10-23-09: An Interview with Claire Light at SF in SF / Litquake on October 10, 2009
"The way that writers of color use science fiction is very different..." — Claire Light
Claire Light is a smart, no-nonsense woman who knows her stuff — and can process it into wonderful science fiction. When I spoke to her at SF in SF on / Litquake on October 10, 2009, what I wanted to know about was the "Carl Brandon Society." Turns out that they'd just taken a major step.
Yes, I'd done my research — I had a few clues about Carl Brandon, and listeners who heard the panel discussion should as well. But hearing the story told by a writer and member of the board is a very different experience from reading about it on the web. Moreover, she tells me stuff you can't really easily find out. Here's the prescription to cure a lack of knowledge about Carl Brandon. First, follow this link to the MP3 audio file of my interview with Claire Light, then once you;ve got the substantive background, give their website, carlbrandon.org, a visit.
10-22-09: Marta Acosta Interviewed at SF in SF / Litquake on October 10, 2009 :
"I think you can connect more with people when you make them laugh..." — Marta Acosta
When you met Marta Acosta, you're probably going to rapidly find yourself thinking, you know, I think I'd enjoy just about anything this author would write. Acosta speaks with such conviction about humor and writing that one cannot help but be buoyed by her enthusiasm.
Really: had you showed me a "Casa Dracula" novel in the bookstore, I probably would have said, "No thanks." This is a perfect example of why you want to attend gigs like SF in SF, because when you meet an author, you get a very different picture of a work that might not be particularly well-packaged — or that, if it were — you might not think would be your cuppa. So follow this enthusiastic recommendation to this enthusiastic conversation by following this link to the MP3 audio file.
10-21-09: Jewell Gomez at SF in SF / Litquake on October 10, 2009 :
"So first, I decided, OK, I'll get rid of the Christian mythology ...." — Jewell Gomez
I had an absolute blast talking with Jewell Gomez at SF in SF on October 10, 2009; she's the perfect example of why I enjoy these outings so much. And I suspect that this interview is going lead a lot of readers to pick up her book, 'The Golda Stories.'
Gomez clearly experiences so much joy in her writing, and so much fun as you will hear in this interview that it is certain her fiction will be equally enjoyable — and you already have a reading to convince you of this. Writing is, after all, all about voice. This is a voice you'll definitely want to hear, and voice to which I shall refer you to not just once in this paragraph but twice, to make sure that you follow this link to the MP3 audio file.
10-20-09: Saturday, October 10, 2009 SF in SF / Litquake Panel : Jewell Gomez, Marta Acosta, and Claire Light Moderated by Terry Bisson
Looking for a science fiction convention that meets once monthly and offers just one reading, one panel, comfortable seating and a bar? I can't imagine anything more ideal, really, none of the usual running about from one back-killing chair to another. But that's SF in SF, even when it’s also part of Litquake.
The panel on Saturday, October 10, 2009, was no exception, except that there were three authors rather than the usual two. Jewell Gomez, Marta Acosta, and Claire Light moderated by Terry Bisson proved to be as entertaining as you might expect, offering a variety of opinions and experiences with regards to the topic of "Color Me SF: The Science Fiction Worlds of Octavia Butler and Carl Brandon." We got the lowdown on Carl Brandon, the challenges faced by people of color writing speculative fiction — SF, horror and fantasy — and lots of fascinating anecdotes about Octavia Butler. Here's your link to the P3 audio file.
10-19-09: A 2009 Interview with Max Brooks
"Every day is a fight, you've got to get up and you've got to feel optimistic." — Max Brooks
I spoke to Max Brooks at NPR West in Los Angeles, after a mad drive down from San Francisco the night before. Having been told so much about the book by so many people, I had really tempered my expectations. Generally, when someone tells me about a horror novel, it's because said novel is particularly grisly. I liked 'The Books of Blood' a lot — but I don’t want every book to be a book of blood. Also, as far as monsters go, zombies are my least favorite. So heading into my Max Brooks reading binge, I wasn't expecting a lot beyond gore, violence and a fairly fast-paced work.
I was shocked to discover that there was not much gore in Brooks' work, and that the horror did not devolve from the fear of the zombies so much as Brooks' outstanding portrayal of the effects of a world-wide plague. And talking to him, I discovered a writer who was fiercely practical, a writer who was interested in people, not monsters. Moreover, Brooks is a superb speaker. You can hear just how superb by following this link to the MP3 audio file of our conversation.
New to the Agony Column
03-04-14: Commentary : Michio Kaku Foresees 'The Future of the Mind' : Form Follows Function