Search Results: the big idea

The Big Idea: Chad Orzel

Chad Orzel is one of my favorite explainers of scientific concepts, and in his new book A Brief History of Timekeeping, he covers one of my favorite topics: Time. But the story of time isn’t just about time itself, as you will see — it’s also about those who try to keep it. CHAD ORZEL: […]

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The Big Idea: Gwynne Garfinkle

In life, we make choices, and we have to live with them. But as Gwynne Garfinkle details in this Big Idea for Can’t Find My Way Home, maybe sometimes the choices we make have consequences even beyond that. GWYNNE GARFINKLE: My novel Can’t Find My Way Home began as the story of a young actress […]

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The Big Idea: Ron Walters

Author Ron Walters knows a true thing: that which truly terrifies you can also inspire you, if the stars align correctly. For Deep Dive, they did, and now Walters is here to tell you which fear helped him create his novel. RON WALTERS: My daughters terrify me. Don’t get me wrong, I love them both […]

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The Big Idea: Jacey Bedford

Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it, but those who do learn from history get to play the changes with it for their own work. Just ask Jacey Bedford, who uses a lesser-known bit of history to inform The Amber Crown. JACEY BEDFORD: They say if you’re going to steal, then […]

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The Big Idea: Alex Thomson

Language is aural, and in the case of sign language, visual — but are these the only ways a true language could exist? Maybe not! In Spidertouch, author Alex Thomson posits another way, and he touches on it in this Big Idea. ALEX THOMSON: The idea for Spidertouch started with a Wikipedia rabbit-hole of nostalgia. […]

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The Big Idea: Katharine Coldiron

What does it take to make a famously bad movie? Katharine Coldiron, who here writes a book-length monograph on one of the most famous bad films of all time, Plan 9 From Outer Space, suggests that it’s not just what shows up on the screen. KATHARINE COLDIRON: One version of the story of my monograph […]

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The Big Idea: Femi Fadugba

In creating The Upper World, author Femi Fadugba decided he needed more than the usual levels of inspiration — he needed collaboration. And that collaboration was to come in a most unusual way. It all starts with headphones. FEMI FADUGBA: There’s a scene in The Upper World where my 16-year-old South London protagonist, Esso, is […]

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The Big Idea: M.A. Carrick

Lies and trust, trust and lies… two sides of the same coin, right? As M.A. Carrick explains in this Big Idea for The Liar’s Knot, it can actually be far more complicated than that. M.A. CARRICK: In the Big Idea post we wrote for The Mask of Mirrors, the first book of the Rook and […]

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The Big Idea: Shannon Fay

Location, location, location: Often where an author is can inform the stories that they eventually choose to tell. Location mattered for Shannon Fay for her novel Innate Magic… and not just because of the landmarks. SHANNON FAY: A big inspiration for Innate Magic came from London itself. I wanted to show what it is like […]

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The Big Idea: Ian Douglas

How to get readers to accept the impossible — or, at least, the wildly implausible? Author Ian Douglas has a technique for that, and in this Big Idea for Solar Warden: Alien Hostiles, he’s come to lay it out for you. IAN DOUGLAS: Solar Warden: Alien Hostiles is the second book in an SF trilogy, […]

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The Big Idea: Jeremy Szal

Authors often see themselves in their work. But sometimes, it takes a while for that to happen. This is a thing Jeremy Szal discovered while writing Blindspace. Here he is to delve further into that personal discovery. JEREMY SZAL: I’ve always infused intensely personal material into my work. If you know me well, you’ll see […]

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The Big Idea: Patricia A. Jackson

Authors often put a little bit of themselves into their characters. And Patricia A. Jackson is not different in her novel Forging a Nightmare. But what parts and into which character and why… therein, folks, is the Big Idea. PATRICIA A. JACKSON: As a Black woman I carry my own unique baggage. Even as I […]

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The Big Idea: Patrick Swenson

Music inspires us, moves us, and in some ways inhabits us and has the power to change our lives. It’s this power that Patrick Swenson draws upon for his new novel Rain Music — that, and something else as well. PATRICK SWENSON: When I began teaching over thirty years ago, it was to teach music. […]

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The Big Idea: Cat Rambo

Writing a novel is often a journey, and in writing You Sexy Thing, author Cat Rambo discovered that their journey was taking them to some surprising but welcome places. Let’s retrace the journey, shall we? CAT RAMBO: For me one of the big ideas behind You Sexy Thing is its genre. I started it as […]

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The Big Idea: Jane Yolen

It’s never too late for surprises, and as Jane Yolen relates in this Big Idea for Arch of Bone, some surprises are absolutely worth the wait. JANE YOLEN: Here’s a surprise. Take a bookish Jewish girl from New York, one who knew nothing about sailing, whaling, harpoons, but a lot about the city (Manhattan, not […]

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The Big Idea: Dan Hanks

In Swashbucklers, author Dan Hanks takes his characters on an adventure… which includes the quest for child care. I know that got the attention of every parent out there. Here Hanks is to delve deeper. DAN HANKS: Saving the world is hard. However, some would argue that being a parent is harder. So, what if […]

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The Big Idea: Jennie Goloboy

Comedy comes to us in surprising times and surprising circumstances, as Jennie Goloboy discovered as she sat down to write what would become Obviously, Aliens. Here is to give you all the (possibly hilarious) details. JENNIE GOLOBOY: Obviously, Aliens was not the book I intended to spend 2017 writing. I planned to polish the novel […]

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The Big Idea: Drew Brockington

Cartoon cats! And science! I mean, that sells me on Waffles and Pancake – Planetary-Yum right there. But author/illustrator Drew Brockington is here to tell us more about how a childhood love of space travel has led him to catstronauts, and the kittens who look up to them. DREW BROCKINGTON: When I was a kid, […]

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The Big Idea: Emmie Mears

Look to the Sun is a book that is getting a second chance at a release, and in the time between its first appearance and its new one, author Emmie Mears looks at how the world changed around it — and what that change means for all of us. EMMIE MEARS: I think we all […]

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The Big Idea: Christopher Hinz

Christopher Hinz is seeing the re-issue of his Paratwa Trilogy of books (of which Liege-Killer, the cover of which is above, is the first), and on the occasion of their re-release, Hinz has a letter he’d like to share with the universe, about the books, humanity, and the state of the world. CHRISTOPHER HINZ: Dear […]

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