L.E. Modesitt, Jr. is the bestselling author of over sixty novels encompassing two science fiction series and four fantasy series, as well as several other novels in the science fiction genre. His latest novel is Cyador’s Heirs, part of his extensive Saga of Recluce.

A Few Reflections (on more than 40 years of F&SF publication)

by L.E. Modesitt Jr.

When John DeNardo approached me about doing a genre-related guest post with some reflections for SF Signal, I didn’t realize how many recollections I’d have to sift through and how few it took to fill up the allotted space, but the three that follow may shed a little light on some aspects of being a SF&F author.
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An Interview with L.E. Modesitt, Jr., Author of THE ONE-EYED MAN

The prolific L.E. Modesitt is the NY Times bestselling author of numerous SF and Fantasy books and series. Perhaps best known for his Recluce novels, Modesitt’s novels range from epic fantasy to far future science fiction adventure. He was kind enough to answer some questions about him and his work, especially his latest novel, The One-Eyed Man: A Fugue, With Winds and Accompaniment.


Paul Weimer: Who is L.E. Modesitt?

L.E. Modesitt: The “technical” answer is that I’m a white male who is past middle age who always wanted to write but had to handle various obligations in life by undertaking a wide range of occupations, as well as an array of competitive sports. The occupations have been, in chronological order, delivery-boy, lifeguard, disc jockey, U.S. Naval aviator, industrial economist, unsuccessful real estate salesman, political campaign researcher, legislative director for a U.S. Congressman, staff director for his successor, Director of Congressional Affairs for the U.S. EPA, senior manager for a Washington D.C. consulting firm, adjunct professor of English, and finally, a full-time writer. Married three times, not totally successfully the first two, but very successfully the third time to a lyric soprano and university opera director. As a writer, I began as a poet, and for almost fifteen years only managed to get published in small literary magazines, before, in my late twenties, beginning to write SF stories, which were published sporadically in the 1970s, until Ben Bova persuaded me [more like figuratively wrenched both arms] to write a novel. That was more successful, but I still had to keep the day jobs for ten years after my first novel was published.

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MIND MELD: What’s on Your Mount To-Be-Read Book Pile?

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

We asked this week’s panelists about what they are reading.

Q: Mount To-be-read! Every genre reader that collects and reads genre books has a Mount To-be-read. What Fantasy, SF and Horror books on the top of yours that is just begging for you to read?

Here’s what is on the bedside tables of our respondents:

L.E. Modesitt
L. E. Modesitt, Jr., is the New York Times best-selling author of more than 65 novels – primarily science fiction and fantasy, a number of short stories, and numerous technical and economic articles. His novels have sold millions of copies in the U.S. and world-wide, and have been translated into German, Polish, Dutch, Czech, Russian, Bulgarian, French, Spanish, Italian, Hebrew, and Swedish. His first story was published in Analog in 1973, and his next book is The One-Eyed Man: A Fugue, With Winds And Accompaniment, to be released in mid-September, with a starred review from Kirkus.

My Mount To-be-read is actually very short, and that’s because I usually don’t buy books unless I know I’m going to have the time to read them – with one exception. I’m still making my way through Reine De Memoire 1. La Maison D’Oubli, by Elisabeth Vonarburg. It’s an excellent book, so far, but the difficulty is that I’m reading it in French, and I don’t read French nearly as fast as I read English. Because it’s been years since I read much in French, each time I pick it up it takes a few minutes and pages before I get into any sort of flow… and because she writes in a certain depth… well, I do need the dictionary, I confess. The other books currently on my very short mountain, perhaps better named Hill To-be-read, are Kay Kenyon’s A Thousand Perfect Things, Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2312, and at the bottom… Brandon Sanderson’s The Emperor’s Soul, which I’ve had for almost a year and somehow never picked up.

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Edited by John Joseph Adams and published by TOR, The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination features all original, all nefarious, all conquering tales from the megalomaniacal pens of Diana Gabaldon, Austin Grossman, Seanan McGuire, Naomi Novik, Daniel H. Wilson and 17 OTHER EVIL GENIUSES.

The book description is this:

Mad scientists have never had it so tough. In super-hero comics, graphic novels, films, TV series, video games and even works of what may be fiction, they are besieged by those who stand against them, devoid of sympathy for their irrational, megalomaniacal impulses to rule, destroy or otherwise dominate the world as we know it.

We asked a few of the authors a couple of questions…

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