All posts by Christopher Paul Carey

[GUEST INTERVIEW] K. Ceres Wright on Her New Cyberpunk Novel “Cog”

[SF SIgnal welcomes guest interviewer Christopher Paul Carey!]

ABOUT K. CERES WRIGHT: Daughter to a U.S. Army father, K. Ceres Wright has lived in Anchorage, AK; Chicago, IL; Baltimore, MD; Frankfurt, Oberursel, and Munich, Germany; Seoul, Korea; and the Washington Metropolitan Area. She attended undergraduate school at the University of Maryland, College Park, with a double major in economics and finance, then worked for 10 years as a credit and treasury analyst before deciding to change careers.

Wright received her Master’s degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA, and Cog was her thesis novel for the program. Wright’s science fiction poem “Doomed” was a nominee for the Rhysling Award, the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s highest honor. Her work has appeared in Hazard Yet Forward; Genesis: An Anthology of Black Science Fiction; Many Genres, One Craft; and The 2008 Rhysling Anthology.

She currently works as an editor/writer for a management consulting firm and lives in Maryland. Visit her website at and find her on Twitter @KCeresWright.

K. Ceres Wright’s cyberpunk novel Cog is one of the debut releases from Dog Star Books, the new science fiction imprint from Raw Dog Screaming Press. Cog is a near-future science fiction thriller set in a world of corporate intrigue and fuel-cell economy slums that delivers satisfying doses of action, technological extrapolation, and social commentary. I’ve taken a few moments to ask Ceres about her writing career and her new novel, which I found to be a compelling and enjoyable read.

Christopher Paul Carey: Why did you decide to start writing science fiction?
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[GUEST INTERVIEW] Christopher Paul Carey interviews Rhys Hughes on “The Abnormalities of Stringent Strange”

ABOUT RHYS HUGHES: Rhys Hughes was born in 1966 and began writing fiction from a young age. None of his early efforts saw print, mainly because he never submitted them anywhere or even showed them to anyone else. Those stories have all been lost.

Eventually he began sending his work to editors. His first published story was called “An Ideal Vocation” and it appeared in an obscure anthology in 1992. Encouraged by this “success,” he then proceeded to bombard the British small-press with hundreds of eccentric tales for almost two decades. His first book, the now almost legendary Worming the Harpy, was published by Tartarus Press in 1995. He has published many volumes since then, chiefly collections of short-stories but also a few novels, in several languages.

He considers his three best and most “Hughesian” books to be The Truth Spinner, Tallest Stories and The Abnormalities of Stringent Strange. You can get in touch able to get in touch with him easily enough through his blog The Spoons That Are My Ears.

I first ran across Rhys Hughes’s brilliantly funny, sharp, and perceptive work when a story of his — a smart, heartfelt tribute to Philip José Farmer’s classic The Lovers — appeared in an anthology alongside a story of mine. Since then I’ve been both dazzled and highly entertained by his unique and multiform output of fiction. Hughes’s latest novel, The Abnormalities of Stringent Strange, is forthcoming from Meteor House, so let’s find out what the author is up to this time.

Christopher Paul Carey: You are not primarily known as a genre writer, but your work is not exactly mainstream either. How would you categorize your work, or can it be categorized?
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[GUEST INTERVIEW] How Ray Bradbury Inspired David Herter’s Halloween Epic “October Dark”

ABOUT DAVID HERTER: David Herter was born in Denver, CO on Halloween, 1963. He subsequently lived in California, Utah and Washington State, where he attended the Clarion West writers workshop in 1990. His books have been published by Tor, PS Publishing and small presses; his short stories have been collected in Best New Horror. His favorite authors include Gene Wolfe, Brian Moore, C.L. Moore, Henry Green, Leigh Brackett, Manley Wade Wellman. His favorite TV shows include Star Trek: TOS, The Colbert Report, The Rockford Files and Kolchak: The Night Stalker. His favorite composers include Leoš Janácek and Bob Dylan.

I think it’s becoming something of a tradition with me: for the past couple years as Halloween approaches, I’ve taken down David Herter’s October Dark from the aerie of my bookshelf where it respectfully resides, eager to slip away into the novel’s enchantments and phantasmagorias and travel back in time to 1977, the year of “The Star Wars,” as the protagonist of the story so quaintly puts it. This fall, however, the talisman has changed. October Dark has been released in a newly revised ebook edition. Herter fans should have cause to rejoice: without losing any of the original version’s magic, this new edition of October Dark is sharper, more concise in places, and, yes, darker.

I was happy to take a few moments to interview David Herter about his newly revised Halloween epic, October Dark, which is available for just $2.99 through the rest of the month at Amazon.

Christopher Paul Carey: October Dark is quite different from your other novels, such as your Vernian fantasy Evening’s Empire, your far-future Ceres Storm, or your Eastern European SF-inspired First Republic trilogy (On the Overgrown Path, The Luminous Depths, and One Who Disappeared). What inspired you to write a novel about Halloween 1977, a haunted movie, Star Wars, and stop-motion animation?

David Herter: I had been trying to write a book about 1977 for a long time, but nostalgia always got in the way. Like Will, my main character, I was thirteen in 1977, and a regular 8mm stop-motion animator. I read Famous Monsters of Filmland and Eerie and made crazy little animated films. I heard about The Star Wars from my friend Jim months before the opening. We saw it on opening day at the UA Cinema 150 in 70-mm and 6-track Dolby, with his brother and his brother’s girlfriend driving us into Seattle in their VW, pretty close to the scene I wrote in the novel. Star Wars took over my spring and summer, and the next five years or so. Shortly after high school, I wrote a feature-length screenplay about a kid and his friends and their adventures on the opening days of Star Wars and its sequels (the final chapter, The Revenge of the Jedi, hadn’t been released yet, so it was speculative fiction on my part). Surprisingly, the results weren’t that great (ha ha), so I shelved the idea for a couple decades. When I finally turned to it, I had to step back, far back, from my actual experiences. Only when I realized that Something Wicked This Way Comes could inspire the book on a literal and meta level, with the mirror maze at its heart brought into the realm of cinematic special effects, did everything start to click. To use a term from the world of stop-motion animation, Bradbury’s novel became my ghostly armature.

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[GUEST POST] Christopher Paul Carey on Collaborating with a Grand Master of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Christopher Paul Carey is the coauthor with Philip José Farmer of Gods of Opar: Tales of Lost Khokarsa. His next tale set in Farmer’s Khokarsa is Exiles of Kho, coming later this year in a signed limited edition from Meteor House. He is an editor with Paizo Publishing and the award-winning Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and the editor of three collections of Philip José Farmer’s work: Up from the Bottomless Pit and Other Stories, Venus on the Half-Shell and Others, and The Other in the Mirror. His short fiction may be found in such anthologies as The Worlds of Philip José Farmer, Tales of the Shadowmen, and The Avenger: The Justice, Inc. Files. Visit his website at and follow him on twitter at @cpcarey.

This month sees the release of Gods of Opar: Tales of Lost Khokarsa, my collaboration with Hugo and World Fantasy Award-winning author and SFWA Grand Master Philip José Farmer. Yeah, those honorific titles leave me humbled and in awe too, and they’re enough to make my inner voice frequently exclaim, “Whoa, wait a minute, how did this happen? How did I end up working with the Wizard of Peoria to complete the long-awaited-and long feared to be forever stalled-conclusion to his Khokarsa series?”
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