Tag: interviews

Listen to Me and Other Beyond the Sun Authors Interviewed at SF Signal

While at Worldcon, I was part of a group interview of authors, artists, editors, and publishers who worked on the Beyond the Sun anthology. My story, “Flipping the Switch” appears in that anthology. A bunch of us got together to talk to Patrick Hester about the book, our art and our stories. If you like that kind of thing, head over to SF Signal and listen to me, Alex ShvartsmanJean JohnsonMaurice BroaddusCat RamboMitchell Davidson BentleyBryan Thomas Schmidt (who edited the book), and Patrick Swenson (who published the book).

Listen to the interview.

It was fun getting to hang out with other authors appearing in the anthology. My only regret is forgetting to bring a copy of the book to get all of them to sign.

Issue 31 of InterGalactic Medicine Show Contains My Interview with Ken Liu

Issue 31 of Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show is now out. Among the great set of stories contained in the issue are not one but two stories by Ken Liu, “Always Here” and “The Postman.” Also in the issue is the interview that I did with Ken. The interview was a lot of fun to do and I hope that it’s just as fun for folks to read. Head on over to the magazine to check it out.

My interview with the Hugo-, Nebula-, and Campbell-award-nominated Brad R. Torgersen is available at SF Signal

In the week leading up to the Nebula Weekend, I had the opportunity to interview Brad R. Torgersen, whose story “Ray of Light” is a Hugo and Nebula nominee. It was a lot of fun and we talked a lot of shop. You can head over to SF Signal to read the interview.

Transcript of my #sffwrtcht from last night

Last night I participated in my first Twitter chat, talking with Bryan Thomas Schmidt and others about writing, science fiction, and the Golden Age as part of the #sffwrtcht. It was a lot of fun and a lot of typing to keep up!

Bryan has posted a  transcript of last night’s chat for anyone interested who might have missed it. The order of the Tweets is a little funky because of delays in Tweets showing up, so some stuff might seem non sequitor-ish, but you’ll get the gist by skimming through the whole thing. It really was a lot of fun.

Thanks to Bryan for having me as a guest, and also to everyone who participated, asked questions and offered opinions.

Concerning David and the Phoenix by Edward Ormondroyd

I’ve written before about books from my childhood that made some kind of impact on me. One of those books is Edward Ormondroyd’s David and the Phoenix. This book may very well be the first fantasy novel I ever read. I don’t exactly recall where I got it, or why I was attracted to it. Possibly it was one of those books I ordered from the Weekly Reader or obtained from the Bookmobile. I was living in Warwick, Rhode Island at the time, attending Cedar Hill elementary school. And I was utterly fascinated by the book. The appeal, of course, was that the protagonist, David, was a young boy seeking out adventure and finding it. And we all want to believe we can find adventure at that young age.

david and the phoenix.jpeg

A week or two ago, I was contacted by Marc Tyler Nobleman, an author whose books have been featured in USA Today, and who must have read about my fondness for the book. He was kind enough to point out to me an interview he’d recently done with the author of David and the Phoenix, Edward Ormondroyd. As it turns out, it was the first interview ever for Mr. Ormondroyd. And it is a wonderful interview and even includes some photographs. If you’ve ever read the book, I urge you to go read it.

And if you’ve never read David and the Phoenix–or if it has been a long time since you’ve read the book, it is available in a variety of formats on Amazon, including Kindle. It has been a long time since I’ve read the book. More than 30 years. But I am rectifying that right now by reading a chapter or so to the Little Man each night before he goes to bed. He’s younger than I was when I read it, but he seems fascinated.

Thanks, of course, to Edward Ormondroyd for writing such a wonderful book. And thanks to Marc Tyler Nobleman for taking the time to call the interview to my attention.

My interview with Barry N. Malzberg is now live at SF Signal

I had the pleasure of interviewing Barry N. Malzberg1 for SF Signal last week. We talked about the science fiction of the 1950s and his involvement with The Galaxy Project, an effort to bring back some of those classic novelettes and novellas that appeared in Galaxy during that decade. Head on over there to check it out.

  1. This really was a delight for me. I’ve been a fan of Barry’s since I first read “The Passage of the Light” in Science Fiction Age in 1994. In 1999, I wrote a letter to Barry care of the Scott Meredith Literary Agency to tell him how much I admired his writing. He wrote me back and that made my month. I finally got to meet him in person at Readercon in 2008, and then again in 2010 and 2011. During that time and since we’ve corresponded quite a bit through e-mail and become friends. You always dream of becoming friends with a hero but never actually think it will happen. Well, it happened in this case.

A twist on interviews

I’ve heard rumors that from time-to-time, science fiction writers are interviewed on various venues. It has not yet happened to me (there is no reason that it should have, I suppose), but a few months ago, in my day-job, I had an interesting twist on the science fiction writer/interview phenomenon.

I was tasked with screening candidates for a database developer position we had open in our group. This is a fairly tedious process that involves scanning through resumes, separating the wheat from the chaff, and then doing short, 20-minute screening calls with the people who made the cut to see if they are worth bringing in for a full-scale interview. For a month or so it seemed like we simply weren’t getting any good candidates, and even the ones that I phone screened never made it beyond the phone call. Simply not the kind of technical experience we were looking for.

And then one day, I had arranged a phone interview with a candidate that looked good on paper. At the specified time, I called this gentleman and when he answered the phone, I said, “Can I speak to Mr. So-and-so?”

“Speaking,” he said.

“Hi, my name is Jamie Rubin and we have an interview scheduled. Is now a good time?” (I don’t know why I always ask that, since clearly, it is a scheduled interview. But I do.)

“Yes, of course,” he said, “but before we get started, Jamie, I just have to tell you that this is the first time I have ever been interviewed by a software developer-slash-science fiction writer.”

Well, that caught me off guard. I make no secret of the fact that I write science fiction and I do so under my own name and a quick Google search of my name will attest to my avocati0n. But this was the first time that an interview candidate ever mentioned it. And while I hate to admit it, it made me feel pretty good. It also immediately established a good rapport. The interview went well, we brought the candidate in for further interviews and ultimately, he was hired into the group and he’s a great guy to work with.

There is one more science fictional postscript to all of this. The candidate in question sounds exactly like my friend Michael A. Burstein, at least over the phone. Their voices are so similar that throughout the first screening interview, I kept wondering if Michael wasn’t putting me on. I mean, Michael would know what buttons to press, and mentioning the fact that I was a science fiction writer would be one of those. After I completed that interview with the candidate, I immediately called Michael and told him about it, just to see if he would admit to some elaborate practical joke. Of course, Michael had nothing to do with it, but found the story amusing.

And so while this science fiction writer has not yet been interviewed about science fiction, he has conducted interviews where he was recognized as a science fiction writer, put leading an interview on database development. That’s kind of an interesting twist on interviews, isn’t it?

An hour in the Golden Age

The Science Fiction Oral History Association has started a series of podcasts called their Space Dog Podcast and the first of which is an interview from 1976 with Arthur C. Clarke, followed by an extraordinary panel interview with Isaac Asimov, Frederik Pohl, Lester del Rey and Gordon R. Dickson.  I’ve heard individual interviews with Isaac Asimov and even Frederick Pohl before, but never have I heard an interview in which these four men bantered like they do here, talking mostly about science fiction and writing.  For an hour, I felt like I was sitting in a room with these giants of the genre and it was an absolutely delightful experience.  It made me realize how lucky I am to have read their work, and especially, how lucky I am to be considered a science fiction writer, even a lowly one, and be associated with their ranks.  If you like science fiction, you must listen to this interview.