Greg Egan has published more than sixty short stories and thirteen novels. His novella “Oceanic” (Asimov’s, August 1998) won a Hugo award. His last appearance in Asimov’s was “The Four Thousand, The Eight Hundred” (December 2015), and his latest novel, Dichronauts, was published in July by Night Shade Books. Greg’s new tale takes a look at the impact of automation on a young family.
Nick Wolven tells us, “A novelist whose name I can’t remember, asked in an interview where she got her ideas, said that she always began by imagining characters, and that her characters first appeared to her as vivid, visual hallucinations. She looked out a window, or stepped out a door, and saw fictional strangers striding toward her down the street. This story began with an auditory impression. I was on the New York subway, somewhere north of 59th Street, when I distinctly heard a young woman speaking, in roughly the manner I’ve tried to capture here.” In addition to his publications in Asimov’s, Nick’s stories have recently appeared in Clarkesworld and Analog.
Rick Wilber continues to be fascinated with alternate history stories of World War II. Most of his tales are fictional versions of the very real baseball player who became a spy, Moe Berg. This is the third of those stories featuring Moe and the mystery woman who’s his boss. All three have appeared first in Asimov’s. At least two more of the Moe Berg stories are in the works. The second novel of Rick’s S’hudonni Empire trilogy, Alien Day, will be out in early 2018 from Tor Books. Most of the associated short stories about the S’hudonni Empire and the enigmatic alien, Twoclicks, first appeared in Asimov’s.
Jack McDevitt is the author of twenty-two novels, twelve of which have been Nebula finalists, and more than eighty short stories. Seeker won the Nebula award for best novel in 2007. In 2003, Omega received the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science fiction novel. Jack also won the Georgia Writers’ Association Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013. He has received various other honors. Most recently, the International Astronomical Union named an asteroid for him. The author’s latest books are Coming Home, an Alex Benedict novel, and Thunderbird, both from Ace. Alex and his partner Chase Kolpath are antiquity dealers living in the far future. They specialize in solving historical mysteries. Another popular character has been Priscilla Hutchins, a starship captain during the tempestuous early years of interstellar flight. She is usually caught up with unexpected discoveries. Cryptic, a best-of collection of his stories, is available from Subterranean Press. Jack has been a naval officer, an English teacher, a customs officer, and a taxi driver. He has also conducted leadership and management seminars for the U.S. Customs Service. He is married to the former Maureen McAdams, and resides in Brunswick, Georgia. In his poignant new tale, two complex characters engage in . . . THE LAST DANCE
James Patrick Kelly tells us, “2017 has been one of the busiest of my career in terms of new publications. Mother Go, my first novel of the century was published in July as an audiobook original by Audible.com and is exclusively available on audio at Audible and Amazon. Mother Go features the further adventures of Mariska Volochokova, familiar to readers of these pages from “Going Deep” (June 2009) and “Plus or Minus” (December 2010). My collection The Promise of Space from Prime Books was published last month and reprints fifteen stories from Asimov’s and other fine publications and includes the debut of a new story, “Yukui.”
Michael Cassutt shares certain demographic and historical traits with the protagonist of “Timewalking,” but swears the tale is fiction. A resident of Los Angeles, he has written and/or produced numerous TV series from Twilight Zone to Max Headroom to Outer Limits to, most recently, Z Nation (SyFy Channel). He is also the author of forty short stories, most of them SF, and fourteen books, fiction and nonfiction.
Emily Taylor’s short fiction has appeared in such venues as Ecotone, Green Mountains Review: The Apocalypse Issue, and Menda City Review. She lives in Columbus, Ohio. “Skipped” came about as a departure from less-speculative writing during that peculiar time of sleepless new parenting, and the idea of living a different and altered life through a twist of the Universe is reflected in the story.
Tom Purdom tells us, “I’m still recovering from the accident that bruised and inflamed parts of my spinal cord, so I could say that the major recent events in my life included things like the discovery I can once again drink a cup of coffee with my right hand. But I should also note that since the accident, I’ve produced about fifty pieces on music and other matters for Philadelphia’s broadstreetreview.com, continued to write science fiction, and attended about ninety concerts featuring the best music created between 1300 and 2017. I think I’ve made the transition from victim to survivor.” Of his latest tale he says, “This is my second attempt at a story that postulates faster than light travel—a concept I’ve avoided for most of my writing career. It marries a new idea about FTL with an idea about the future of gender relations that’s been lurking in my brain for a couple of decades.”
James Gunn tells us, “I remain reasonably healthy for my years, but more limited in the challenges that I accept, getting up each day to renew my connections with the outside world and to add a little bit each day to the creative urges that have defined my life.” Jim, who turned ninety-four in July, has recently been engaged in a flurry of creative activity. The tale that you are about to read is another story about a character first encountered in his Transcendental trilogy. The third volume, Transformation, was released by Tor Books in June. Jim’s memoir, Star-Begotten: A Life Lived In Science Fiction came out from McFarland and Company in the fall, and McFarland may also publish his 1951 master’s thesis on Modern Science Fiction with new commentary. It may be the only thesis ever published in a science fiction magazine. Four parts of it were published in Dynamic Science Fiction before it was cut short when the magazine folded.
A two-time Nebula Award finalist, Jason Sanford has published dozens of tales in magazines such as Asimov’s, Analog, Interzone, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Apex Magazine, and InterGalactic Medicine Show, along with reprints in multiple year’s best anthologies. About his latest story Jason says, “Despite the words of John Donne, each human is indeed an island. We’re swept by the currents of culture and the storms of language, but in the end there we are, isolated islands desperate to communicate our lives and dreams to the other islands we can see, but are never fully touching. Yet, perhaps, just perhaps, this isolation within our own bodies and minds won’t last much longer.”
The looming prospect of self-driving cars—and trucks—caught Joel Richard’s attention in the spring of 2016. He tells us he wrote “Operators” that summer. “It wasn’t the tech that I wanted to explore. It was the societal implications. It was only several months later, the tail end of October, that I uneasily began to consider that there were electoral implications as well . . . “
Norman Spinrad has been publishing fiction for over half a century and has not had a nine-to-five salaried job since 1965. In addition to some twenty-five novels and a hundred stories, he has written two produced feature films, the classic Star Trek episode “The Doomsday Machine,” film criticism, political commentary, and about three decades of literary criticism for Asimov’s. Recently published novels are The People’s Police and Osama The Gun. Although he’s written songs and sung them for money, he’s not giving up on fiction. Norman lives in Paris with Dona Sadock. He tells us inspiration for his latest tale came from England, which is called the Nanny State, and the ubiquitous cameras that are aimed at non-consenting adults. “Now non-consenting kids are more and more surrounded by the Nanny Bubble of controlling adults even when they just want to play their own pick-up games. . . .”
SFWA Grand Master Connie Willis has been writing stories for Asimov’s since 1982, many of them Hugo and Nebula Award winners, like “Fire Watch” (February 1982), “Even the Queen” (April 1992), and “Death on the Nile” (March 1993). She may be best known for her Christmas stories, like “All About Emily” (December 2011), “Newsletter” (December 1997), and “All Seated on the Ground” (December 2007), and though her latest story for us isn’t quite a Christmas tale, it is set in New York in December. Of “I Met a Traveller in an Antique Land,” the author says, “One of my favorite kinds of science fiction stories has always been the tale about a mysterious shop tucked away in the corner of the city and almost impossible to find. There aren’t nearly enough of those stories around, so I thought I’d just write one myself.”