoe and @DBJacksonAuthor or via his website .

SFFWRTCHT: First things first, where’d your interest in science fiction and fantasy come from?

DB Jackson: Reading. Started reading Tolkien, then McCaffrey, Donaldson, and Kay.  Guy Kay is probably my favorite and the writer I most want to emulate.

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SFFWRTCHT: A Chat with Michael J. Martinez, Author of THE DAEDELUS INCIDENT

Michael J. Martinez is a husband, father and writer living the dream in the Garden State. He spent nearly twenty years as a professional writer and journalist, including stints at The Associated Press and ABC News. After telling other people’s stories, he’s happy that he can now tell a few of his own, starting with The Daedalus Incident,  his debut science fiction genre mashup novel from NSB, now Skyhorse. He enjoys beer and homebrewing, cooking and eating, the outdoors and travel. He can be found on Goodreads, Twitter as @MichaelMartinez72 and via his website at

SFFWRTCHT: First things first, where’d your interest in speculative fiction come from?

Michael J. Martinez: I’m a card-carrying member of the Star Wars generation, and Trek besides. From there, it was a gateway to Douglas Adams, Arthur C. Clarke, etc. It’s been a life-long thing.

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SFFWRTCHT: A Chat With Bestselling Star Wars/Forgotten Realms Author Paul S. Kemp

Paul S. Kemp is a mild-mannered corporate lawyer by day, out at night fighting for justice and the American way and rolling twelve sided dice in the dungeons of Detroit. He’s the author of three Star Wars tie-in books and twice that many Forgotten Realms books. His latest book, Discourse In Steel, is an original adventure fantasy from Angry Robot Books, starring Nix and Egil. It’s a sequel to his well received The Hammer and The Blade which came out last summer. He also has his latest Forgotten Realms novel The Godborn featuring Erevis Cale coming out in October. He lives up near Detroit with his wife and an expanding group of spawn. And can be found online at Twitter as @PaulSKemp, Facebook and his website

SFFWRTCHT: So we’ve talked about Egil and Nix before, but give us a quick rundown please. Who are Egil and Nix?

PAUL S. KEMP: Well, they’re the protagonists in my sword and sorcery novels from Angry Robot. Egil is the hulking, somber, brooding priest, wont to deliver sermons with hammers rather than words. Nix is a sneak thief, fancies himself the brains, quick of word and blade.
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SFFWRTCHT: A Chat With Author-Artist M.C.A. Hogarth

M.C.A. Hogarth is the daughter of two Cuban political exiles and was born a foreigner in the American melting pot. She has had a fascination for the gaps in cultures and the bridges that span them ever since. She has been many things: web database architect, product manager, technical writer and massage therapist, but is currently a full-time parent, artist, writer and anthropologist to aliens, both human and otherwise. Her fiction has variously been recommended for a Nebula, a finalist for the Spectrum, placed on the secondary Tiptree reading list and chosen for two best-of anthologies; her art has appeared in RPGs, magazines and on book covers. Her current focus is new business models for artists and independent marketing and distribution innovations. Her first crowdfunded fiction project kicked off in 2004 before the word was even coined. M.C.A. has experimented with everything from “choose-your-own-adventure” style serials online to kickstarting creative projects. Her adventures include stories of The Eldritch: Space Elves and Space Opera in the Universe of the Pelted and stories of Kherishdar: Civilization and the Role of the Individual, and The Jokka: Gender and Loss Among Aliens, amongst others. She can be found online at, on Twitter and on Goodreads.

SFFWRTCHT: First things first, where’d your interest in SFF come from?

MCA Hogarth: My parents are both fans of science fiction (and my dad of fantasy also). They were always reading at home. Plus, a lot of fantastic kids’ books are SF/F…even in the dark ages before YA was a term, when I was growing up.
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SFFWRTCHT: A Chat With Zachary Jernigan

Zachary Jernigan is so frightening to look at he borrowed a baby for his author photos just to sell more books. He is the author of what may well be one of the last books from Night Shade, the fantasy novel No Return. He credits his success to resemblance to Telly Savalas and Mr. Clean and his fiction has appeared in Asimov’s, Crossed Genres, and MBraneSF. A quarter-Hungarian from Northern Arizona, his enjoys punk and post-punk music, cooking and eating unhealthy foods and arguing on the internet. He can be found online at, on Twitter as @JerniganZachary and on Facebook.

SFFWRTCHT: First things first, where’d your interest in SFF come from?

Zachary Jernigan: Well, it came from having a hole in my life where religion was, I think. No, I’m not joking.
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SFFWRTCT: A Chat with PYR Author/Game-Designer Erin Hoffman

Erin Hoffman lives in Northern California and works in video game design.  She is the author of Chaos Knight series from Pyr Books, Sword of Fire and Sea, followed by Lance of Earth and Sky in 2012 and Shield of Sea and Space in 2013. Her video game credits include DragonRealms, Shadowbane: The Lost Kingdom, GoPets: Vacation Island, Kung Fu Panda World, and FrontierVille.  She writes for the award-winning online magazine The Escapist, and has had her fiction and poetry in Asimov‘s, Electric Velocipede, Beneath Ceaseless Skies and anthologies like Clockwork Phoenix and Beyond The Sun. Erin’s games have won multiple awards and have been played by millions of kids and adults worldwide. She’s multiethnic, with family names including Lee, Asakawa (yonsei), and Drake in addition to Hoffman and can be found online at, on Twitter as @gryphoness and on Facebook.  A previous interview with Erin can be found here.

SFFWRTCHT: First, congrats on finishing a trilogy. How does it feel? How much is the final different from what you envisioned?
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SFFWRTCHT: A Chat With Ian Tregillis, Author of the MILKWEED Triptych

Ian Tregillis spends his days fighting crime, chemistry, and nuclear substances at Los Alamos Laboratory in New Mexico. At night, he comes home glowing to near Santa Fe and a house distinguished by the pile of used cutlery out back. He writes alternate history and superhero stories. His alternate history fantasy series, the Milkweed Triptych from Tor Books includes Bitter Seeds, The Coldest War and Necessary Evil. The series is published in the UK by Orbit Books as well. His short stories have appeared on, in Apex Magazine and Wild Cards: Inside Straight. He’s also a member of the Wild Cards collective and Critical Mass Workshop with lightweights like Daniel Abraham, Melinda Snodgrass, George R.R. Martin, Walter Jon Williams and more. You can read some of his stories online. He can be found on Twitter (as @ITregillis) and via his website at

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SFFWRTCHT: Editor-Author Michael Knost on his Writer’s Workshop of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Michael Knost is an award-winning author, editor, and columnist in the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror genres, who has written several books and dozens of short stories. He’s edited a number of anthologies, including the Legends of the Mountain State series, and currently writes a column for Shroud Magazine. He also edited Writer’s Workshop of Horror, a nonfiction anthology, which like Writer’s Workshop of Science Fiction and Fantasy, features star writers and editors offering writing advice for the rest of us. In fact, He recently won the Bram Stoker Award in the United Kingdom for editing Writers Workshop of Horror. He is currently working on a Mothman novel due to hit bookshelves later this year. Knost lives in West Virginia with his wife and daughter who tame the monster in him or at least keep it chained. You can find @MichaelKnost online at Twitter, on Facebook or via his website at

SFFWRTCHT: To get started, you’re rather known as a horror author. Bram Stoker winner, etc. Why horror?

MK: I think horror delves into areas we aren’t comfortable with. I think it brings (good horror) a level of emotion that is close to home…connects a reader with superglue enthusiasm. But, I have to admit, Science Fiction is my first love.
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SFFWRTCHT: A Chat With Bestselling Author David Weber

David Weber is the New York Times Bestselling Author of the Honor Harrington space opera novels from Baen Books.  The series is 26 books long so far and has its own cosplay uniforms, props and annual Con. From On Basilisk Station to A Beautiful Friendship and Shadow Of Freedom, the adventures of Honor and friends are action packed fun. With Steve White, he wrote the successful Starfire tie-in novels based on the game which continue now from Baen Books. He’s also authored six Safehold novels for Tor Books, four Empire Of Man books with John Ringo and coauthored two 1632-verse novels with fellow Baen Books author Eric Flint as well. A lay Methodist minister, he’s worked as a copywriter and other kinds of writing since her was seventeen. He’s also worked in game design and has a masters in history and teaches history at the college level. He lives in South Carolina with his wife and family. The latest Honorverse books are Shadow Of Freedom from Baen Books & House Of Steel: The Honorverse Companion. David can be found on Goodreads, Twitter as @DavidWeber1 and via his website at

SFFWRTCHT: First things first, where’d your interest in speculative fiction come from?

David Weber: It started when I was ten and read Legion of Space by Jack Williamson. I had a broken arm and had already read all my books, so I tried my dad’s. After that, I was off and running with Heinlein, E.E. Smith, and Asimov. I met H. Beam Piper and Anne McCaffrey later. A lot of my interest has to do with my interest in history. I see Science Fiction as history that hasn’t happened yet.
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SFFWRTCHT: A Chat With DAW Fantasist John Marco

Barnes & Noble Book Club’s reviewer Paul Goat Allen called John Marco’s works some of the best in military fantasy. A husband, a father, and a proud, admitted nerd, Marco can’t remember a time when he didn’t want to be a writer. His first novel, The Jackal Of Nar, was published in 1999. That launched his first trilogy, the Tyrants and Kings from BantamSpectra. Two more novels followed, then came his Bronze Knight series for Daw Books, the fourth of which, The Forever Knight, released this past Spring. He spends a lot of time on his blog and author site at and also on Twitter as @happynerdjohn. He’s also headlining Shattered Shields, a military fantasy anthology coming next year from Baen Books, edited by Jennifer Brozek and myself, which also features new Black Company from Glen Cook, new Runelords from David Farland, new Paksenarrion from Elizabeth Moon and an October Daye prequel story from Seanan McGuire, amongst others.

SFFWRTCHT: First things first, where’d your interest in speculative fiction come from?

JOHN MARCO: Maybe the covers. I loved the old book and magazine covers. Made me want to read them.
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An Interview with John Alan Simon, Writer/Director of Philip K. Dick Film Adaptation RADIO FREE ALBEMUTH

After great reviews and award-winning festival run – culminating with Lincoln Center prestigious Indie Night Series on June 4, Radio Free Albemuth is Kickstarting its theatrical release.

Just like Blade Runner, Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, and Adjustment Bureau…to name a few…Radio Free Albemuth is based on a Philip K. Dick novel. Radio Free Albemuth has been embraced by PKD fans and scholars and hailed as the best adaptation of PKD’s works to film yet by the likes of London SciFi International Film Festival.

Kickstarter perks include Associate Producer and Co-Executive Producer credits as well as digital downloads, DVDs and more.

In November, Blue Shift Magazine will run a full version of an interview with writer/directorJohn Alan Simon, but SF Signal has obtained this exclusive preview.

The film Radio Free Albemuth is based on a Philip K. Dick book. How’d you come to be involved with the project and what’s your role?

John Alan Simon: Critical opinions differ but I’ve always considered Radio Free Albemuth as an absolutely pivotal work.  That’s part of the reason I chose it.  This was Philip K. Dick’s first fictional attempt to tackle the mysterious VALIS experience that would haunt him the rest of his life.
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SFFWRTCHT: A Chat With Bestselling Science Fiction Thriller/Horror Author Jonathan Maberry

Jonathan Maberry is a NY Times bestselling and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning author, writing teacher and more. His novels include Ghost Road Blues, winner of the 2006 Stoker Award for Best first Novel, the novelization of The Wolfman, Patient Zero, the first in his Joe Ledger series which was optioned for TV, Marvel comics including Wolverine, Punisher. In nonfiction, The Cryptopedia, winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction. And ZOMBIE CSU: The Forensics Of The Living Dead, which won the Heinzman and Black Quill Awards and was nominated for a Stoker Award.  Jonathan is a Contributing Editor for The Big Thrill (the newsletter of the International Thriller Writers), and a member of SFWA, MWA and HWA. His latest and 5th Joe Ledger book, Extinction Machine is out from St. Martins, a very fun action-thriller read. He can be found on Goodreads, Twitter  as @JonathanMaberry and via his website at

SFFWRTCHT: First things first, where’d your interest in speculative fiction come from?

Jonathan Maberry: I met Ray Bradbury and Richard Matheson when I was a kid. They gave me a lot of time and advice about writing and reading.
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SFFWRTCHT: A Chat With Bestselling Lost Fleet/Lost Stars Author Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell (the pen name of John G. Hemry) writes the New York Times bestselling SF series The Lost Fleet (Dauntless, Fearless,  Courageous, Valiant, Relentless, and Victorious) which has been published in the UK, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, China, Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic and Israel.  He also writes the follow-on series The Lost Fleet – Beyond the Frontier (Dreadnaught, Invincible, and Guardian) and the spin-off series The Lost Stars (Tarnished Knight and the upcoming Perilous Shield).  John is also the author of the Sinclair (JAG in Space) series and the Stark’s War series.  His short fiction has appeared in places as varied as the last Chicks in Chainmail anthology (Turn the Other Chick), and Analog magazine (which published his award winning stories).  His non-fiction on topics ranging from Interstellar Navigation to the Legion of Superheroes has been in (among other places) the Sequart anthology Teenagers From the Future, and anthologies on Charmed, Star Wars, and Superman.  John had the opportunity to live on Midway Island for a while during the 1960s, then later attended the US Naval Academy.  He served in a variety of jobs including gunnery officer and navigator on a destroyer, with an amphibious squadron, and at the Navy’s anti-terrorism center.  He speaks the remnants of Russian pounded into him by the perseverance of Professor Vladimir Tolstoy.  After retiring from the US Navy and settling in Maryland, John began writing.  He lives with his amazing wife (the indomitable S) and three great kids.  His daughter and two sons are diagnosed on the autistic spectrum. He can be found on Facebook and via his website at

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SFFWRTCHT: A Chat with TOR Fantasist Evie Manieri, Author of BLOOD’S PRIDE

Evie Manieri is fascinated by intricacy. She loves books with complicated plots where every detail matters.  Her debut novel from Tor Books is Blood’s Pride, first in her Shattered Kingdoms epic fantasy series. Evie grew up a product of the Philadelphia public schools, played French Horn, acted in drama club, sang in show choir then went on to Wesleyan University in Connecticut, studied theater and medieval history, majoring in Taking Herself Too Seriously. Her acting past ingrained in her ideas about pacing, dramatic  tension, holding audience’s attention, economy, and not dissipating energy that influence her writing. The next book in the Shattered Kingdoms trilogy, Fortune’s Blight, is due out later this year. She can be found on Goodreads, Twitter and via her website at

SFFWRTCHT: Where’d your interest in speculative fiction come from?

Evie Manieri: Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. Read it in fifth grade and was smote, in the biblical sense. My agent mentioned it in her bio. It’s why I queried her.
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SFFWRTCHT: A Chat With YA Author Morgan Keyes

Morgan Keyes grew up in California, Texas, Georgia, and Minnesota, accompanied by parents, a brother, a dog, and a cat. Also, there were books. Lots and lots of books. She started to keep a journal for a second-grade English class and never stopped. Journal entries turned into short stories, short stories turned into novels. In between, there were a lot of haikus and cinquains. Morgan now lives near Washington, D.C. And her debut novel, a young adult fantasy Darkbeast is out from McElderry. In between trips to the Natural History Museum and National Gallery of Art, she reads, travels, writes, wrestles with cats and reads.  Because there are still books. Lots and lots of books. She can be found on Goodreads, Twitter and via her website at

SFFWRTCHT: First things first, where’d your interest in speculative fiction come from?

Morgan Keyes:  I have always been interested in spec fic, starting with fairy tales, going on to The Hobbit. My first novel was a sequel to The Hobbit written over spring break of 7th grade with my best friend. Except I didn’t finish it.
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SFFWRTCHT: A Chat With Author/Professor Doctor Charles E. Gannon

Doctor Charles E. Gannon is a Distinguished Professor of English at St. Bonaventure University. A Fulbright Senior Specialist in American Literature and Culture 2004-2009, his most recent non-fiction book won the 2006 ALA Award for Outstanding Book and was discussed on NPR’s Morning Edition when he was interviewed. He’s also appeared on Discovery Channel and is a member of SIGMA, a Science Fiction think tank of which clients include the Air Force, the Pentagon, and NATO. Prior to his academic career, Dr. Gannon worked eight years as a scriptwriter and producer in New York City. His latest novel is Fire With Fire, others are Extremis with Steve White and 1635: The Papal Stakes with Eric Flint, all from Baen Books. A happily married father of five, he lives north of Annapolis and can be found on twitter as @cegannon1, on Facebook and via his website at

SFFWRTCHT: First things first, where’d your interest in speculative fiction come from?

Charles E. Gannon: Where? Dunno. When? The cradle, I think. When I was three, I loved dinosaurs. So I wanted to be a paleontologist and write about it. When I was seven, it was zoology, and I wanted to write about it. At about nine, it was astronomy, then being an astronaut. But then I learned that space travel was still dangerous, so it was back to astronomy. And of course, write about it. You spent long, preparatory years doing immense amounts of number crunching, often living a dull existence, all so you’d get to do something uberkewl for a few days. That was not satisfying to me. But writing about it? I got to virtually live  all those lives, whenever I wanted. And dive into the topix. Now that was kewl!

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SFFWRTCHT: A Chat With Bestselling Author-Teacher David Farland (a.k.a. Dave Wolverton)

Known as the “Wizard of Storytelling,” David Farland (a.k.a. Dave Wolverton)  is the New York Times bestselling author of fifty novels, including novels for adults, young adults, anthologies, middle-grade readers, and picture books. As a child, he wrote short stories and dreamt of growing up to become a fantasy writer. At BYU, he wrote “On My Way to Paradise,” based on a vivid dream, and entered it in L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest and won the grand prize the Gold Award. He was immediately contracted by Bantam Books to turn the short story into a novel, along with a contract to write two more. On My Way to Paradise spent months on the Locus Bestseller list and won a Phillip K. Dick Memorial Special Award. He wrote Science Fiction for ten years under his given name David Wolverton then decided to try fantasy. He has amassed many awards for his short fiction in particular, and set a Guinness Record for the world’s largest book signing, a record he still holds. A dedicated teacher, he is known for having taught many great emerging writers, including Stephanie Meyer, Brandon Sanderson, Eric Flint and more. As part of his dedication to helping other writers, David writes David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants email bulletin for writers. He can be found on twitter as @DavidFarland, Facebook and via his website at

[Editor’s Note: David’s son, Ben Wolverton, was in a tragic accident after this interview was conducted. Here’s how you can help.]

SFFWRTCHT: First things first, where’d your interest in speculative fiction come from?

David Farland: Seriously, I think my interest in fantastic literature came from sitting on my mother’s knee and listening to bedtime stories. As a kid of twelve, I became a Star Trek fan-when I got to watch it in color. But my love for speculative literature really blossomed at sixteen, when I read Lord of the Rings.
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SFFWRTCHT: A Chat With SUMMER PRINCE Author Alaya Dawn Johnson

Alaya Dawn Johnson has a new young adult science fiction novel out from Scholastic/Arthur Levine titled Summer Prince, set in future Brazil that’s an awesome read. As a child, her father introduced her to Joao Gilberto and Brazilian bossa nova, a music for which this host also has great passion. She later traveled to Brazil with her sister and cousin. A Columbia University graduate with a degree in East Asian languages and cultures, she lives in New York City.  She’s authored the vampire series Zephyr Hollis set in 1920s NYC, The Spirit Binders fantasy series and Twisted Journeys graphic novels.  Her short fiction has appeared in anthologies like Zombies v. Unicorns, Welcome to Bordertown, Year’s Best Science Fiction 11,and Year’s Best Fantasy 6. She’s also had stories in Asimov’s and Fantasy magazines.  She can be found on Twitter as @alayadj,  on Facebook or at her website

SFFWRTCHT: First things first, where’d your interest in speculative fiction come from?

Alaya Dawn Johnson: Diana Wynne Jones was my gateway drug. Hexwood and The Homeward Bounders forever. Besides Jones, Guy Gavriel Kay is one of my favorite writers on earth, and had a huge influence on young me.  Also, Ursula Le Guin for how she changed my view of the possibilities of science fiction.
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