Big Idea Category

The Big Idea: Daniel Fox

To wrap up this Week O’ Big Ideas, here’s Daniel Fox with Dragon in Chains. They say travel broadens the mind, but for Fox it did rather more than that: It gave him an idea and an inspiration to write about the place to which he’d traveled, one that in this case has paid off […]

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The Big Idea: Brian Evenson

On the list of “two great tastes that go together,” the genres “detective mystery” and “religious fiction” might not be on the top of your list of things to combine — but then, you’re probably not Brian Evenson, whose latest novel Last Days does just that, bringing a former detective together with a very odd […]

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The Big Idea: Paul Melko

Our informal Week ‘O Big Ideas continues today with an appearance by Paul Melko, member of the Ohio SF/F Cabal (motto: “There’s more of us than you think”), whose latest multiverse-hopping book The Walls of the Universe is getting the sort of starred reviews (“With imagination and sympathy, Melko makes the journey genuinely exciting” — […]

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The Big Idea: Catherynne Valente

Today begins a very busy week of Big Ideas here at Whatever — I’ll be dropping in a new Big Idea every day between now and Friday, because, you know what, I don’t think you’re reading quite enough these days, do you? Yeah, see, that’s what I thought. And to start us off, here’s one […]

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The Big Idea: Margaret Ronald

Hey look, a Big Idea twofer this week! It’s because I love all y’all so much. But also, because I want to introduce you to Margaret Ronald, debut novelist. I met her last year while I was teaching at the Viable Paradise writing workshop, and she was on staff. As it happens, she’s also a […]

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The Big Idea: James Morrow

James Morrow is one crazy cat, and I say this with great affection. It takes a special sort of person to imagine, for example, using a supertanker to tow the two-mile long corpse of God, as he did in the World Fantasy Award-winning novel Towing Jehovah, or, in his latest, Shambling Towards Hiroshima, to imagine […]

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The Big Idea: Carrie Vaughn

Werewolves and radio talk shows? Who’da thought they would be two great tastes that go great together? Carrie Vaughn, that’s who, and a good thing that she did. She’s taken that idea an parlayed it into the New York Times bestselling “Kitty Norville” series, in which a lycanthropic radio host has all sorts of wild […]

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The Big Idea: Charlie Huston

Hey kids! I’m stuck in meetings all day long (seriously, from about 8:30 to 6), but that’s no reason why you shouldn’t be having fun. And to help you have fun, here’s neo-noir master Charlie Huston to entertain you with tales of The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death, his latest thriller, and […]

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The Big Idea: Jim C. Hines

And here we are, with the first Big Idea piece of 2009. And who better to start us off than Jim C. Hines, who having already rehabbed cowardly green fantasy creatures in his Goblin trilogy, now turns his attention to rebooting the stories of three of the most popular fairly tale princesses in The Stepsister […]

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The Big Idea: Lesley Livingston

This is a kind of cool thing for me: I met Lesley Livingston back in 2003, at my very first science fiction convention (that would be Torcon 3, for those of you keeping score at home). I was neopro writer whose first book wouldn’t come out for a couple of years; Lesley, on the other […]

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The Big Idea: Nick Stone

Personally, I’m not much for fortune-telling… and yet even lil’ ol’ rational me has been known to look at the fortune inside a fortune cookie and be amazed that it contains the right words at the right time. Is it coincidence? An example of the human mind being able to read way too much into […]

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The Big Idea: Kelsey Timmerman

And now, the second part of today’s “Big Idea” two-fer, and it’s somewhat special for me, because Kelsey Timmerman, the author, is a fellow citizen of Darke County, the small agricultural Ohio county in which I live. Yes, that’s right, Darke County now has two published authors! We’re all very proud. But while I write […]

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The Big Idea: Christopher Barzak

Perspective is a hard thing to come by, even for a writer, whose job description, if one thinks about it for a minute, is all about perspective. And so when Christopher Barzak was almost randomly offered a chance to change his perspective, he jumped at the chance — and had a series of experiences which […]

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The Big Idea: Dave Freer

There are a lot of stars out there in space — and as we’re constantly discovering, lots of planets around those stars. But how many of those planets are “earth-like”: that is, good for us? And what will it take to reach them? And what if we get there and discover the planet’s not as […]

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The Big Idea: Jordan Summers

Fairy tales and post-apocalyptic futures: Are they two great tastes that go great together? This is the question Jordan Summers tries to answer in Red, in which elements of some of the most primeval of fantasy tales get a whole new science fiction-y spin, with action and romance thrown in to spice it all up. […]

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The Big Idea: Benjamin Parzybok

Now that the election is over, it’s time to turn to really important things: Like books about couches and maybe saving the world. And you ask: does such a book truly exist? And I say, why, yes, it does, since Couch, by Ben Parzybok, has hit the shelves this very week. This quirky and delightful […]

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The Big Idea: T.A. Pratt

Here’s a small and possibly irrelevant piece of personal trivia about Dead Reign, the third book by T.A. Pratt featuring sorcerer and all around badass Marla Mason: One of my best friends from Ben Lomond Elementary School in Covina, California was named Marla Mason. So when Blood Engines, the first book in the series, came […]

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The Big Idea: Phil Plait

The End of the World As We Know It: It’s coming! With big sharp nasty teeth! It’ll do you a treat, mate! Well yes, you say, but which end of the world? Because there are so many on the way — including some that are based on actual science, which is to say, they could […]

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The Big Idea: Matthew Stover

Here’s why I know that “handselling” — the act of someone saying to you “Dude, you have to buy this book” and then putting the book into your hands — actually works: A couple years ago, when I did an appearance at the Joseph-Beth bookstore in Cincinnati, the science fiction buyer for the store and […]

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The Big Idea: Kenneth Hite

Now that my travels have ended (yay!), it’s time to get back on the stick with the Big Idea features — we’ve got quite a few coming up in the next couple of months, and this week I’ll hit you with at least a double shot. To begin, I’m really excited to bring this next […]

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