Big Idea Category

The Big Idea: Ryk Spoor

When thinking about epic fantasy, how epic is epic enough? And at what point might things become too epic for a single band of heroes? Author Ryk Spoor has opinions on these questions, and how they helped to inform his latest (epic!) novel, The Mask of Ares. RYK SPOOR: Epic fantasy has a lot of […]

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The Big Idea: John P. Murphy

The creative advantages to anger: Are there any at all, ever? John P. Murphy says… perhaps! And explains how they were put to work in his novel Red Noise. JOHN P. MURPHY: Red Noise is about anger. I wrote it in 2017, at a time when a lot of us were angry for good reasons. […]

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The Big Idea: A.J. Fitzwater

In today’s Big Idea for their novel No Man’s Land, author A.J. Fitzwater gives a good example why it’s a good idea to support local businesses: because you may find something there that opens a lost world to you. A.J. FITZWATER: Books talk. Within a moment, across the years, decades, centuries. They speak to each […]

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The Big Idea: C. S. E. Cooney, Jessica P. Wick, Amanda J. McGee, Mike Allen

This Big Idea post for the collection A Sinister Quartet represents an actual record: The largest number of authors co-writing a single Big Idea piece. I’m going to get out of the way here and let them do their thing. CSE COONEY, JESSICA P. WICK, AMANDA J. McGEE, MIKE ALLEN: A Sinister Quartet pays tribute […]

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The Big Idea: Tim Major

When you have kids, it can really mess with your focus and ability to do things. But can it also be an inspiration? Ask Tim Major, who in this Big Idea for his novel Hope Island, has some thoughts on this very subject. TIM MAJOR: Probably, all new parents are entirely preoccupied with the act […]

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The Big Idea: Kester Grant

A dash of history, a pinch of literary invention, and a soupçon of imagination — all of these combine in The Court of Miracles to create author Kester Grant’s new novel. She’s here now to tell you how all these ingredients came together. KESTER GRANT: As I left the cinema after seeing Disney’s latest Jungle […]

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The Big Idea: Jeremy Szal

War changes people, and in Stormblood, some wars change people more. Author Jeremy Szal is here today to explain how, and why. JEREMY SZAL: Blood is thicker than water. Does that still apply when your blood is infused with alien DNA? Let me explain. The central idea for Stormblood is that a far-flung, interstellar society […]

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The Big Idea: Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Robert J. Sawyer has gone “back to the future” with his newest novel The Oppenheimer Alternative. But why does he go back at all — and back to this particular Great Man of History? Sawyer is here to explain it all. ROBERT J. SAWYER: It’s been obvious since the days […]

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The Big Idea: Drew Murray

Author Drew Murray knew he wanted to write a technothriller with his novel Broken Genius — but how to do it in a way that reader would not get lost in the technological weeds? Murray explains his solution for you now. DREW MURRAY: Very close on the heels of every technology humans invent is a […]

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The Big Idea: Margo Orlando Littell

In her latest novel, The Distance From Four Points, author Margo Orlando Littell tests the proposition of whether one can indeed come back home — and whether her protagonist’s experience of doing so can and will differ from her own. MARGO ORLANDO LITTELL: Like most novelists, I can say that the finished version of my […]

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The Big Idea: Swati Teerdhala

It’s said that revenge is sweet — but in this Big Idea for The Archer at Dawn, author Swati Teerdhala argues that the taste may be something else entirely. SWATI TEERDHALA: Revenge fantasies are powerful. We’ve all had one, whether it’s as petty as dripping oil on your annoying neighbor’s fancy loafers at the gas […]

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The Big Idea: Nancy Kress

In today’s Big Idea, Hugo and Nebula Award winner Nancy Kress takes a look at controversy, science, and change — Sea Change, as a matter of fact. NANCY KRESS:  At parties in my city—environmentally conscious, crunchy-granola, high-tech and socially activist Seattle—it is easy to start a flaming argument. Just walk up to a group, tilt […]

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The Big Idea: Jennifer Brody

People have dreams — and then they have the dreams that come after that first set of dreams came true. For Jennifer Brody, who created Spectre Deep 6 with Jules Rivera, her new graphic novel is about the latter. JENNIFER BRODY: I always wanted to work in Hollywood. Growing up in a small town nestled […]

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The Big Idea: Tone Milazzo

Get out your comic books: Author Tone Milazzo is thinking about the super humans that populate our popular culture, and how they relate to the themes of his new book, The Faith Machine. TONE MILAZZO: It took me decades realize some pretty obvious things about superheroes. For example: Batman will never stop the Joker from […]

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The Big Idea: Dan Moren

We are all searchers of truth — some more than others. Dan Moren is thinking about the truthseekers in this Big Idea piece for his new novel, The Aleph Extraction. DAN MOREN: Truth is a binary concept: either something is true, or it isn’t. Or is it? As a certain Jedi Knight—and questionable teacher—once said, […]

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The Big Idea: Ilze Hugo

I’m going to use this intro part of this Big Idea piece to say that the cover of The Down Days, by Ilze Hugo, is probably my favorite book cover of the year. To date! There might be a better one down the line! But I suspect not. And now here’s the author to tell […]

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The Big Idea: Laura Lam

Start with cinematic dreams and stellar ambitions, and what do you get from there? For Laura Lam, you get Goldilocks, her new novel. She’s here to tell you how it all came together. LAURA LAM: I love astronaut films. Gravity. Interstellar. The Martian. Armageddon. Ad Astra. The Mars TV show on Netflix that’s OK, not […]

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The Big Idea: Jon McGoran

In the aftermath of writing his latest novel Spiked, author Jon McGoran found the reality of the moment catching up with the future of his fiction in ways he didn’t expect… and in ways that gave him food for thought. JON McGORAN: One of the things that has drawn me to science fiction since I was […]

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The Big Idea: Adrian J. Walker

For his new novel The Human Son, author Adrian J. Walker decided to get into a different mindset entirely. A very very different mindset. ADRIAN J. WALKER: Human beings make terrible decisions. I wrote The Human Son in the shadow of Brexit, so I know what I’m talking about. Don’t worry, that wasn’t a political […]

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The Big Idea: A.J. Hartley

If we’re lucky, we don’t come to close to thing that might terrify us. A.J. Hartley did not have that luck, and the encounter he had informed what would become his latest novel, Impervious. A.J. HARTLEY: How do you make fantasy out of real life horror? It happened 51 weeks ago, my personal glimpse of […]

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