Big Idea Category

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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The Big Idea: Julie Czerneda

How do a graduate student’s observations of fish in a laboratory wind up fueling not one but two science fiction series? Well, first, it helps to have that graduate student be Julie Czerneda, who would become the Prix Aurora-winning author of In the Company of Others (also a Nebula Award nominee), and whose latest novel, […]

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The Big Idea: Lauren McLaughlin

Every teenage girl has “that time of month,” as it is so euphemistically referred to, but in Cycler, the totally inventive and fun debut novel from Lauren McLaughlin, Jill McTeague discovers that during her time, her body goes through entirely different changes than most girls — specifically, four days a month, she becomes Jack, right […]

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The Big Idea: Tobias Buckell

Did you know? Today is the official Ohio is Coming to Kick Your Ass With Science Fiction Day. Why, you ask? Because in addition to some other Ohio-based dude having a book out today, today is the release date of Sly Mongoose, the third in a series of action-packed kick-ass novels by none other than […]

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The Big Idea: Jason Pinter

A child disappears one day… and returns five years later with no memory of where he’s been all this time. What’s his story? That would be enough for any thriller, but with The Stolen, author Jason Pinter wants to go deeper, into the background of his main character, journalist Henry Parker, and how his past […]

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The Big Idea: Greg Egan

If you like your science fiction hard — we’re talking diamond-scratching hard, here — then you already know that Greg Egan is your man; this Hugo winner’s been spinning tales of hard SF for years that make you think and thrill at the same time. After a six-year break from novels, Egan is back with […]

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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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