James Gunn tells us, “My Thought Experiment on ‘Space Opera’ (see p. 14) and the stories coming up represent the further expansion of the thought processes that went into the writing of Transcendental. Writing a novel is always an investment of time and effort and most of all of mind. You live with these characters and their world in a way that you can’t do with real people in real life, and it was particularly so in the case of Transcendental (and its sequels) because it was a summing up, a tribute to the genre and the authors who had contributed to my enjoyment and understanding of its magic. One of the parts that I enjoyed the most (and a number of readers commented on) were the stories that eight of the pilgrims told about their own lives and their reasons for joining the pilgrimage. One doesn’t often get an opportunity to let characters tell their own stories in their own words in so many different ways, and in this case they were very unusual characters, like the two in this issue—an intelligent flower and a guilt-ridden robot, both with unusual missions. After I had finished the trilogy I thought back to those characters and felt that there were parts of their stories that could not be told in their own first-person narratives, and I wanted to do them justice (for they had come to seem, to me, like real people in all their different forms and backgrounds but with a shared imperative), to tell their stories more fully as traditional narratives rather than confessions.”
Rudy Rucker recently finished his galactic space jaunt Million Mile Road Trip (Nightshade Books), and is gearing up for his Return to the Hollow Earth. In advance of his daunting journey, Rudy teamed up with his long-time collaborator and friend Paul Di Filippo to write “In the Lost City of Leng,” a propitiatory homage to H.P. Lovecraft and his mighty “At the Mountains of Madness”—perhaps the greatest SF tale of all time. Paul Di Filippo has published some thirty-five books. Next year sees the arrival of his crime novel, The Big Get-Even. He continues to dwell amidst shoggoths and night-gaunts in Providence, Rhode Island.
Ian Creasey writes in his spare time. By day, he has an office job in the financial services sector, in which capacity he has seen many corporate initiatives come and go. Contemplating the future of equal-opportunities directives inspired him to write “The Equalizers.”
Cixin Liu is the most prolific and popular science fiction writer in the People’s Republic of China. Liu is an eight-time winner of the Galaxy Award (the Chinese Hugo), and a winner of the Chinese Nebula Award. With his masterful Three-Body Trilogy, he won the Hugo Award, Locus Award, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. The author’s first story for us is a chilling depiction of the lengths one artist takes to achieve the . . . SEA OF DREAMS
Matthew Hughes www.matthewhughes.org writes science fiction and fantasy. His novels include: Fools Errant and Fool Me Twice, Black Brillion, Majestrum, Hespira, Hell to Pay, Song of the Serpent (as Hugh Matthews), and A Wizard’s Henchman. A non-SF suspense novel, One More Kill, will be out from PS Publishing later this year. The author’s short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s, F&SF, Lightspeed, Postscripts, Storyteller, and Interzone, as well as Rogues, and several other anthologies. Collections of Matt’s stories can be found at his website, and he has a Patreon account at www.patreon.com/user?u=4687520. Readers of Asimov’s may remember Erm Kaslo, the author’s space-opera detective who first appeared here in “And Then Some” (February 2013) and who now attempts to resolve some . . . SOLICITED DISCORDANCE
Robert R. Chase tells us that since retiring, “I have had more time to squire out-of-town friends to the sights near the nation’s capital. In the course of exploring the National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia, we came across copies of the engraving of Francesco Lana de Terzi and his sketch of a vessel hoisted into the air by vacuum-filled balloons, the very same pictures described in this story. I immediately pointed out the connection and urged them to buy the magazine when the story appears, which I am sure they will do.”
Allen M. Steele returns to our pages with a new adventure story set on Coyote. Allen’s most recent book, The Doppler Effect and Other Stories, was published earlier in 2017 by Fantastic Books (trade paper) and Positronic Publishing (ebook).
S. Qiouyi Lu is a writer, editor, narrator, and translator; their fiction has appeared in Uncanny and Strange Horizons, among other venues. A proud member of the Queer Asian SFFH Illuminati, S. spends their spare time destroying speculative fiction. Find out more on s.qiouyi.lu or follow them on Twitter at @sqiouyilu. The author spins a complex web of love and sacrifice in their first story for Asimov’s.
The author has been very busy under pseudonyms. Kris Nelscott, her mystery pen name, has just published a new novel, the first in two years. A Gym of Her Own, a non-series book set in 1969, has ebook, trade paper, hardcover, and limited editions (with some interior art). Kristine Grayson, her romance pen name, has a new novel and a newly edited anthology to coming out this year. Under her own name, Kristine Kathryn Rusch continues to act as series editor for Fiction River, with two anthologies that she edited out in 2018–2019—the cross genre volumes, Editors Save, and Spies. Her SF novel, The Runabout, was published in September in ebook, paper, and audio editions. The novel, which first appeared in full in Asimov’s, received a great deal of critical acclaim. Readers who want to jump into the author’s Diving series can start with an ebook collection of the first three novels, The Diving Series Starter Bundle. “The Rescue of the Renegat” is in the Diving Universe, but doesn’t follow the usual characters. The next Diving novel, Searching for the Fleet, featuring some favorite characters, will be out in the fall.