One question interview


We ask the author a single question, drawn randomly from our database. We present them all here for your reading pleasure. Think of it as an interview of the magazine itself.

Have a question you wish we’d ask? Submit it in the comments, and if we like it, we’ll throw it in the mix.



A question for Beston Barnett

Q: Are titles easy or hard for you? Do you start with the title or the story?

A: Titles are the best! Really, coming up with titles is like coming up with band names: it’s pure id. I usually do it after the fact, with an eye to seeing the title in a list of other titles. Something to stand out, but without, I hope, being too obnoxious.

Chapter titles are even better. When I was revising my (unpublished) novel, A Catalog of Devils, I suddenly realized that I could give the 40 or so chapters titles. I went through each chapter, looking for my favorite phrase or word and used that. It was like bringing all the best, trickiest bits of my writing to the forefront. It sounds absurd, but out of the year and a half I spent on the novel, that two hours of titling chapters was the emotional highpoint.


Beston Barnett’s story “Velaya, the Dreaming City” was
published on Friday, 16 March 2018.

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A question for Dimitra Nikolaidou

Q: Are you a Luddite? Or do you have the latest and greatest technology?

A: Not a Luddite at all; I love technology, and recognize it as a major factor in many positive social changes I am now benefiting from. Having said that, I need to step away from my screens more often, before I fuse with them.


Dimitra Nikolaidou’s story “Any Old Disease” was
published on Friday, 9 March 2018.

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A question for Luke Elliott

Q: What do you think is the single most important quality for a good writer to possess?

A: Persistence. There will be days you want to quit. There will be months where you feel like all you are doing is banging your head against the keyboard and producing nothing remotely readable. You will get rejections. Oh, so many rejections. Saying “persistence” might be trite, but as long as you continue to learn and grow, it’s the path to success.


Luke Elliott’s story “Always Dawn to Forever Night” was
published on Friday, 2 March 2018.

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A question for David A. Gray

Q: From where you do you draw inspiration for your characters?”

A: I take something from myself at a young age. when I used to stagger home from the library with armfuls of peculiar/comforting-smelling classic sci-fi, full of anticipation and alert for the local crazed bullies. But it’s from my kids that I take most, now: that heady mix of potential, hope, happiness and occasional heartbreak. If any of my characters convey even a little of that sense of opportunity amidst the darkness, then I’m flattered and happy.


David A. Gray’s story “Hishi” was
published on Friday, 23 February 2018.

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A question for Mark David Adam

Q: When do you decide a story is finished?

A: I often don’t know where a story is going, or how it will wrap up, until I get there. I believe that good stories are discoveries, or at least have an unpredictable organic quality, where the characters and events start to chart their own course. While some stories are thought out before I begin writing — or the end is known and it is the journey that needs to be discovered — I am often surprised by the ending and say to myself, “So that’s what happens.”

In terms of when I consider a story finished, as in, I’ve worked on it enough, not until it gets published. Almost every time I reread a story, I find something I hadn’t noticed before or that I could do better. Each time a story is rejected, I work on it before sending it out again. It is only that final stamp of approval that ends the process.


Mark David Adam’s story “Hold This Star for Me” was
published on Friday, 16 February 2018.

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