Big Idea Category

The Big Idea: Oliver K. Langmead

Punching billionaires: Can it be done? Should it be done? In this Big Idea for Glitterati, author Oliver K. Langmead offers a mechanism for it that is (probably) unlikely to get one landed in jail for it. OLIVER K. LANGMEAD: Capitalism isn’t working too well right now, and one of the most grotesque symptoms of […]

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The Big Idea: Jeff Macfee

Life is full of choices… and not all choices will make you happy. But they might move the plot along. In today’s Big Idea for Nine Tenths, author Jeff Macfee talks about choices and protagonists and how the matters how the latter performs the former. JEFF MACFEE: Most of us live on the edges. There […]

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The Big Idea: David Towsey

There are times when you feel not quite yourself, and David Towsey gets what you mean. In fact, in Equinox, you could say he’s written a book in which not being quite yourself — just like everybody else — is a remarkably common occurrence. DAVID TOWSEY: Most of us have experienced moments when we’re in […]

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The Big Idea: Liz Michalski

A dream about a well-loved fantasy world brings attention to what’s not being paid attention to… and from there, Liz Michalski tells a story in Darling Girl from a point of view long left underappreciated. LIZ MICHALSKI: My first draft of my book Darling Girl came from a dream, in which boys in Peter Pan-green […]

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The Big Idea: Mark Matthews

Editor Mark Matthews has experience with the world of horror, and the terrors of addiction. In the anthology, Orphans of Bliss, both are explored, with the help of a host of authors who craft stories with both in mind. Here’s Matthews to get under the skin of the anthology. MARK MATTHEWS: Orphans of Bliss: Tales […]

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The Big Idea: Dan Koboldt

When I decided to write science fiction, one of the things I thought was, well, I won’t have to do a lot of research because I can just make things up! I was, shall we say, quickly disabused of that notion. In fantasy, it’s a very much a similar situation, as Dan Koboldt, the editor […]

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The Big Idea: Kali Wallace

Current events have had a hand in Kali Wallace’s newest novel Hunters of the Lost City, but as Wallace points out in this Big Idea, some elements of it are taken from facts that are perennial, for better or worse. KALI WALLACE: You ever have one of those ideas that you really, really wish you […]

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The Big Idea: Alma Katsu

Do we learn from the past? And how does the past inform today, and the art that is created in it? These are questions Alma Katsu is confronting in this Big Idea for The Fervor, and is inviting you to confront them as well. ALMA KATSU: The Fervor is a novel about the Japanese internment. […]

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The Big Idea: Nicola Griffith

Knights and legends and the dream of the British Isles… but for author Nicola Griffith, something was missing. What was it, and how does Spear offer it to reader? Griffith explains in this Big Idea. NICOLA GRIFFITH: I’ve loved the Matter of Britain since I got my first library card. I dragged home every bit […]

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The Big Idea: Steven Kotler

Some famous musicians once said that all you need is love. It’s a nice sentiment, but in this Big Idea for The Devil’s Dictionary, author Steven Kotler might instead recommend a different-yet-related emotional state as the one we all need. STEVEN KOTLER: I stopped trying to categorize my writing a long time ago. Still, if […]

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The Big Idea: Chris Panatier

How do we know what we know? In Stringers, author Chris Panatier posits a wild premise… and an even wilder way of getting that knowledge out into the world. CHRIS PANATIER: Stringers features individuals who have knowledge they can’t explain called, well…“Stringers”. Our main character Ben’s knowledge centers on three distinct areas: nitty-gritty of animal […]

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The Big Idea: John Dodd

As writers, we all have the Story The Got Away From Us. For John Dodd, however, that story was the one he came around to once more. Here he is to talk about Ocean of Stars, and how it was written, when the time was right. JOHN DODD: It started with a book that couldn’t […]

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The Big Idea: EC Ambrose

Footnotes, side comments, errata, vague asides — sometimes these don’t matter much. But sometimes, as E.C. Ambrose discovered, they do. And sometimes, as in the case of Drakemaster, you get a book out it! E.C. AMBROSE: Sometimes, the big ideas come from very small places… I was happily reading along for no particular purpose, in […]

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The Big Idea: Nancy Werlin

Hey, do you remember the 90s? Nancy Werlin does, and one of the reasons she does involves her latest novel, Healer & Witch. Her latest novel… but perhaps not her most recent novel. Werlin is here now to explain how that works, and why she’s delighted this novel is now out in the world. NANCY […]

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The Big Idea: Wil Wheaton

For most of the readers here, the name Wil Wheaton is a familiar and even beloved one: Actor, television host, famous nerd, and award-winning, best-selling audiobook narrator. And also, in case you didn’t know, an accomplished writer and essayist. In Wil’s new book, Still Just a Geek, he revisits an earlier work, revises and expands […]

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The Big Idea: Adam Oyebanji

In his novel Braking Day, author Adam Oyebanji wants to take humans into deep space. But just because he wants to take them into deep space doesn’t mean he’s going to make it easy and simple for them to get there… or stay there. ADAM OYEBANJI: I fear I’m here under false pretenses. I don’t […]

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The Big Idea: Leah Cypess

Reuse and recycle: If it’s a good idea for physical things, can it also be a good idea for story concepts? Leah Cypess suggests that it might be — and explains how this has direct bearing on her novel Glass Slippers. LEAH CYPESS: Let me start with a confession: I used the same Big Idea […]

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The Big Idea: Jess Montgomery

William Faulkner once said “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” It’s a sentiment that Jess Montgomery can certainly appreciate, since her new novel, The Echoes, deals with something very close to that idea. Here she is to explain further. JESS MONTGOMERY: Can we ever outrun our pasts? I think the answer is… […]

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The Big Idea: Gareth L. Powell

If you don’t think that science fiction is affected by the events of moment, than Gareth L. Powell has some news for you: oh, boy, is it ever. In this big idea for Stars and Bones, Powell explains how world events caught up to his story in strange and unexpected ways. (Disclosure: As you can […]

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The Big Idea: Joe R. Lansdale

Frankly put, Joe R. Lansdale is an American literary treasure, and his characters Hap and Leonard are a substantial portion of the reason why this is so. So a collection of Hap and Leonard stories? Yes, sir, more please, sir. Here’s Lansdale talking about his collection Born for Trouble, and where he, and his characters, […]

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