Locus Online

2008 Perspectives Archive

Wednesday 31 December 2008

PERSPECTIVES : Interviews : Caitlín R. Kiernan : Transmutations

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's December Issue interview.

caitlin kiernan I will say up front (I've had interviewers in the past who simply refused to believe this), I never set out to write scary books. When people would talk to me about Silk, way back when, they'd say, 'Oh god, I'm so scared of spiders!' Well, I'm not scared of spiders. I adore spiders...

Sunday 28 December 2008

PERSPECTIVES : Interviews : Vernor Vinge: Surviving in Extremistan

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's December Issue interview.

vernor vinge It's not surprising that near-future novels are much harder to write than far-future ones. There's the obvious problem about having actual events eat your lunch. In my case, since it took so long to write Rainbows End (about five years), not only was there the usual risk that the story would look silly by the time it went out of print, I was also threatened by the possibility that events would make the story silly before I even turned it in!

Saturday 29 November 2008

PERSPECTIVES : Interviews : Paul Melko: Infinite Ohio

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's November Issue interview.

paul melko In Have Spacesuit - Will Travel, main character Kip Russell uses a slide rule to calculate how long it takes to get to Pluto, and it sort of blew my mind that you can actually figure these things out with a calculator or slide rule. That influenced my becoming an engineer. My engineering background is a big influence on what I write, how I write, and how I think about things.

Thursday 27 November 2008

PERSPECTIVES : Interviews : Gardner Dozois: The Good Stuff

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's November Issue interview.

gardner dozois Nobody writes short fiction to get rich, or even to make a decent living. Short fiction in particular has always been a labor of love. People write it because they want to read short fiction, and they write the kind of stuff they want to read. That's always been the engine that drives short fiction.

Tuesday 25 November 2008

PERSPECTIVES : Interviews : Greg Bear: The Universal Library

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's November Issue interview.

greg bear In City at the End of Time, I'm paying homage to writers who, in their greatest days, transformed science fiction and fantasy, going back to George D. MacDonald and Lewis Carroll, to William Hope Hodgson, to Arthur C. Clarke, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis.... Of course the master of them all is Olaf Stapledon.

Friday 7 November 2008

PERSPECTIVES : Commentary: Cory Doctorow: Why I Copyfight

cory doctorow
The existence of culture is why copyright is valuable. The fact that we have a bottomless appetite for songs to sing together, for stories to share, for art to see and add to our visual vocabulary is the reason that people will pay money for these things.

Friday 24 October 2008

PERSPECTIVES : Interviews : Ursula K. Le Guin: The Age of Saturn

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's October Issue interview.

ursula k le guin I think both science fiction and fantasy are now becoming part of the mainstream. I wanted them to be respected as part of the mainstream -- I didn't want genre snobbishness to prevail. But there is a difference between how you write science fiction and how you write a realistic novel and how you write a western, even if they always have miscegenated (as we used to say). I think it's improving the mainstream, but I'm not sure it's improving science fiction."

Wednesday 22 October 2008

PERSPECTIVES : Interviews : Tobias S. Buckell: A Box Full of Words

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's October Issue interview.

tobias s buckell There are all these people like me who don't see themselves in science fiction, all these brown kids reading it. They don't see biracial heroes or Caribbean heroes or minority heroes. So my mission became to write quality, interesting science fiction and fantasy, genre fiction, in the vein of my contemporaries, but featuring multicultural heroes.

Friday 26 September 2008

PERSPECTIVES : Interviews : Gregory Frost: True Stories

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's September Issue interview.

gregory frost For me the process of writing a story is discovering what I think about something, discovering who the character is, what the character thinks and the character's response to the situation. You have to know what your story's really about, which isn't necessarily what it looks to be or seems to be about. Everything comes down to storytelling.

Tuesday 23 September 2008

PERSPECTIVES : Interviews : Neal Stephenson: And Now the News

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's September Issue interview.

neal stephenson At the end of the year, every year, the newspapers publish a roundup of the best in the news. When I started thinking of Anathem, they were also publishing their end-of-decade news roundups; some were publishing end-of-century and end-of millennium roundups. Every morning I'd sit and read all this stuff that I wouldn't remember the next day. Why was I spending all that time reading the news every day, when I could just wait until the end of the year and read the summary and get the important stuff?

Wednesday 10 September 2008

PERSPECTIVES : Editorial Blog : Vacation Note

Reduced posting while away this week...

Thursday 4 September 2008

PERSPECTIVES : Commentary: Cory Doctorow: Macropayments

cory doctorow
I don't care about making sure that everyone who gets a copy of my books pays me for them — what I care about is ensuring that the everyone who would pay me decent money for a book has the opportunity to do so.

Wednesday 27 August 2008

PERSPECTIVES : Interviews : Michael Chabon: Streams in a River

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's August Issue interview.

michael chabon I didn't have any hesitation about drawing on different traditions in trying to write The Yiddish Policemen's Union; on the contrary, that was one of the things that was exciting about doing it. When I realized it was going to be both a hardboiled detective novel and alternate history, that was part of the reason I wanted to write it!

PERSPECTIVES : Interviews : Greer Gilman: Sun and Moon and Stars

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's August Issue interview.

greer gilman My language is intense, I know -- I like to say I do everything Joyce did, only backward and in high heels. I write for the ear as much as for the eye... Plot is hard for me. I'm not a storyteller; I'm a world builder, a mythos builder.

Thursday 14 August 2008

PERSPECTIVES : Editorial Blog : New Skin

A Note on the in-progress Redesign...

Thursday 31 July 2008

PERSPECTIVES : Interviews : Garth Nix: Balancing Act

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's July Issue interview.

garth nix People get too hung up on categories. Publishers, authors, and (to some extent) booksellers see Young Adult as a dynamic category: they want things to be in YA, whether they should go there or not...

PERSPECTIVES : Interviews : Christopher Barzak: Imaginary Autobiography

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's July Issue interview.

christopher barzak A lot of writers write about families and communities that are falling apart. (Joyce Carol Oates writes a lot about characters like that.) When people ask me if One For Sorrow is autobiographical, which they often do, my answer is that I think any book is at least a little autobiographical...

Wednesday 2 July 2008

•   Locus Magazine: Cory Doctorow Commentary:

Nature's Daredevils: Writing for Young Audiences

cory doctorow

YA SF is gigantic and invisible. The numbers speak for themselves: a YA bestseller is likely to be moving ten times as many copies as an adult SF title occupying the comparable slot on the grownup list. Like many commercially successful things, YA is largely ignored by the power brokers of the field, rarely showing up on the Hugo ballot (and when was the last time you went to a Golden Duck Award ceremony?). Yet so many of us came into the field through YA, and it's YA SF that will bring the next generation into the fold.

Saturday 28 June 2008

•   Locus Magazine: Jeffrey Ford: Shadow Years

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's June Issue interview.

jeffrey ford

The older I get, the more fantastic the world seems. I thought by this time everything would be realism and drab logic and I would have figured out all the mysteries, but the older I get, the stranger it seems. The fantastic part of a story is like a manifestation of those instances, feelings, phenomena that there isn't a ready vocabulary to describe.

•   Locus Magazine: Daniel Abraham: The Long Price

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's June Issue interview.

daniel abraham

Everybody's writing science fiction now -- you can write SF that's set in the present. A bunch of the folks in the mainstream are realizing there's some really fun stuff here, and cannibalizing us. That's fine. Fantasy is probably not going to do that, because there's a different dynamic. Fantasy is profoundly nostalgic in a way that science fiction isn't...

Friday 27 June 2008

•   Special Feature: Comments from this year's Locus Poll & Survey

feb issue

Voters in this year's Locus Poll and Survey offered criticism and suggestions, had words of praise for Locus, commented on the state of the SF/F/H fields, and gave insight into their own preferences and reading habits.

Winners of the poll were announced last weekend; complete poll results are published in the upcoming July issue.

The page of voter comments is open to (moderated) comments.

Wednesday 28 May 2008

•   Locus Magazine: Theodora Goss: Shifting Ground

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's May Issue interview.

theodora goss

As a fantasy writer, I see literature as a line between the two poles of realism and fantasy -- not as literary genres but as ways of perceiving the world. Since I was a child, I've always felt the fantastic impulse more strongly, but I think realistic representation is important, because that's how you make fantasy convincing.

•   Locus Magazine: Catherynne M. Valente: Playing in the Garden

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's May Issue interview.

catherynne m valente

Fantasy is my heart and my love. It's a huge playground, the biggest genre there is, and it contains possibly all of the genres. And I just want to play in that garden for the rest of my life.

Tuesday 6 May 2008

•   Locus Magazine: Cory Doctorow Commentary:

Think Like a Dandelion

cory doctorow

The net is an unending NOW of moments and distractions and wonderments and puzzlements and rages. Asking someone riding its currents to undertake some kind of complex dance before she can hand you her money is a losing proposition.

Monday 28 April 2008

•   Locus Magazine: Terry Pratchett: Acts of God

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's April Issue interview.

terry pratchett

I think SF will end up getting subsumed into mainstream fiction. Mainstream steals more and more from it, without a shadow of a doubt, while at the same time screaming at the top of its voice that it's not science fiction. It's astonishing what convoluted logic they will apply.

•   Locus Magazine: Sarah Monette: Tangents and Curlicues

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's April Issue interview.

sarah monette

I find reality very boring. I have never had an idea for a story that did not somehow involve the supernatural, the science-fictional, or the fantastic in some way. But psychological realism is what I'm here for. If a story is going to provide anything more valuable than a couple hours' entertainment, it has to be psychologically true.

Tuesday 1 April 2008

•   Special Features

Locus Online's roving correspondents report the following developments and breaking news in this busy Spring of 2008...

New Heinlein Novel to be Written
Immew Sill Chalazion reveals the existence of a previously unknown manuscript.

» Multiple Moorcocks to Receive Grand Master Award
Paoli du Flippi reports on the upcoming SFWA event.

» Doctorow releases self under Creative Commons License
Marshal Gegith has the details.

» Bravo TV Wraps First Season of Top Writer
Ferje Vedfamner has seen the first episode.

» Howard Waldrop Upgrades to Steam-Powered Typewriter
L. Ron Creepweans' advice pays off.

» VanderMeers to Assemble Anthology of Kincaidism
Flip Luppaidio looks at Jeff & Ann VanderMeers' latest anthology project.

» Final Martin Manuscript Triggers Mass Suicides at Bantam
Narceen Plowers was there when it happened.

Wednesday 26 March 2008

•   Locus Magazine: Charles Stross: Spung!

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's March Issue interview.

charles stross

I set out to write a modern late-period Heinlein novel. You've got to play by the Heinlein rules. To be canonical, it has to have a red-headed heroine with a nipple that goes 'spung.' This was a first and obvious anchor point. I thought to myself, 'Oh my god, how am I going to have a heroine with a nipple that goes spung?'

•   Locus Magazine: Peter Watts: Lesser Evils

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's March Issue interview.

peter watts

The evolutionary significance of consciousness is not a theme that lends itself well to a dramatic tale. I went into Blindsight fearing I'd bitten off more than I could chew: 'There's a kick-ass story in here -- I'm just not up to telling it.' I was hoping to get by on the strength of the ideas. Still. Shit needs to blow up real good at some point, or you're not telling a story; you're writing an essay.

Tuesday 18 March 2008

•   Feature Essay:

Gary Westfahl updates his controversial 2003 essay about Columbia and the promises of science fiction in Tunnel Vision and the Unfarmed Sky

Large numbers of people within the science fiction community apparently still believe that human beings, using only the technology of today, are perfectly capable of doing everything that science fiction said they could be doing in the early twenty-first century, and if hardy farmers aren't planting their crops on the surface of Ganymede in the year 2008, that is simply because we have all been betrayed by a short-sighted public, gutless politicians, inept bureaucrats, and effete academics...

Tuesday 4 March 2008

•   Locus Magazine: Cory Doctorow Commentary:

Put Not Your Faith In Ebook Readers

cory doctorow

I'm skeptical about selling ebooks as a business model, but if I had to bet on a future for e-books, I would take long odds against a hardware reader catching on in any meaningful way.

Thursday 28 February 2008

•   Locus Magazine: Lucius Shepard: Landscapes

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's February Issue interview.

lucius shepard

Stories spring to me from landscapes, from settings. When I go to a place like Honduras or Nicaragua, and a story occurs to me, I'm not going to take it out of its context, because it's a story particular to that place and time.

•   Locus Magazine: Maureen F. McHugh: Filling the Void

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's February Issue interview.

maureen mchugh

A lot of my fiction today is less genre than Michael Chabon's, but I sold my first pieces in the late '80s and there was no McSweeney's, so I'm now genre. Derrida's essay on genre begins, 'There is unease at the heart of genre.' It's an argument I've been at so many times, I just don't want to have it anymore.

Saturday 26 January 2008

•   Locus Magazine: Brian Aldiss: Above Ground

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's January Issue interview.

brian aldiss

If you want to make money, you don't attempt anything new. You start a series that can go on and on, whereupon the publishers don't have any crisis of decision to resolve. I don't want to work like that. It always seemed to me that one of the principles of writing is you should enjoy the actual writing, the feel of something evolving under your fingers, under your keys.

•   Locus Magazine: M. Rickert: The Right Shape

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's January Issue interview.

m. rickert

It's a tremendous gift to be a writer, because everywhere I go there are teachers. The library is full of them. In the library or the bookstore, I make sure to walk the shelves, not just to go to a particular shelf every time. I like to explore, and to take home books by people I've never heard of. In the field, I still feel a bit like an outsider.

Sunday 6 January 2008

•   Locus Magazine: Cory Doctorow Commentary: Artist Rights

cory doctorow

There's one artist's right that's more important than all the rest combined: the right to free expression. No one gives out awards for writers who bring copyright suits — but we do give out awards to the brave writers who publish in the teeth of censorship and state oppression.

  Earlier archives (interviews on Issues pages):

2007 (Issues)

2006 (Issues)

2005 (Issues)

2004 (Issues)