From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

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Author Spotlights

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Shweta Narayan

Retellings appeal to me for the same reason multi-threaded stories appeal; I don’t know what it’s like to have only one perspective on anything. I have lived between cultures all my life, and I’m not entirely part of any one. I’m always super-aware of which part of my world is accessible to the people I’m with; even my accent shifts, mid-sentence, depending on who I’m addressing.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Kai Ashante Wilson

I had a sudden fierce urge to write some tie-in fiction—for Star Wars, or a Bioware video game, something like that. But since I’m just about the last the author likely to be chosen/approached for such a project, I quickly realized I’d have to make up my own media property if it were to happen at all: thus, the video game Kaiju maximus®. It nearly broke my mind—in a fun way!—trying to tell a straight-ahead genre story as tie-fiction for a media property that doesn’t exist.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Catherynne M. Valente

The image I was always building to, from the moment I started thinking about the story, was the two young women kissing under the manchineel tree in the rain and remaining unharmed, the steam rising from their skin. Manchineels are real trees, and you really can be poisoned and even killed by standing under them while it rains through the toxic leaves. I discovered it while researching poisons for the story, and from then on it became the heart of it, that everything else circled around.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Austin Bunn

This is a perfect example of the dividends of just simply sitting in a chair, showing up every morning to write, and discovering something. I had absolutely no idea where this story was going. I sent that longboat over the edge not knowing, then it seemed my fingers described an old woman appearing, drawn back by cordage into our world. Where the heck did that come from? Once the metaphysicals began to reveal themselves to me—that longing was itself the rope out of the afterlife—I just followed the thread.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Nalo Hopkinson

Bluebeard gives his wife an egg, and when she enters the forbidden room, she drops the egg in horror and gets blood on it. The bloodstain won’t come out, and that’s how Bluebeard knows she’s been in the room. So right away, the folktale has associations with menstruation and a loss of both innocence and reproductive possibility.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: T. Kingfisher

Many fairy tales have their own sort of logic and don’t hold up very well to scrutiny, but Cinderella’s particularly bad in that regard—can you imagine what that slipper would be like after it had made the rounds of the kingdom?

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Delia Sherman

The thing about writing is that while you’re consciously researching and writing a story about, say, scientifically plausible mermen, asexual women, and the infinite varieties of human affection, your subconscious is busily weaving a different story entirely, about love that seeks to own, or plain, middle-aged, scientific spinsters trying to make a place for herself in a culture that doesn’t believe such a creature could possibly exist.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Kate Hall

This is a story about anger as much as art: about anger’s power to trap and destroy, as well as its power to liberate. The scream is the anger that lives in every person who is forced to be someone/something they don’t want to be, and it can either set you free or doom you.

Nonfiction

Author Spotlight: Naomi Novik

“Vici” shows the seeds of various aspects of the relationship between dragons and humans that we see initially in Britain and other European nations in His Majesty’s Dragon.

Nonfiction

Author Spotlight: Seanan McGuire

So the “kids + magical world = adventure” equation was very, very heavily used during the 1980s. Almost every cartoon had it, because it was a way to get the kids into the story.