[GUEST INTERVIEW] Heather Massey Chats with Sharon Lynn Fisher About THE OPHELIA PROPHECY, Freaky Orange Cats and Praying Mantis Sex
Sharon Lynn Fisher writes books for the geeky at heart – sci-fi flavored stories full of adventure and romance. She has a passion for world-building and twisty plots, and themes that recur in her writing include what it means to be human and symbiosis in human relationships.
Her latest release is The Ophelia Prophecy, a biopunk flavored, post-apocalyptic tale out now from Tor. A mix of light science, heavy moral conflicts, and sizzling sexual tension, The Ophelia Prophecy is sure to please the romance reader looking for something different, or the SF fan looking for something hot.
After Heather Massey of The Galaxy Express and Sharon binge-watched all 110 episodes of Space Ghost Coast to Coast-because, you know, Zorak-they chatted about The Ophelia Prophecy, freaky orange cats, and praying mantis sex.
Heather Massey: Describe a typical week for Sharon Lynn Fisher.
Sharon Lynn Fisher: I’m not sure there’s any such thing – a result of being a freelancer and a half-time single parent! My working hours (which can occur at any hour, any day of the week, in any state of dress) are divided between my contracted fiction, new writing projects, and my work as senior editor for SilkWords, a new “pick your own path” romance short story site. Whatever is left goes to my daughter, my boyfriend and HIS daughter, and one freaky orange cat.
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Matthew Hughes writes fantasy and suspense fiction. he’s won the Crime Writers of Canada’s Arthur Ellis Award, and has been shortlisted for the Aurora, Nebula, Philip K. Dick, A.E. Van Vogt, and Derringer Awards. He’s worked as a writer all his adult life, as a journalist, a staff speechwriter to the Canadian Ministers of Justice and Environment, and as a freelance corporate and political speechwriter in British Columbia. He’s also a former director of the Federation of British Columbia Writers. He is the author of several dozen short stories, some of which have been collected in The Gist Hunter and Other Stories (2005) and Nine Tales of Henghis Hapthorn (2013). His novels include Fools Errant, Black Brillion, several novels about a far-futuristic Sherlock Holmesian detective Henghis Hapthorn (Majestrum, The Spiral Labyrinth, and Hespira), The Commons, Template, the To Hell and Back superhero sequence (The Damned Busters, Costume Not Included and Hell to Pay), and Paroxysm. His latest is anotehr collection of short fiction,The Compleat Guth Bandar.
We had the chance to talk to Matthew about his writing, his influences and why his fiction is so damned funny.
Kara Vallow has been a producer on Seth MacFarlane’s slate of animated shows such as Family Guy and American Dad, as well as Dilbert, Johnny Bravo, and Drawn Together. So when MacFarlane invited her to take charge of the animated segments for Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, she was uncertain if she could do justice to the material. The result was stunning narratives about historical figures such as Giordano Bruno, William Herschel, and Isaac Newton.
In this interview we discuss how her animation team developed the unique style for the segments, the lasting impact of Carl Sagan, working with Ann Druyan and Neil deGrasse Tyson, bringing the Flammarion woodcut to life, Isaac Asimov’s The Last Question, and the Family Guy Star Wars specials.
Running time: 41 minutes
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Stephanie Saulter is a freelance business consultant who read biology at MIT before majoring in English Literature and minoring in Anthropology. Born in the Caribbean, she now lives in England. The first book in her ®Evolution series, Gemsigns, is currently available in the UK and will be published in the US in May. The second book in the series, Binary, will be available in the UK this spring, and she is currently working on the third book in the series. Learn more about Stephanie at her website, or by following her on twitter.
Stephanie was kind enough to answer some questions about the ®Evolution series.
Andrea Johnson: What can you tell us about Gemsigns and its sequel, Binary? What’s the elevator pitch for the ®Evolution series?
Stephanie Saulter: The bulk of the action in Gemsigns takes place a year after an international edict – think of it as an updated Declaration of Human Rights – resulted in the mass emancipation of genetically modified humans, or ‘gems’, from the biotech companies that had created and owned them.
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The SF Signal Podcast (Episode 237): An Interview with Jeff VanderMeer, Author of the THE SOUTHERN REACH TRILOGY
Elspeth was kind enough to answer some questions about her and her series.
Paul Weimer: Who is Elspeth Cooper?
Elspeth Cooper: By day, she is a mild-mannered epic fantasy author. When nobody’s looking she transforms into a sword-wielding British housewife and retired IT worker, drinker of tea and herder of cats.
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When last we spoke with author Alex Scarrow he was just about to self-publish the first in a new series featuring a young female protagonist by the name of Ellie Quin. A year and change later and the fourth episode in the series, Ellie Quinn in Wonderland, has just been released with the ninth book in Scarrow’s TimeRiders series on the way.
By way of reminder, Alex Scarrow is a British author whose road to publication took him through music, graphic art and computer game design. He then began writing screenplays, one of which became the novel A Thousand Suns , which ties a contemporary storyline with WWII Germany. Alex Scarrow is perhaps best known for his work in Young Adult science fiction and it is there where we concentrate today’s discussion.
Without further ado, let us welcome back author Alex Scarrow.
Maurice Broaddus and Jerry Gordon, co-editors of the Bram Stoker and Black Quill nominated Dark Faith anthology series, are turning to Kickstarter to fund their latest partnership, Streets of Shadows. The new anthology promises to blend the best of crime and urban fantasy.
Maurice and Jerry sat down with contributors Kevin J. Anderson, Seanan McGuire, Brandon Massey, Kristine Kathryn Rush, and (not surprisingly) themselves to talk about blurring genre lines and getting away with murder. You can support their Kickstarter by clicking here.
More than two decades ago, when I was banging my head against a keyboard in desperation trying to write fiction, I somehow became convinced that I should abandon prose and begin writing screenplays. I read several books, some of them concentrating on formatting (useful because I had, at that point, never considered that writing a screenplay required different textual semiotics from prose), but learned the most from those focusing on structure, such as Robert McKee’s Story and Syd Field’s Screenplay, among others. Although they never quite get me to the point of actually writing more than a few pages of half-baked ideas (though I did collaborate with one friend on a spy story made obsolete by the abrupt conclusion of the Cold War), they taught me enough about what made stories work to allow me to begin finishing prose fiction at a regular pace.
Had Dan O’Bannon’s and Matt Lohr’s Dan Obannon’s Guide to Screenplay Structure: Inside Tips from the Writer of Alien, Total Recall and Return of the Living Dead been published at that time, it easily would have been one of the books I absorbed. It certainly would have been something I studied carefully. McKee’s Story offered a wealth of dos and don’ts, Syd Field’s Screenplay broke down three-act structure in a way that made sense, but this particular manual came from the same mind that produced one of the greatest science-fiction horror movies of all time, one of the best-known zombie movies (made before zombies shambled into the cultural zeitgeist), and one of science fiction’s best known indie movies. He also worked on one of the greatest movies never made, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Dune, so what he said would have carried a great deal of weight for this budding science fiction writer. In fact, his work views drama in a manner that seems self-evident but that other writers seldom explore. It’s a work I’d recommend not only to screenwriters, but also to those who want to write fiction.
Dan O’Bannon died in 2009, before he and Matt Lohr could finish their collaboration. I got the chance to talk to Matt about the book, and about what makes his approach to writing different from others.
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Jean-Marc Rochette is a German-born French illustrator best known for his work in children’s literature. In 1979, he began a career in comics when he collaborated with Martin Veyron on the series Edmond Pig. His career in science fiction began when he succeeded designer Alexis on the post-apocalyptic comic series The Transperceneige, scripted by Jacques Lob.
A film adaptation of the comic directed by Bong Joon-ho (The Host) and starring Chris Evans (Captain America, Avengers) will be released in the U.S. later this year under the title Snowpiercer. The movie will be preceded by a release of an English translation of the original comic series from Titan Publishing. Volume 1: The Escape will hit shelves January 29, 2014, with Volume 2: The Explorers following February 25, 2014.
Synopsis: Coursing through an eternal winter, on an icy track wrapped around the frozen planet Earth, there travels Snowpiercer, a train one thousand and one carriages long. From fearsome engine to final car, all surviving human life is here: a complete hierarchy of the society we lost … The elite, as ever, travel in luxury at the front of the train – but for those in the rear coaches, life is squalid, miserable and short. Proloff is a refugee from the tail, determined never to go back. In his journey forward through the train, he hopes to reach the mythical engine and, perhaps, find some hope for the future.
Tom Lloyd is a British Novelist best known for his Twilight Reign series, comprised of The Stormcaller, The Twilight Herald, The Grave Thief, The Ragged Man, The Dusk Watchman as well as the collection The God Tattoo: Untold Tales from the Twilight Reign. His new novel, Moon’s Artifice, begins a new series in a brand new world. You can find him at his webiste TomLloyd.co.uk/, on Facebook and on Twitter as @tomlloydwrites.
Tom consented to answer some questions about his new work.