Weird Tales: Rory Steves on Radiation Angels

Writer: Rory Steves
Weird Tales Story: Ganaranok’s Lament (issue #TBA 2008)
Writer Bio: Rory lives in Ohio, and works in a five state area delivering groceries to your finer inner-city stores.

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I met the author of Radiation Angels, James Ross, at the ConGlomeration Convention in Louisville KY this past summer, and recognized a kindred spirit, not only in writing, not only in science fiction, but in violent battle scenes.

Don’t get me wrong – this is not a book filled with gratuitous sex and violence – in fact there is not so much as a single kiss in the entire book.

The book does however possess a well thought-out plot, with a surprising plot twist at the end, and a fair amount of violence.

It is about mercenaries after all.

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Weird Tales: Caleb Wilson on Delighting in the Weird

Writer: Caleb Wilson
Weird Tales Story: Court Scranto (Issue # TBA 2008)
Writer Bio: Caleb Wilson’s fiction has appeared in Diagram and The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, Vol. 20. He attended the Clarion writing workshop in the summer of 2007, right after which he got married, and has been moving around the country ever since.

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I write weird fiction. I don’t mean anything fancy or cliquish by that. All I mean is, when I write a story, it makes me feel weird, and I like that. I love to be confused when I’m reading, a bit unsure exactly where my next footstep is going to fall, and I try to write what I want to read, so I guess it’s only natural. Being lost in fiction is a vicarious thrill for me. In real life I wouldn’t want to be trapped in a maze of Cairo alleys, unsure whether I was dreaming I was dreaming or dreaming I was awake or actually awake or if I’d slipped between the cracks of a more treacherous layer of reality altogether… but I still find Robert Irwin’s The Arabian Nightmare delightful.

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Weird Tales: Karen Heuler on Going Outside the Fence

Writer: Karen Heuler
Weird Tales Story: Landscape, with Fish (Issue #348, Jan/Feb 2008)
Writer Bio: Karen Heuler’s latest novel is Journey to Bom Goody, the story of strange doings in the Amazon. She has a story in Bandersnatch as well as in Weird Tales, and upcoming in Cemetery Dance. She’s written tons of stories, on either side of the fence that divides literary and speculative, and she’s won an O. Henry award. She lives in New York with her dog, Booker Prize, and the cats, Nobel and Pulitzer.

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I was levitated when I was 14. I was in Catholic high school, and it was gym class. Our teacher wanted to show us how to do it-it probably wasn’t billed as levitation, there was probably some more scientific explanation going on-and I volunteered. I lay down on my back on the gym floor and closed my eyes. Girls knelt down at each armpit and at my waist and ankles and the teacher gave a signal and something happened. I kept my closed eyes, and I was lifted. Six girls, with only their index fingers supporting me, lifted me up in a single graceful effortless gesture, and then they lifted me down.

It’s still a wonderful memory-a sense memory-for me. I wish there’d been a camera there so I could study it-had it really looked the way it felt?

I think that was the first fence I crossed over.

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Weird Tales: Norman Spinrad on What’s Really Out There

Writer: Norman Spinrad
Weird Tales Story: Right You Are If You Say You Are (Issue # 350, May/June)
Writer Bio: Norman Spinrad is the author of more than 20 novels and 60 or so short stories, feature film scripts, TV scripts, songs, and much assorted other stuff. He is a former president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and World SF. He is currently working on co-producing a film of his novella Vampire Junkies and writing a novel called Welcome To Your Dreamtime.

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It’s seems odd, to say the least, that while the best that NASA can do in the way of a new space ship is the pitifully retro Orion project, basically the Apollo capsule on steroids, and the teaching of so-called “intelligent design” is actually gaining ground in certain quarters, existing astronomical instruments have been overturning our previous understanding of cosmic realities, at least in this little galaxy, and not even science fiction writers, let alone the general public, having been paying much attention to the important news from outer space, let alone its philosophical and religious implications.

In the past decade or so, over two hundred extra-solar planets have been detected and much of our previous assumptions about the orbital mechanics and possibilities of solar systems in general, based as they were on the solar system we find ourselves, have been quite overthrown.

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Weird Tales: Mark Budman on When Do You Stop?

Writer: Mark Budman
Weird Tales Story: The Matching Pair
Writer Bio: Mark Budman’s works have appeared in such magazines as Swink, Mississippi Review, Virginia Quarterly, Exquisite Corpse, Iowa Review, McSweeney’s, Turnrow, Connecticut Review, WW Norton anthology “Flash Fiction Forward,” and elsewhere. He is the publisher of a flash fiction magazine Vestal Review, the interview editor for Web Del Sol, and a book reviewer for The Bloomsbury Review and the American Book Review. His novel “My Life at First Try” is coming out from Counterpoint in October 2008, and the anthology he has co-edited came out in November 2007 from Ooligan Press.

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When you drive a motor vehicle, the decisions are made for you. You still might not stop at a traffic light or a stop sign, but at least you know when you should. In life’s other decision making times, there is nothing to aid you. When do you stop flirting, watching TV or giving a presentation at work?

As a writer, you face these same problems as everybody else, plus unique writing decisions of your own.

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Weird Tales: Erik Amundsen on Where We Get Fat

Writer: Erik Amundsen
Weird Tales Story: Bufo Rex (Weird Tales Issue 347, Nov/Dec 2007)
Writer Bio: Taken broadly, Erik Amundsen has had an interesting life; he’s been a baker, an itinerant schoolteacher, worked for two governments and gotten in bar fights overseas. He now lives at the foot of a cemetery in central Connecticut where he writes nasty little stories and poems that shuffle around in the night when he’s not looking. Or at least he hopes it’s them; something’s got to be making those noises and it’s not the furnace.

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Where We Get Fat – A Little Meditation on a Question I’m Told that Authors Hate.

So when you reach the point that someone calls you an author, or, really, any creative professional, and word gets out and everyone knows what you’re doing in there when you say you’re just combing your hair, you start getting these questions. There really ought to be a warning; these questions are like a flock of infinitely old vultures that sit on some very high perch over the desert and wait for you to try to cross. Fortune and glory, so I’m told, sit somewhere on the other side of the hardpan and timothy, but there aren’t any trade routes and there aren’t many caravans, and really, you make the crossing on your own. The vultures are going to see you, and they’ll know, the moment you’ve crossed into their kingdom.

The one that concerns me today is neither the most terrifying nor the most infuriating, but it’s persistent, and it turns up in the damnedest places, and a lot of us like to answer this question when we’ve got an answer to give, but no one likes to fall under the shadow of its wings.

So, where do you get your ideas?

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