Big Idea Category

The Big Idea: Kate Elliott

One of the questions that plagues authors is “where do you get your ideas?” The standard answer to this (thanks to Harlan Ellison) is “Schenectady,” but in fact ideas come from anywhere. And I do mean: anywhere. If you don’t believe me on this, then all you have to do is read this Big Idea […]

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The Big Idea: Barth Anderson

Just because we’re in the middle of a Reader Request Week, it doesn’t mean we should ignore The Big Idea series. Indeed not — and here’s the awesome Barth Anderson, to talk about his latest novel, The Magician and the Fool, in which an exploration of the history of the Tarot leads the characters in […]

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The Big Idea: Scott Sigler

While I’m off in Lots-of-Meetings Land, here’s a fun Big Idea for you, from author Scott Sigler. Sigler made quite a big splash being one of the the first and most successful authors to podcast his writing, garnering up to 30,000 listeners per book — which naturally enough, I think, convinced publishers to say, “hmmm, […]

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The Big Idea: Caitlin Kittredge

I wish I could tell you something about Night Life, the dark fantasy novel by Caitlin Kittredge, but I can’t, because I haven’t read it. And the reason I haven’t read it is that when it came in, my wife looked at it, thought it looked interesting, and took it. And since then she’s entirely […]

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The Big Idea: J.F. Lewis

Vampire novels: ever get tired of reading the gothic angst of the undead? J.F. Lewis did — a minor issue, because, you see, he sort of wanted to write a vampire novel himself. So what do you do when you’re in a situation like that? You go back to first principles and re-examine what it […]

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The Big Idea: Julie Buxbaum

Since this is a feature called “The Big Idea,” it’s worth asking how authors get to the big idea in their books in the first place — do they start with the big idea and then build around it, or do they start writing and hope they come across a big idea while they’re going […]

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The Big Idea: Jennifer Pelland

First, a thanks to the writers/editors/publicists who responded to the call for more Big Ideas — y’all rock. For everyone else, I got a lot of interest, and over the next few weeks, you should see an interesting mix of writers swing by here to share their ideas about their books. I know you’re a-quiver […]

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The Big Idea: Jami Attenberg

For her debut novel The Kept Man, writer Jami Attenberg fashioned a nice, big challenge for herself: having her main character unravel a mystery about her husband’s life — a husband who was not dead, but in a coma for six years. It’s easy to create a character who is a widow; examples abound in […]

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The Big Idea: Paul Melko

Paul Melko is another member of the Ohio SF/F Cabal (our motto: There’s More Of Us Than You Thinkā„¢), and he’s just released his first novel, Singularity’s Ring, to a not inconsiderable amount of acclaim (“[A] superior debut… the ingenious character development and startling images and ideas are deeply satisfying” — Publishers Weekly). Some of […]

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The Big Idea: Philip Palmer

Hey look! Another “The Big Idea” feature! See, now you can tell they are really here to stay on Whatever: we’ve had two of them. In today’s installment: Philip Palmer. Palmer is a novelist, with the new and ambitiously all-over-the-place space opera/comedy/pirate adventure Debatable Space. He’s also a been screenwriter for several British television series, […]

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The Big Idea: Marcus Sakey

Hey look, The Big Idea is back — this is a feature in which authors of newly-released books tell you a little bit about one of the big ideas in their book, and how they managed to work with it as they wrote their book. This feature used to be on Ficlets, but since I […]

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