You already know who New York Times bestselling author Greg Cox is, but you might not know it. If you’ve read the novelization of the recent Daredevil, Man of Steel, Godzilla, Ghostrider or Underworld films, you’ve read a Greg Cox novel. Beyond those, he’s written in the Batman, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Iron Man,  Xena, Terminator, X-Men, among other universes, and over 14 Star Trek novels.  Greg is an expert, he’s been doing this for over twenty years!  And he was kind enough to answer a few of my questions  about his newest novelization of the recent Godzilla movie, the movie tie-in industry, and more!

Let’s get to the interview!

Andrea Johnson: About a week after reading your novelization of Godzilla, I went and saw the movie. Your novelization expanded many  portions of the film, including extra introductory material, and further development of side characters. When writing a novelization, how do you know what areas you can expand on, and when to “stick to the script”?

Greg Cox: In general, the studios prefer that you stick to the script in terms of the overall plot and dialogue, but there’s often room to flesh out the characters and fill in more of their backgrounds, especially with the supporting characters who might not get as much screen time and development as the leads. On Godzilla, I also had the advantage of seeing early drafts of the scripts, including scenes that were cut or shortened in the final movie.

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Writer Dave Elliott is a constant innovator in the world of comics, with a long career as a writer, artist, editor, publisher and IP developer.  He was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about the development of his newest creation The Weirding Willows, the DeviantArt community, changes he has seen in the comics industry over the years, and more!

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James Morrow is the author of the World Fantasy Award-winning novel Towing Jehovah, the Nebula Award-winning novella Shambling Twards Hiroshima, and the New York Times Notable Book Blameless in Abaddon. His recent novels include the Last Witchfinder, hailed by the Washington Post as “literary magic”, and The Philosopher’s Apprentice, which received a rave review from Entertainment Weekly. Morrow lives in State College, Pennsylvania.

After reading Morrow’s newest novella, The Madonna and The Starship, I was brimming with questions for him! Read on, as we discuss the evolution of the new novella, how Science Fiction finds a balance between logical positivism and theism, home movies, The Lord Of The Rings lesson plans, his soon to be released Darwin epic, and more!

Andrea Johnson: The Madonna and the Starship deals with themes you’ve touched on before: organized religion, humanism, atheism, and satire thereof. I’d like to know what made you decide to set this newest novel in the 1950s and give it a pulpy scifi twist?

James Morrow: I imagine I’ll go to my grave obsessed with embarrassingly large philosophical questions, conducting the discussion simultaneously in my head and on the printed page. It’s all so mysterious, this business of being a person with a private consciousness. None of the respectable answers satisfy me.

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Greg Egan was born in 1961. Since the early ’80s he has published twelve novels and more than fifty short stories, winning the Hugo Award for his novella “Oceanic” and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for his novel Permutation City. He lives in Perth, Australia.

Greg took a few minutes to chat with me about his recently completed Orthogonal trilogy, how easy and fun it is to mess with the laws of physics, e-book bells and whistles, Karen Burnham’s book on his works, and more. Famous for his hard science fiction, he has supplemented many of his works with additional material that is available on his website.

Let’s get to the interview!

Q: The world of the Orthogonal trilogy followed different laws of the universe that we do. For example, for Yalda and everyone on her planet, the speed of light isn’t a constant. What kind of research did you do to make sure the changed laws and new math would be consistent as the story progressed?

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In episode 251 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester chats with author, Aaron Michael Ritchey live from the 2014 Pikes Peak Writers Conference.

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In episode 250 of the SF Signal Podcast Patrick Hester, Gail Carriger, and Chuck Wendig discuss writing, conventions, the genre fiction bubble and more.

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Tessa Gratton didn’t grow up to be a necromantic wizard resurrecting dinosaur bones into animated skeletons as she expected, but she has become a fantasy author, and after a childhood spent around the world, settled in the midwest. She’s the author of four novels, including the forthcoming The Strange Maid, second in her United States of Asgard series. Tessa was kind enough to answer some questions about her and her work.

PW: Tell me about Tessa Gratton.

TG: I’m a quadruple Scorpio, Navy brat, prairie girl, feminist (or as my dad used to say before I got a degree in it, a Pinko Liberal). Does that about cover it? My fourth novel comes out this June, and all my books so far have been YA fantasies from Random House Children’s Books. I love tumblr and twitter but am extremely glad they didn’t exist when I was in high school.
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Over at the Kirkus Reviews blog this week, I interviewed Jeff VanderMeer, author of the Southern Reach trilogy….

Check it out!

One of the reasons I enjoy writing this column is that I hope someone who is reading it, who has never been to a convention before will decide to go to one, be it a fan run scifi and fantasy convention, a writers conference, a large scale trade show (like BEA), a ComicCon, or any other kind of genre and/or fandom convention.

Everyone has to start somewhere, and with that in mind I e-mailed a few friends and put a call out on twitter to get in touch with people who had attended their first convention within the last year.

Here’s the questions I asked:

Q: Tell us a little about the first convention you attended. Why did you choose this one to be your very first con? Did it meet your expectations, and if not, what changes would you like to see at future events? is this a convention you’d attend again?

And here’s the first batch of responses!

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In episode 249 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester chats with author, Carol Berg live from the 2014 Pikes Peak Writers Conference.

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In episode 246 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester chats with author, Jim C. Hines live from the 2014 Pikes Peak Writers Conference.

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Daryl Gregory is an award-winning writer of genre-mixing novels, stories, and comics. His novels include The Devil’s Alphabet, Pandemonium, Raising Stony Mayhall, and the collection Unpossible. His new novel is Afterparty, a near-future SF novel about neuroscience, drugs, crime, and the numinous. (For more information about Afterparty, check out Daryl’s Afterparty Tour page.)

Andrew Liptak had the opportunity to speak with Daryl about the genesis of Afterparty and more…

Andrew Liptak: Afterparty takes place in a reasonably near future US where computer and pharmacological technology has reduced the cost for manufacturing drugs. How did you come to a story about this?

Daryl Gregory: I like how you asked that: How did I come to this? And now all I can hear in my head is David Byrne shouting, “Well? How did I get here?”
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In episode 245 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester chats with science fiction and fantasy author Matthew S. Rotundo.

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The SF Signal Podcast (Episode 244): Interview with Delilah S. Dawson

In episode 244 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester chats with author, Delilah S. Dawson.

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In episode 243 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester chats with Daniel Price, author of Flight of The Silvers.

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The SF Signal Podcast (Episode 241): Interview with Michael J. Sullivan

In episode 241 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester chats with Michael J. Sullivan, author of The Riyria Revelations, The Riyria Chronicles, and his latest novel, Hollow World.

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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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In episode 239 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester chats with Multi-Award winning author, and SFWA Grand Master, Joe Haldeman.

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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.

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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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