Yet another question for Filip Wiltgren

Q: Do you prefer your SFF as books or movies?

A: I almost always read my SFF, because I lack the time to watch a movie. Which isn’t quite true – I have the time, but it’s spread out during the day in 5-10 minute intervals. Which is just enough time to read a couple of pages, but not enough to get into a movie.

Filip Wiltgren’s story “A House on the Volga” was
published on Friday, 9 November 2018.

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A question for Evan Marcroft

Q: Have you ever wondered whether ideas are thought waves directed at you by an AI supercomputer located in the distant future?

A: I can’t say I have, until now at least. Supposing that’s true, I can’t help but wonder if we’re a form of story-telling to them. If our brain activity is directed by intellects beyond our observation, if what we say and how we respond to it is all decided by some other entity, if what we dream and what we do to pursue those dreams is decided by any amount of authorities at least one less than our eight billion, then are we not like characters in some vast story called Earth Circa 2018? I imagine those supercomputers tuning in to some time-piercing TV program to see how this million-year narrative is progressing, what plot twists are unwinding in this eleventy-billionth episode of Mankind. I picture a fair number of fans writing the producers complaining about plot holes and melodrama beloved characters dying unfairly. If that’s the case then I guess I hope that I’ve got someone funny writing the character of me, because if I’m going to be just one mindless side character out of billions with no agency or free will of my own, then I at least want to have some good lines.

Evan Marcroft’s story “The Little G-d of Łódź” was
published on Friday, 2 November 2018.

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A question for Jonathan Laidlow

Q: What’s a typical writing day like for you?

A: This is the dream of the typical writing day: I rise late and drink good strong coffee while looking back through the previous day’s draft. I then spend the day adding new words to my latest story and they’re all perfect.

The reality is somewhat different. I try to read the previous day’s draft either over a hurried coffee or on my commute to the office.

At lunch I find a quiet spot to sit with my laptop and write. Sometimes I’m working on a story, but a lot of the time I’m doodling with words. I keep the writers’ equivalent of a sketchbook and fill it with story fragments, ideas and scenes. You never know when you’ll find a nugget of gold in there that turns into a story or a novel.

Writing at lunch takes the pressure off, so by the evening I look at the current project. I usually revise the previous day’s words before I add new ones. Sometimes I have to go all the way to the beginning to seed new information and events, so I’m constantly revising as well as adding new material. I like to call this writing method “looping revisionary chaos”….

Jonathan Laidlow’s story “The Astronaut Tier” was
published on Friday, 26 October 2018.

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A question for Gregory Kane

Q: What is your favorite short story?

A: My favorite of the classics is Ray Bradbury’s “There Will Come Soft Rains.” The tale of a robotic household going about its daily routine after humanity has been decimated by an atomic bomb remains one of literature’s great cautionary tales. My favorite contemporary story is Ted Chiang’s “Tower of Babylon”, a dreamy tale of the construction of a tower that reaches the heavens. I love this story for its surreal style and its mind-bending ending, which carries a strong message about human endeavor.

Gregory Kane’s story “Twins” was
published on Friday, 19 October 2018.

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Yet another question for Michael Gardner

Q: If you could talk to your novice-writer self, what bit of advice would you give?

A: I still feel like a novice-writer. My advice to me right now is to write better, to learn to articulate your ideas with a little more poetry and elegance, maybe buy a cat – all of the best writers seem to own a cat.

But I’m guessing the spirit of this question relates to what advice I would provide to my younger self when I first began writing fiction.

I only wrote sporadically when I was younger. And for that reason, I’d tell my younger self not to waste so much time. I’d tell me to write more often, to get into a routine and practice as much as I could as early as I could. I think doing so would have helped me learn a lot more about story telling by now.

I think one of the main reasons I didn’t write as much as I would have liked was because I didn’t know what to do with the stories I produced, other than force some of my friends to read them. So I’d also tell my younger self about these wonderful online magazines that might, one day, actually buy one of the stories you’re writing and publish it.

Writing is foremost about my own enjoyment, but I get such a buzz from realising others might read them, and hopefully enjoy them. And I’m grateful to magazines like Metaphorosis for publishing some of them.

Michael Gardner’s story “Nana Naoko’s Garden” was
published on Friday, 12 October 2018.

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