Big Idea Category

The Big Idea: Marie Brennan

Holy crap, I nearly got through the whole week without posting a Big Idea piece. And, well, that’s just wrong. So, let me correct this by introducing you to Marie Brennan, whose Midnight Never Come is chock-full of Elizabethan-era faerie goodness (“Stunningly conceived and exquisitely achieved” — Publishers Weekly, in a starred review), and which […]

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The Big Idea: David Louis Edelman

David Louis Edelman has been making a name for himself in science fiction over the last couple of years with his Jump 225 trilogy of books, the first of which Infoquake, racked up some nice reviews and helped propel Edelman into nominations for two different kinds of John W. Campbell award (one for Best Novel, […]

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The Big Idea: Nancy Kress

Your sweet adorable pet: What if it was a raging vector of viral infection? Maybe that’s not something you actually want to spend time thinking about, but that’s okay, since Hugo and Nebula Award winning author Nancy Kress already thought about it for you. The result: Dogs, which Publishers Weekly is lauding as “a spine-chilling, […]

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The Big Idea: David J. Schwartz

If Spider-Man — and indeed the entire Marvel canon — has taught us anything, it’s that being a super-hero isn’t as easy as it looks. But if you think that’s difficult, try writing one… especially when you’re aware of all the inherent flaws of the genre, no matter how much you love it. In Superpowers, […]

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The Big Idea: Judson Roberts

The Vikings: You know them as burly guys with braids and swords who gave teleological and philosophical underpinnings to the music of both Richard Wagner and scores of heavy metal bands — but what do you really know about them? If the answer is “really? Not much,” don’t feel too bad; most people are in […]

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The Big Idea: Marjorie M. Liu

In its review of The Iron Hunt, her latest, Publishers Weekly called Marjorie M. Liu “one of the best new voices in paranormal fiction” — and given how hot the field is these days, that’s not a small compliment. The Iron Hunt finds Liu doing what she does best: Creating a strong character who stands […]

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The Big Idea: Peter David

What does it take to return to Neverland? Author Peter David, who as a child dreamed of life among the Lost Boys, mulled over this question as an adult. His answer is Tigerheart, a pastiche and paean to Peter Pan and J.M. Barrie that is being praised as having “the same kind of atmosphere as […]

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The Big Idea: Lewis Shiner

These are the days of $4 a gallon gas here in the US, a fact which does not generate much sympathy from most other people in the world (who saw the back end of $4 gas a long time ago) but which pinches us pretty hard anyway, and makes us wonder if our car-driven society […]

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The Big Idea: N.M. Kelby

Inspiration is a funny thing in that it hardly ever comes as you straight-on; it comes in at different angles and sometimes what it inspires doesn’t necessarily seem to be an obvious takeaway. Case in point: Murder at the Bad Girl’s Bar and Grill, a funny, Florida-soaked mystery novel (“A perfect beach read” — New […]

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The Big Idea: David J. Williams

Terrorism is alive and well and living in the 22nd century — and if you don’t believe that, check out The Mirrored Heavens, in which one of the US’ proudest technological achievements is attacked and US scrambles to respond. Library Journal is calling it a “stellar hard sf debut,” which must make David J. Williams, […]

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The Big Idea: Walter Jon Williams

This week’s Big Idea is special. Not only does famed author Walter Jon Williams explain the whys and wherefores of his big new novel Implied Spaces to you, but he also finally explains what UFOs are made of! You will be shocked and surprised, as I was. And you will also find out what, if […]

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The Big Idea: Jeri Smith-Ready

It’s a two-fer week for Big Ideas, and today we have Jeri Smith-Ready, who brings you: vampires! And not just any vampires. No, her vampires have better musical taste than you do, and in Jeri’s latest book Wicked Game, they’re not afraid to prove it. But how does exquisite taste in music combine with an […]

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The Big Idea: Melinda Snodgrass

One day Melinda Snodgrass started wondering about aircars and why we don’t have them yet. Most people would stop there, with maybe a brief side thought about themselves puttering around in the sky like George Jetson. Snodgrass, however, kept going with that thought and ended up with a book: The Edge of Reason, which is […]

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The Big Idea: Maureen Johnson

We’ve been talking about YA quite a lot here in Whateverland, and as coincidence has it, today’s Big Idea piece is from Maureen Johnson, who writes — can you guess? — young adult books. Her latest, Suite Scarlett, takes place in a fantastical land with strange creatures, but in this case the fantastical land is […]

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The Big Idea: Cory Doctorow

Last year my editor at Tor Books, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, gave me a manuscript copy of Little Brother, Cory Doctorow’s young adult thriller, to see if I might want to blurb it. About halfway into it, I wanted to stop reading it — not because I didn’t like it, but because I wanted to jam […]

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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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