Big Idea Category

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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, […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

The Big Idea: S.L. Huang

Characters these days often have extraordinary abilities that make them seem almost more than human. The protagonist of S.L. Huang’s new novel Critical Point has one. It may not be the one you expected. S.L. HUANG: So, I’m a nerd. I’ve always been a nerd. By middle school, I had all the Star Wars movies […]

Read More

The Big Idea: Danielle Trussoni

A shocking revelation about Danielle Trussoni’s past turned into the big idea for her novel The Ancestor — and more than the novel beside. She’s here now to tell you about the revelation, and how it lead to her newest projects. DANIELLE TRUSSONI: My new novel The Ancestor is about a woman who takes a […]

Read More

The Big Idea: A.J. Hartley

A book doesn’t have to have a single big idea — it can have ideas of all sizes, combined to make something new. A.J. Hartley had a few ideas for his “Steeplejack” series, of which Firebrand is the second, and today, he’s here to explain them, and what he’s done to make realize these ideas […]

Read More

The Big Idea: Chandra K. Clarke

In a world that’s full of dystopias and which frankly feels more than a little dystopian itself these days, Chandra K. Clarke asked: Is that all there is? Her novel Echoes of Another is her way of trying to answer that question. CHANDRA K. CLARKE: One of my favorite Sidney Harris cartoons is one you’ve […]

Read More

The Big Idea: Corry L. Lee

When thinking about how to develop a magic system for her new novel Weave the Lightning, a big idea came to Corry L. Lee… almost like a bolt out of the blue. CORRY L. LEE: I love reading the adventures of diverse protagonists. Except… what’s this? There’s magic! There’s spaceships! But the world is still […]

Read More

The Big Idea: Rysa Walker

Hold on to your butts: in this Big Idea for her new novel Now, Then and Everywhen, author Rysa Walker eyes the topics you’re not supposed to talk about… and then totally goes there. RYSA WALKER: There’s an old adage that you should never discuss politics or religion in polite society. If that still holds […]

Read More

The Big Idea: Robert Mitchell Evans

Science fiction writers don’t only grow up on science fiction. Their influences can be all over the map in terms of genre and medium. Just ask Robert Mitchell Evans, who for his novel Vulcan’s Forge has tapped into another rich vein of storytelling entirely. ROBERT MITCHELL EVANS: “I killed him for money and for a […]

Read More

The Big Idea: Ilana C. Myer

Where some people end their books is where Ilana C. Myer, in her new novel The Poet King, begins hers. Why does she do it that way? She’s here to explain. ILANA C. MYER: Power is something we talk about a lot in fantasy—from rings of power to the One Power to the sword that […]

Read More

The Big Idea: Christopher Swiedler

What kind of book is In The Red? As author Christopher Swiedler relates, this seemingly simple question turned out to have a more complex answer than one might assume. CHRISTOPHER SWIEDLER: Many years ago, an instructor in a writing workshop asked me whether my sci-fi novel In the Red was for middle grade or young […]

Read More

The Big Idea: Eeleen Lee

Travel delays are rarely the raw material for novels, but as Eeleen Lee found out, sometimes a little time — and a new obsession — can lead to inspiration, and eventually a novel, in this case, Liquid Crystal Nightingale. EELEEN LEE: In late 2005 I was stuck in transit at Charles de Gaulle airport, and […]

Read More

The Big Idea: S.A. Jones

It’s not every day that your book is the debut novel for an entire publishing line, but S.A. Jones has that honor with The Fortress, which is the first release from Erewhon Books. It’s a big responsibility, but as you’ll see below, Jones has a big idea to match. S.A. JONES: I began writing The […]

Read More