Author Archive

MIND MELD: Our Favorite Gadgets from SF

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

In part 2 of our Mind Meld duo featuring fictional gadgetry (Part 1 featured magical items from fantasy), we asked our panelists this:

Q: Where’s my holo-deck, and aren’t we supposed to have flying cars?? What gadget (or gadgets) from SF(from Golden Age to the present), would you like to see go from Science Fiction to Science Fact? Are there any oldies that you were sure would be reality by now?

Here’s what they had to say…

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[NOTE: This is part of a series of Q&As with the Shirley Jackson Award nominees.]

Nina Allan was born in Whitechapel, London, grew up in the Midlands and West Sussex, and studied Russian literature at the University of Exeter and Corpus Christi College, Oxford.

“I wrote my first short story at the age of six. Recurring obsessions include old clocks and rare insects, forgotten manuscripts and abandoned houses. Writers who have inspired and continue to inspire me include among many others Vladimir Nabokov, Iris Murdoch, Joyce Carol Oates, Paul Auster, J. G Ballard, Roberto Bolano, M. John Harrison, Shirley Jackson, Kelly Link, and of course Christopher Priest, my partner and first reader. We live and work in the historic seaside town of Hastings, East Sussex.

My stories have appeared regularly in premier British speculative fiction magazines Interzone, Black Static and Crimewave, and have featured in the anthologies Best Horror of the Year #2, The Year’s Best SF #28 and The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2012 and 2013. My story ‘Angelus’ won the Aeon Award in 2007, and short fiction of mine has shown up on BFS and BSFA shortlists on several occasions.

A first collection of my short fiction, A Thread of Truth, was published by Eibonvale Press in 2007, followed by my story cycle The Silver Wind in 2011. My most recent books are the story collection Microcosmos (NewCon Press March 2013) the novella Spin (TTA Press 2013) and Stardust: The Ruby Castle Stories (PS Publishing April 2013). My first novel, The Race, set in an alternate and near-future version of southeast England, will be published in summer 2014 by NewCon Press.”

Nina was kind enough to chat with me about her Shirley Jackson Award nominated novella, THE GATEWAY.


Kristin Centorcelli: Congrats on the Shirley Jackson Award nomination! Will you tell us about your story and what inspired you to write it?
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[NOTE: This is part of a series of Q&As with the Shirley Jackson Award nominees.]

Rosanne lives in South London, so it’s no surprise she has a story titled “Lambeth North” in the anthology Horror Without Victims. A longstanding member of the precariat, Rosanne engages in a variety of occupations including freelance editing, copywriting and care work.

Her novella Helen’s Story (PS Publishing) has been shortlisted for the 2013 Shirley Jackson prize and she has contributed to anthologies such as Rustblind and Silverbright (with Mat Joiner), Never Again: Weird Fiction Against Racism and Fascism, Extended Play: the Elastic Book of Music, The Slow Mirror: New Fiction by Jewish Writers, Conflicts, The Horror Anthology of Horror Anthologies and a new science fiction collection, Life Seed. You can visit her website here: rosannerabinowitz.wordpress.com

Rosanne was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about HELEN’S STORY!


Kristin Centorcelli: Congrats on the Shirley Jackson Award nomination! Will you tell us about your novella and what inspired you to write it?
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[NOTE: This is part of a series of Q&As with the Shirley Jackson Award nominees.]

Michael Rowe was born in Ottawa in 1962 and has lived in Beirut, Havana, Geneva, and Paris. An award-winning journalist, and literary nonfiction writer, he is the author of Writing Below the Belt, a critically-acclaimed study of censorship, erotica and popular culture, as well as the essay collections Looking for Brothers and Other Men’s Sons. His essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in the Globe & Mail, National Post, The Advocate, and The Huffington Post, as well as CFQ, The Scream Factory, All-Hallows, among many others. For 17 years he was the first-tier Canadian correspondent for Fangoria. He has won the Lambda Literary Award, the Randy Shilts Award, and the Spectrum Award, and has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award, the Associated Church Press Award, and the International Horror Guild Award. As the creator and editor of the critically acclaimed horror anthologies Queer Fear and Queer Fear 2, he was hailed by Clive Barker in 2002 as having “changed forever the shape of horror fiction.” He is married and lives in Toronto. Enter, Night was his first novel. His second, Wild Fell, was published in December 2013 by ChiZine Publications.

Michael kindly answered a few of my questions…


Kristin Centorcelli: Congrats on the Shirley Jackson Award nomination! Will you tell us about your novel and what inspired you to write it?
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In this series, I ask various publishing professionals (including authors, bloggers, editors, agents etc.) to recommend 2-3 authors or books they feel haven’t received the recognition they deserve.

Today’s recommendations are by AJ Colucci. A.J. Colucci is the critically acclaimed author of THE COLONY and SEEDERS, which combine true, cutting-edge science with the adrenaline-rush of a thriller. SEEDERS was described by Douglas Preston as “gripping and brilliantly original.” Her debut novel THE COLONY received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, and Booklist called it “a frightening combination of well-researched science and scenes of pure horror.” A.J. Colucci was a journalist and editor for 15 years and has authored hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles.
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[NOTE: This is part of a series of Q&As with the Shirley Jackson Award nominees.]

Mark Morris became a full-time writer in 1988 on the Enterprise Allowance Scheme, and a year later saw the release of his first novel, Toady. He has since published a further sixteen novels, among which are Stitch, The Immaculate, The Secret of Anatomy, Fiddleback, The Deluge and four books in the popular Doctor Who range.

His short stories, novellas, articles and reviews have appeared in a wide variety of anthologies and magazines, and he is editor of the highly-acclaimed Cinema Macabre, a book of fifty horror movie essays by genre luminaries, for which he won the 2007 British Fantasy Award.

His most recently published or forthcoming work includes a novella entitled It Sustains for Earthling Publications, a Torchwood novel entitled Bay of the Dead, several Doctor Who audios for Big Finish Productions, a follow-up volume to Cinema Macabre entitled Cinema Futura and a new short story collection, Long Shadows, Nightmare Light.


Kristin Centorcelli: Congrats on the Shirley Jackson Award nomination! Will you tell us about your novella and what inspired you to write it?
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[NOTE: This is part of a series of Q&As with the Shirley Jackson Award nominees.]

Nicole Cushing is an author of dark fiction.

She is the author of the novellas Children of No One (recently nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award) and I Am the New God.

The anthology Werewolves & Shapeshifters: Encounters With The Beast Within includes Nicole’s short fiction (alongside stories by Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, Charlaine Harris, and Chuck Palahniuk). Three of her tales received honorable mentions for Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year, Volume 5. One of her stories was selected for the Tangent Online 2013 Recommended Reading List. Several of her stories have been (or are currently being) adapted for audio presentation on podcasts such as Tales to Terrify, Pseudopod, and Cast Macabre. All told, Nicole has sold well over twenty short stories to various markets in the U.S. and U.K.

Her essay on the racism of H.P. Lovecraft has been quoted by The Guardian and linked to by The Atlantic Monthly.

She invites correspondence via Facebook, Twitter, or (if one must be old-fashioned about it) email at nicolecushingwriter (at) gmail (dot) com. A native of Maryland, she now lives with her husband in Indiana.

Nicole was kind enough to answer a few of my questions…


Kristin Centorcelli: Congrats on the Shirley Jackson Award nomination! Will you tell us about your novella and what inspired you to write it?
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[NOTE: This is part of a series of Q&As with the Shirley Jackson Award nominees.]

Kit Reed is the author of the Alex Award-winning Thinner Than Thou and many other novels, including The Night Children, her first young adult work. Reed has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award and has been a James W. Tiptree Award finalist. Kit Reed lives in Middletown, CT, where she is Resident Writer at Wesleyan University.

Kit kindly answered a few questions about her Shirley Jackson Award nominated collection The Story Until Now.


Kristin Centorcelli: Congrats on the Shirley Jackson Award nomination! Will you tell us a bit about your collection?
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[NOTE: This is part of a series of Q&As with the Shirley Jackson Award nominees.]

Jared Shurin set up the publishing house Jurassic London in 2011, and has edited or co-edited 9 anthologies of original fiction in conjunction with not-for-profit partners such as English PEN, Tate Britain and the Royal Observatory. In 2013 he was selected as one of the Guardian/Hospital Club’s top ten Pioneers and Innovators in publishing. His work as an editor and a blogger has been nominated for several prizes, including the British Fantasy, BSFA and Hugo Awards. He is on Twitter at @pornokitsch and blogs at www.pornokitsch.com.

Jared kindly answered a few of my questions…


Kristin Centorcelli: Congrats on the Shirley Jackson Award nomination! Will you tell us about the nominated anthology and what inspired the collection?
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[NOTE: This is part of a series of Q&As with the Shirley Jackson Award nominees.]

Jonathan Oliver is the editor-in-chief of Solaris and Abaddon. He has previously had stories published in a variety of magazines and anthologies in the UK and the US. He has written two novels for Abaddon Books – The Call of Kerberos and The Wrath of Kerberos – and his four anthologies for Solaris have received widespread critical acclaim and awards nominations.

Jonathan was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about his Shirley Jackson nominated anthology, End of the Road.


Kristin Centorcelli: Congrats on the Shirley Jackson Award nomination! Will you tell us about the nominated anthology and what inspired the collection?
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[NOTE: This is part of a series of Q&As with the Shirley Jackson Award nominees.]

Conrad Williams was born in 1969. He is the author of seven novels (HEAD INJURIES, LONDON REVENANT, THE UNBLEMISHED, ONE, DECAY INEVITABLE, BLONDE ON A STICK and LOSS OF SEPARATION), four novellas (NEARLY PEOPLE, GAME, THE SCALDING ROOMS and RAIN) and two collections of short stories (USE ONCE THEN DESTROY and BORN WITH TEETH). He has won two major prizes for his novels. ONE was the winner of the August Derleth award for Best Novel, (British Fantasy Awards 2010), while THE UNBLEMISHED won the International Horror Guild Award for Best Novel in 2007 (he beat the shortlisted Stephen King on both occasions). He won the British Fantasy Award for Best Newcomer in 1993. He won another British Fantasy Award, for Best Novella (THE SCALDING ROOMS) in 2008. In 2009 he was Guest of Honour at the World Horror Convention. He edited the anthology GUTSHOT, which was shortlisted for both the British Fantasy and World Fantasy Awards. He is an associate lecturer at Edge Hill University.

He lives in Manchester, UK, with his wife, three sons and a monster Maine Coon.

Conrad kindly answered a few of my questions…


Kristin Centorcelli: Congrats on the Shirley Jackson Award nomination! Will you tell us about “Raptor” and what inspired you to write it?
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[NOTE: This part of a series of Q&As with the Shirley Jackson Award nominees.]

Brian Hodge, called “a writer of spectacularly unflinching gifts” by Peter Straub, is the award-winning author of ten novels of horror and crime/noir. He’s also written well over 100 short stories, novelettes, and novellas, and four full-length collections. His first collection, The Convulsion Factory, was ranked by critic Stanley Wiater as among the 113 best books of modern horror.

He lives in Colorado, where he also dabbles in music and photography; loves everything about organic gardening except the thieving squirrels; and trains in Krav Maga, grappling, and kickboxing, which are of no use at all against the squirrels.

Brian kindly answered a few of my questions…


Kristin Centorcelli: Congrats on the Shirley Jackson Award nomination! Will you tell us about your novella and what inspired you to write it?
Read the rest of this entry

[NOTE: This is part of a series of Q&As with the Shirley Jackson Award nominees.]

Christopher Barzak is the author of the Crawford Fantasy Award winning novel, One for Sorrow, which has been made into the Sundance feature film “Jamie Marks is Dead”. His second novel, The Love We Share Without Knowing, was a finalist for the Nebula and Tiptree Awards. He is also the author of two collections: Birds and Birthdays, a collection of surrealist fantasy stories, and Before and Afterlives, a collection of supernatural fantasies. He grew up in rural Ohio, has lived in a southern California beach town, the capital of Michigan, and has taught English outside of Tokyo, Japan, where he lived for two years. His next novel, Wonders of the Invisible World, will be published by Knopf in 2015. Currently he teaches fiction writing in the Northeast Ohio MFA program at Youngstown State University.

Christopher answered a few of my questions about Before and Afterlives, which has been nominated for Best Single-Author Collection!


KC: Congrats on the Shirley Jackson Award nomination! Will you tell us about your short story collection and what inspired you to write it?
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[NOTE: This is part of a series of Q&As with the Shirley Jackson Award nominees.]

Sam J. Miller is a writer and a community organizer. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Nightmare, Shimmer, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Electric Velocipede, Strange Horizons, Daily Science Fiction, The Minnesota Review, and The Rumpus, among others. He is a graduate of the 2012 Clarion Writer’s Workshop, a 2013 nominee for the Shirley Jackson Award, and the co-editor of Horror After 9/11, an anthology published by the University of Texas Press. Visit him at www.samjmiller.com.

Sam kindly answered a few of my questions about “57 Reasons for the Slate Quarry Suicides”, which has been nominated for Best Short Fiction!


KC: Congrats on the Shirley Jackson Award nomination! Will you tell us about your story and what inspired you to write it?
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[NOTE: This is part of a series of Q&As with the Shirley Jackson Award nominees.]

Andrew Pyper is the author of six internationally bestselling novels as well as Kiss Me, a collection of short stories. His first novel, Lost Girls, was a New York Times Notable Book and New York Times bestseller. This was followed by The Trade Mission, The Wildfire Season, The Killing Circle (a New York Times Crime Novel of the Year), The Guardians and, most recently, The Demonologist, which Amazon selected as one of the 20 Best Books of the Year. He lives in Toronto.

Andrew kindly answered a few of my questions about The Demonologist, which has been nominated for Best Novel!


Kristin Centorcelli: Congrats on the Shirley Jackson Award nomination! Will you tell us about your novel and what inspired you to write it?
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[NOTE: This is the first of a series of Q&As with the Shirley Jackson Award nominees -- and soon-to-be winners, as they'll be announced this weekend!]

Robert Jackson Bennett‘s 2010 debut Mr. Shivers won the Shirley Jackson award as well as the Sydney J. Bounds Newcomer Award. His second novel, The Company Man, won a Special Citation of Excellence from the Philip K Dick Award, as well as an Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original. His third novel, The Troupe, has topped many “Best of 2012” lists, including that of Publishers Weekly. His fourth novel, American Elsewhere, is now nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel. His fifth, City of Stairs, will be released in September of 2015.

He lives in Austin with his wife and son. He can be found on Twitter at @robertjbennett.

Robert kindly answered a few of my questions…

UPDATE 7/13: AMERICAN ELSEWHERE won the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel!


Kristin Centorcelli: Congrats on the Shirley Jackson Award nomination! Will you tell us about your novel and what inspired you to write it?
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In this series, I ask various publishing professionals (including authors, bloggers, editors, agents etc.) to recommend 2-3 authors or books they feel haven’t received the recognition they deserve.

Today’s recommendations are by Sara Megibow. Sara has been with Nelson Literary Agency since early 2006. Her first responsibilities included reading query letters, sample pages, and full manuscripts, and she was promoted to Associate Literary Agent in 2009. From sexy romance to epic fantasy, Sara has loved reading since picking up her first copy of The Hobbit. Sara earned a B.A. in Women’s Studies and a B.A. in American History from Northwestern University. She loves to ski, hike, kayak, and hang out with her beat-boxing husband, adorable son, and fuzzy cat.

You can read about Sara’s submissions, clients, and sales at http://publishersmarketplace.com/members/SaraMegibow/, follow Sara on Twitter, and find out more about the Nelson Agency here: www.nelsonagency.com

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Marcus Sakey has worked as a landscaper, a theatrical carpenter, a 3D animator, a woefully unprepared movie reviewer, a tutor, and a graphic designer who couldn’t draw. In 2007 his first novel, The Blade Itself, was published to wide critical acclaim, and thank god, because nothing else seemed to be working. His books, which inlcude The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes, The Amateurs, Good People, Accelerant (At The City’s Edge), and Scar Tissue, have been nominated for more than a dozen awards. His fiction is sold worldwide. His latest novel, A Better World, was published by Thomas & Mercer in June 2014.

Pre-publication, Brilliance was optioned for film by Legendary Pictures in a seven-figure deal, with Spider-Man scribe David Koepp attached to adapt. His novel Good People is currently shooting in London; the film, which stars James Franco, Kate Hudson, and Tom Wilkinson is directed by Academy Award-nominated Henrik Genz. Several of his other books have also been optioned for film.

Marcus is the host and writer of the acclaimed television show Hidden City on Travel Channel, for which he is routinely pepper-sprayed and attacked by dogs. He has rappelled with SWAT teams, pub crawled with bank robbers, dissected a human brain, dived for pirate treasure, and learned to pick a deadbolt. He claims it was all for research. He loves travelling, especially if he might hurt himself. He is an excellent cook and a spice junkie. He enjoys writing about himself in the third person.

Marcus lives in Chicago with his wife and daughter. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook, where he posts under the clever handle @MarcusSakey.

Marcus’s two newest novels, Brilliance, and A Better World have met with wide acclaim, and he kindly answered a few of my questions about the series!
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In this series, I ask various publishing professionals (including authors, bloggers, editors, agents etc.) to recommend 2-3 authors or books they feel haven’t received the recognition they deserve.

Today’s recommendations are by A.M. Dellamonica. She is the author of Indigo Springs, which won the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. Her short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s, Realms of Fantasy, Sci-Fiction and Strange Horizons, and in numerous anthologies; her 2005 alternate-history Joan of Arc story, “A Key to the Illuminated Heretic,” was shortlisted for the Sideways Award and the Nebula Award. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Her new book, CHILD OF THE HIDDEN SEA, just released this week!

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[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

Villains: We love to hate them and bad guys, and gals (and other things that fit into the baddie category), can haunt our dreams and capture our imaginations. With that in mind, I asked our panelists this:

Q: What are a few of your favorite literary (SF/Fantasy/Horror/Spec. Fiction) villains, and why? What made them stand out for you?

Here’s what they had to say…

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