Mitchell Hogan, author of A Crucible of Souls, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

a-crucible-of-soulsThe Booktopia Book Guru asks

Mitchell Hogan

author of A Crucible of Souls

Ten Terrifying Questions
____________

1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, and have lived here all my life. Although I’ve travelled quite a bit, there’s no place like home! I grew up with two sisters, and my mother did a fantastic job in raising us on her own under extremely trying conditions when we were young.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

When I was twelve I wanted to work with wood in some way. I loved woodwork classes at school and I still think back fondly on those times. At eighteen I was studying Chemical Engineering at university, mainly because I was good at mathematics and science. Then at thirty I was working for a US bank in funds management, although it was just what I’d fallen into for various reasons. To be honest, by then it felt like I’d be in the same career for the rest of my life. There were bills to pay and a mortgage to worry about so I never stopped to think about what I really wanted to with my life until later on.

Mitchell_Hogan3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

I was naive at eighteen and thought I’d be able to get by without going to too much extra effort. That was fine until my third year of university when I failed half my subjects! After that I knuckled down and realised that a little extra effort now makes everything so much easier later on, and if you want to be good at something you need to work at it.

4. What were three works of art – book or painting or piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?

When I was eleven a teacher began reading The Hobbit to my class at primary school. I enjoyed it so much my mother bought me The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. That opened up a whole new world to me, and it was such a small thing really.

When I was twenty my father took his own life. I coped with the tragedy fairly well at the time, but I think it instilled in me a willingness to be able to stop and examine my own life, what I was doing and where I was going. I’ve had a couple of major career changes since then and deciding to move on in each case was relatively easy.

Which leads to about six years ago when I was burned out with my job. It was getting better but I’d been through a really bad six months of way too much overtime and stress. I stepped back and thought about what I was doing with my life. That’s when I decided to resign from work and finish the book I’d started writing so many years ago. I didn’t want to regret not finishing it – and so far it’s worked out well!

5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write a novel? 

I chose to write a book because I love to read, and I had a lot of ideas and wanted to see if I could craft a story out of them. I didn’t consider any other mode of storytelling, it just seemed natural to write. Books are far from obsolete — in fact more people are reading more books than in any other time in history, and there are more books available at lower prices than ever before. With current technology any book that is published will be around, and easily accessible, forever.

a-crucible-of-souls6. Please tell us about your latest novel…

I’d be delighted to! A Crucible of Souls is an epic fantasy novel about a young man raised by monks who is thrust into the unfamiliar chaos of city life, and finds the world he is caught up in has disturbing depths… and the good guys don’t always win. It has sorcery, morally ambivalent characters, and some dark and gritty content. The first review it ever received described it as ‘entertainingly ambiguous’, which I thought was quite a good description.

Grab a copy of A Crucible of Souls here

7. What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?

I hope readers feel they’re a part of the world I’ve created. I’d like them to become lost in the story and want to go back and re-read my books again. And of course I want people to feel as if their time and money was well spent.

8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?

Any author who continually produces books and endeavours to improve on all aspects of writing—both with their craft and the business side.

9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

In a relatively short time with my writing career I found myself having achieved more than I ever hoped. That led me to step back and think about where to go from here. My main goal now is to make a living from my writing, and as most other authors can attest that is hard. I also want to make sure my writing appeals to the majority of readers, which means putting a lot of work into improving and making sure I don’t get complacent.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Finish your first book. It’s the hardest one and after that you’ll realise you’ve done it once so you can do it again. Plus, the best advice on editing, promotion, marketing, branding, submissions, agents, the publishing industry, etc, doesn’t mean a thing unless you have a completed manuscript.

And once you have a book finished, work on understanding the business of writing and the industry. This is important stuff. Your intellectual property has an intrinsic value. There is writing and the business of writing, two very different things. Understand the business you’re in if you want to succeed.

Mitchell, thank you for playing.

Grab a copy of A Crucible of Souls here


a-crucible-of-soulsA Crucible of Souls

by Mitchell Hogan

The Aurealis Award-winning e-book bestseller now in print.

An imaginative new talent makes his debut with the acclaimed first installment in the epic Sorcery Ascendant Sequence, a mesmerizing tale of high fantasy that combines magic, malevolence, and mystery.

When young Caldan’s parents are brutally slain, the boy is raised by monks who initiate him into the arcane mysteries of sorcery.

Growing up plagued by questions about his past, Caldan vows to discover who his parents were, and why they were violently killed. The search will take him beyond the walls of the monastery, into the unfamiliar and dangerous chaos of city life. With nothing to his name but a pair of mysterious heirlooms and a handful of coins, he must prove his talent to become apprenticed to a guild of sorcerers.

But the world outside the monastery is a darker place than he ever imagined, and his treasured sorcery has disturbing depths he does not fully understand. As a shadowed evil manipulates the unwary and forbidden powers are unleashed, Caldan is plunged into an age-old conflict that will bring the world to the edge of destruction.

Soon, he must choose a side, and face the true cost of uncovering his past.

Grab a copy of A Crucible of Souls here

Five of Five with Aurealis Award-winning author Mitchell Hogan

Mitchell_HoganWe play Five of Five with Aurealis Award-winning author Mitchell Hogan!

1) Name 5 books that inspire you…

Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar 

Surprised? Don’t be, it’s a classic. There’s not just a hungry caterpillar, there’s a very hungry caterpillar and a twist at the end. Good stuff. It always reminds me of a joke which goes something like this — Author: I have a book about a hungry caterpillar, Publisher: Pass, Author: Wait…it’s a very hungry caterpillar, Publisher: Go on…

Stephen King’s The Stand

This book is essentially an epic fantasy adventure about good and evil set in a post apocalyptic America, and it has it all: imagery, great characters and plot, excellent world-building.

Carl Sagan’s Cosmos

What can I say that hasn’t already been said? A gorgeous book, which makes the complexity of the universe comprehensible and palatable.

Ursula Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea

Each time I read this book it tells me something different. Compared to today’s fantasy works it’s a short read, but what makes it great is its subtext. Read it early, and read it often.

Scott Bakker’s The Darkness That Comes Before

Exquisite world building, the best I’ve ever read. This is a dark, adult fantasy story, and Bakker masterfully combines many different POV’s, literary techniques, plots, religion, sorcery, and philosophy into a great read. An educated, intelligent and talented writer.

2) What are your picks for the 5 “best fantasy books of all time”?

Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice

A complex and action packed fantasy, with flesh and blood characters. Triumphs are bitter sweet and you’ll experience real emotion when reading this book.

Glen Cook’s The Black Company

A world where good and evil are not absolute, following characters who are dark and ugly and somehow likeable, who must navigate the best they can through shades of grey. It’s a little rough around the edges, and some would say it’s primitive, but it’s unique.

C.J. Cherryh’s Chronicles of Morgaine

Stargate meets epic fantasy! A fantastic female lead character who has her own faults, weaknesses and needs. With all of the action and issues the two characters have to face, you don’t realise until deep into reading it what the real story is: the relationship between Morgaine and Vanye.

R. Scott Bakker’s The Darkness That Comes Before

Everything I said above plus more.

David Gemmel’s Legend

Fantastic action scenes and an epic story about what it means to be a hero.

3) What are your picks for the “5 best sci-fi books of all time”?

Frank Herbert’s Dune

Complex and vast world building, and people fighting over money, planets and drugs.

Issac Asimov’s Foundation

Epic scope. The fall of the Roman Empire in space. A classic.

Dan Simmons’ Hyperion

Superbly written and crafted. Different tales from different characters, all with a part to play.

William Gibson’s Neuromancer

It can be confusing, but with each re-read you understand more. This book coined the term “cyberspace”. A challenging but electrifying read.

Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Science-fiction-comedy phenomenon. Some find it “too silly”, but they probably put their babel fish in the wrong hole.

4) What are your 5 favourite movies?

Blade Runner

Dark, gritty, superb style and atmosphere.

Seven Samurai

The first of its kind, assemble a team to carry out a mission. Rain drenched action and violence, and yet the movie isn’t about violence, it’s about duty and societal roles.

The Princess Bride

Enchanting fantasy. Yes, it has a few flaws, but it has everything: action, romance, comedy. Heart warming and sardonic.

Sunshine

A sci-fi movie without aliens? What the?

Complex characters, amazing story, do yourself a favour and watch it.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

A great sci-fi adventure capturing the time in childhood when the world is filled with many mysterious possibilities. And E.T. was a jedi, so now you know.

5) What are 5 things about the art of writing that you didn’t know when you started?

– There is the art of writing, and the business of writing. You need to be good at both. It’s your intellectual property and you need to realise it has intrinsic value.

– Waiting for the “muse” to strike before you write is a good way to not get much writing done.

– There are many ways to learn something, and the best way is for someone more experienced to teach you. Find knowledgeable critiquers or professional editors and take their feedback on board. Strive to constantly improve your writing.

– You don’t need to be an expert, whether it is writing or the business of writing, you just need to have an appetite for learning and to work hard.

– Someone once said: Have the courage to write badly. I think that’s great advice.

Grab your copy of Mitchell Hogan’s A Crucible of Souls here

a-crucible-of-soulsA Crucible of Souls

by Mitchell Hogan

The Aurealis Award-winning e-book bestseller now in print.

An imaginative new talent makes his debut with the acclaimed first installment in the epic Sorcery Ascendant Sequence, a mesmerizing tale of high fantasy that combines magic, malevolence, and mystery.

When young Caldan’s parents are brutally slain, the boy is raised by monks who initiate him into the arcane mysteries of sorcery.

Growing up plagued by questions about his past, Caldan vows to discover who his parents were, and why they were violently killed. The search will take him beyond the walls of the monastery, into the unfamiliar and dangerous chaos of city life. With nothing to his name but a pair of mysterious heirlooms and a handful of coins, he must prove his talent to become apprenticed to a guild of sorcerers.

But the world outside the monastery is a darker place than he ever imagined, and his treasured sorcery has disturbing depths he does not fully understand. As a shadowed evil manipulates the unwary and forbidden powers are unleashed, Caldan is plunged into an age-old conflict that will bring the world to the edge of destruction.

Soon, he must choose a side, and face the true cost of uncovering his past.

Grab your copy of Mitchell Hogan’s A Crucible of Souls here

First Look at Ridley Scott’s The Martian; based on Andy Weir’s bestselling novel

In 2011, US author Andy Weir self published his first novel – The Martian.

Having been rebuffed by literary agents when trying to get prior books published, Weir decided to put the book online in serial format one chapter at a time for free at his website.

It steadily became a phenomenon, with Crown Publishing winning an intense bidding war to publish the book in print in 2013. The Martian would become a fixture in the New York Times Best Seller list for months to come.

And then came Ridley Scott.

Scott will direct the film adaptation of Weir’s novel, which follows an American astronaut, Mark Watney, as he becomes stranded alone on Mars and must improvise in order to survive. The film stars Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Michael Peña, Kate Mara and Sean Bean, with the first trailer just being released.

Quite a story…

Grab your copy of Andy Weir’s The Martian here

Grab your copy of Andy Weir’s The Martian here

the-martianThe Martian

by Andy Weir

I’m stranded on Mars. I have no way to communicate with Earth.

I’m in a Habitat designed to last 31 days.

If the Oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate.

If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst.

If the Hab breaches, I’ll just kind of explode.

If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death.

So yeah. I’m screwed.

Grab your copy of Andy Weir’s The Martian here

GUEST BLOG: Ten Must Read Futurological Sci Fi Books (by author David M Henley)

Let’s talk about the future.

Sci fi is a seriously big genre. Futurological Sci Fi is a subgenre that has fun with projecting future societies.

It’s all about enjoying the exploration of ideas and projections of what our world isn’t. And those differences indicate the fears, hopes and humour of any given author. So here are my top ten FSF books.

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The Time Machine by HG Wells - One of the earliest books to explore the concept of time travel but also one that prompted people to think about the distant future.

The Time Machine by HG Wells

One of the earliest books to explore the concept of time travel but also one that prompted people to think about the distant future.

We by Yvgeny Zamyatin - The Russian version of 1984 (it came first), but different enough to make it worth reading. A world without privacy trying to become a world without dissent.

We by Yvgeny Zamyatin

The Russian version of 1984 (it came first), but different enough to make it worth reading. A world without privacy trying to become a world without dissent.

1984 by George Orwell - Using an ad absurdum future society to depict political trends of the time. Like Brave New World this exploration of a concept from micro to macro has contributed many powerful ideas to today's political discourse (and a terrible reality TV show).

1984 by George Orwell

Using an ad absurdum future society to depict political trends of the time. Like Brave New World this exploration of a concept from micro to macro has contributed many powerful ideas to today’s political discourse (and a terrible reality TV show).

Neuromancer by William Gibson - You just can't go past this one as a benchmark. Great micro and macro world-building and examinations of how the virtual world and real world can clash. Technology and humanity in a blender.

Neuromancer by William Gibson

You just can’t go past this one as a benchmark. Great micro and macro world-building and examinations of how the virtual world and real world can clash. Technology and humanity in a blender.

The Futurological Congress by Stanislaw Lem - Follows a visiting dignitary, Ijon Tichy, to the eighth World Futurological Congress, drinks some water and begins hallucinating. Reality and illusion become very confused and gives Lem a vehicle to explore the ideas and limits of Utopia.

The Futurological Congress by Stanislaw Lem

Follows a visiting dignitary, Ijon Tichy, to the eighth World Futurological Congress, drinks some water and begins hallucinating. Reality and illusion become very confused and gives Lem a vehicle to explore the ideas and limits of Utopia.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K Dick - Forget the movie. Like many PKD books, this is a post apocalypse world and we are watching the survivors and what has survived of our society, for better and worse.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K Dick

Forget the movie. Like many PKD books, this is a post apocalypse world and we are watching the survivors and what has survived of our society, for better and worse.

The Old Twentieth by Joe Haldeman - Another mindbender like The Futurological Congress, this one unrolls mainly through holodeck-type sequences that go through a future history of Earth.

The Old Twentieth by Joe Haldeman

Another mindbender like The Futurological Congress, this one unrolls mainly through holodeck-type sequences that go through a future history of Earth.

The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester - Imagine a society with telepaths including counter-measures and corporate misuse. A great parallel for surveillance and data hacking.

The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester

Imagine a society with telepaths including counter-measures and corporate misuse. A great parallel for surveillance and data hacking.

Ghost in the Shell by Shirow Matsumune - I know it's got pictures but it's big enough to be a book. This is a projection of nearly perfect human machine interfaces and a hyper complex society facing today's problems and tomorrow's  that have arisen from new technologies.

Ghost in the Shell by Shirow Matsumune

I know it’s got pictures but it’s big enough to be a book. This is a projection of nearly perfect human machine interfaces and a hyper complex society facing today’s problems and tomorrow’s that have arisen from new technologies.

Peter F Hamilton's Confederation series - Begins with the what if that wormhole technology is successfully developed premise and then jumps forward a few hundred years. Not a utopia or dystopia but an extended exploration of intergalactic society that has come from our own. This is a mammoth read, don't start unless you can dedicate yourself to it.

Peter F Hamilton’s Confederation series

Begins with the what if that wormhole technology is successfully developed premise and then jumps forward a few hundred years. Not a utopia or dystopia but an extended exploration of intergalactic society that has come from our own. This is a mammoth read, don’t start unless you can dedicate yourself to it.

———————————————–

David M Henley is the author of the futuristic thrillers The Hunt for Pierre Jnr, Manifestations and Convergence.

His world takes inspiration from all the books listed above and many more places.

You can follow David on twitter at @DavidMHenley, and on Facebook here

———————————————–

convergenceConvergence

Hunt for Pierre Jnr

by David M Henley

The epic conclusion to an explosive trilogy.

Benders. Tappers. Robots. Clones.

As the Weave breaks down and Pierre Jnr’s control over the population becomes complete, who – if anyone – will be able to stop him?

Star Trek meets Akira in this futurist thriller about connectivity, control and artificial intelligence.

Click here for more details about Convergence

Happy Birthday Issac Asimov – 10 Quotes from the Visionary Author

Isaac_AsimovOne of the world’s greatest science fiction writers, Isaac Asimov, was born on this day in 1920 (or 1919, even his year of birth is intriguing).

Asimov wrote and edited over 500 books, including the short stories that the films I, Robot and Bicentennial Man were based on.

His 1941 novel Nightfall is widely regarded as the greatest science fiction story of all time.

Asimov’s writing has resulted in an asteroid, a crater on the planet Mars, a Brooklyn elementary school, and one of the world’s highest literary awards being named in his honor. He was also a longtime president of the American Humanist Association.

Above all, Asimov loved a quote. Ladies and Gentlemen, please enjoy 10 of the finest quotes from one of the finest minds of the last century, Isaac Asimov.

People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.

The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.

If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them.

Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.

Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.

I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them.

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

I write for the same reason I breathe – because if I didn’t, I would die.

It pays to be obvious, especially if you have a reputation for subtlety.

From my close observation of writers… they fall into two groups: 1) those who bleed copiously and visibly at any bad review, and 2) those who bleed copiously and secretly at any bad review.

i-robotI, Robot

by Isaac Asimov

In these stories Isaac Asimov creates the Three Laws of Robotics and ushers in the Robot Age.

When Earth is ruled by master-machines, when robots often seem more human than mankind, the Three Laws ensure that humans remain superior and the robots are kept in their rightful place.

But an insane telepathic robot results from a production error; a robot assembled in space logically deduces its superiority to non-rational humanity; and when machines serve mankind rather than individual humans, the machine′s idea of what is good for society may itself contravene the sacred Three Laws…

Amazing and timeless robot stories from the greatest science fiction writer of all time.

Grab a copy of Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot here

BOOKTOBERFEST GUEST BLOG: Five Standout Dicks – A Tribute to Philip K. Dick (by David Henley)

Henley_David-300x300If you ever tried the Dick challenge and attempted to read all of Philip K. Dick’s science fiction works, after a while you may have felt, as I did, that all those strange worlds and characters seemed to blend together and it is hard to remember what happens in each book.
 
For me, as a Dick lover, I don’t mind this and think it was maybe intentional on the part of the author. He was interested in exploring ideas, not world building. Dick loved having an Everyman protagonist and wasn’t afraid to shift to new protagonists if the story made it necessary. Dick is it’s own oeuvre which explores the questions of what it is to be human, what is reality and surveillance society.
 
If you suffer from Dick-blindness, either from too much Dick or you’re looking for your first and they all look the same, I’ve chosen 5 Dicks that stand-out from the rest.

the-man-in-the-high-castleMan in the High Castle

You’ve got to read The Man in the High Castle. This one is really well known and won some famous award. It’s main schtick is the premise that in WW2, Germany and Japan won the war and co-occupy the USA. What more do I need to say?

counter-clock-worldCounter-clock World

The premise for this one is that cause and effect has started moving in reverse, ie as people get older their bodies get younger and going to the toilet is eating, and eating is regurgitation. Gross! But, it also means that the dead are coming back to life and the story follows this group of grave-robbers, who are actually rescuing reanimated corpses. When they come upon a reborn prophet, the fun begins.

do-androids-dream-of-electric-sheep-Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

Yeah, you know the film, the dystopian, over-populated mega city, always raining, hunting down human like androids called replicants. The book is different. It still has the replicants but the main story is about Deckard, his wife and the post apocalyptic environmental crisis that has nearly wiped out all animal life on the planet. It’s a totally different story from them film with a completely different focus, and I find reading the book makes me like the film more and vice-versa.

a-scanner-darklyScanner Darkly

This is a paranoid acid trip of a book. Apparently inspired by some of Dick’s friends who had walked too far down the path of intoxication, combined with Dick’s usual fears of the surveillance state. The main character is an undercover narcotics agent who begins video surveilling the very group he has infiltrated, and is so whacked out he can barely remember which of the suspects is him.

valisValis Trilogy, (Valis The Devine Invasion. Transmigration of Timothy Archer)

This is where shit gets weird. Dick had a real life experience/hallucination where he saw some pink light that revealed the true nature of reality to him. In this trilogy people are trying to break through the false world that we all experience, either helped or hindered by a mysterious and hypothetical Vast Active Living Intelligence System, thus the name Valis.

Every year I like to celebrate Dick Day, on December 16th. Take the day off and read a Dick.

David Henley worked in Australian trade publishing for many years; for the last 10 years he has been growing Xou Creative, a successful design and publishing studio. He has written and illustrated two novellas and one gift book, and is the art director of SEIZURE, a magazine for new writing. David lives on a diet of science fiction – particularly Stanislaw Lem, Masamune Shirow, Philip K Dick, Orson Scott Card – and fantasy, including comics, manga, anime.

manifestationsManifestations

by David M. Henley

The Weave is left reeling after an explosion devastates the city of Busan. Who is behind it? What does it mean for the psis?

Pete Lazarus has been taken captive and Colonel Pinter is discovering the joys of rejuvenation, while the most powerful telepath ever born marches steadily towards world domination, collecting subservient Citizens in his wake.

In this second installment in the trilogy, following on from The Hunt for Pierre Jnr, David Henley immerses us into a world of ambiguity where the end does not always justify the means.

Grab a copy of Manifestations here

Gary Gibson, author of Extinction Game, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Gary Gibson

author of Extinction Game, Final Days series and many more…

Ten Terrifying Questions
____________

1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

Born in Glasgow, Scotland. Raised in Glasgow, Scotland. Schooled in Glasgow, Scotland. Well, mostly, apart from a few years living in Ayrshire. Or, as I like to think of it, north of the Ice Wall amongst the WIldlings.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

At twelve, I pretty much wanted to be Arthur C. Clarke. Actually, I also wanted to shave my head and wear white robes like the Talosian in the original Star Trek. That’s when I started thinking about writing since I was already sucking up science fiction books like a Roomba in a universe of dust-bunnies. By eighteen, I’d decided I wanted to be Jimmy Page (guitarist in Led Zeppelin) because I’d just moved back to Glasgow from darkest Ayrshire and discovered rock music. The writing took a back seat for a while. But in my mid-twenties, I’d had a kind of Damascene moment and started writing again. By the time I was thirty I’d had a couple of short stories published in pro sf and fantasy magazines.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

Author: Gary Gibson

That logic and reason will always win any argument. It took a lot of bumps to work out logic and reason are the last things a lot of people ever want to hear.

4. What were three works of art – book or painting or piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?

There’s no three things. It’s everything, all at once, poured into a single Gary Gibson-shaped mould. But if you kidnapped my dog – that is, if I had a dog – and showed me a live stream of it held over a bucket of piranhas and demanded I answer, I’d pick: Marooned in Realtime by Vernor Vinge, Roadside Picnic by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky, and the Gaia trilogy by John Varley. If I’ve got any influences, it’s those three. Probably.

5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write a novel?

It’s a falsity to say there are ‘innumerable’ artistic avenues open to anyone. Well, there are, but whether you’re actually any good at them is another matter. I “chose” to write a novel because it turns out that’s what I’m good at it, it’s fun, and there’s pretty much nothing else I can think of I might possibly want to do with my life.

6. Please tell us about your latest novel…

My latest is Extinction Game. I couldn’t just sit down and write a straight post-apocalyptic book, because it’s been done so many times. I needed something extra. A classic post-apocalyptic trope is the Last Man on Earth story, so since I’d been reading up on theories regarding the idea we live in a multiverse of infinite parallel realities, it made sense that there must also be an infinite number of universes in which different people are the last man or woman on Earth.

From there it didn’t take much more than a hop or skip to figure out an interesting story lay in bringing those people together through some technology that allows travel from one alternate reality to another. Why write a book about one world-destroying apocalypse, when you can write a book that by definition includes every single possible apocalypse?

Grab a copy of Gary’s latest novel Extinction here

7. What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?

An immediate desire to send me the entire contents of their bank accounts and the deeds to their homes. I’m not saying I planted any post-hypnotic suggestions in my books or anything, but…

8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?

Anyone who writes what they choose to write, regardless of what others think.

9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

To produce a book a year; to always improve; to maintain a healthy level of self-criticism that allows me to grow as a writer; to be ambitious, in the sense of never resting on my laurels; to surprise, entertain and delight; to be raised to Godhood and worshipped by milli…ok, maybe not that last one.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

To understand that what appears to be failure is instead an opportunity to define and build on your true strengths.

Gary, thank you for playing.

Grab a copy of Extinction Game here


Extinction Game

by Gary Gibson

Jerry Beche should be dead. Instead, he’s rescued from a desolate Earth where he was the last man alive. He’s then trained for the toughest conditions imaginable and placed with a crack team of specialists. Every one of them is a survivor, as each withstood the violent ending of their own alternate Earth. And their new specialism? To retrieve weapons and data in missions to other apocalyptic worlds.

But what is ‘the Authority’, the shadowy organization that rescued Beche and his fellow survivors? How does it access other timelines? And why does it need these instruments of death? As Jerry struggles to obey his new masters, he begins to distrust his new companions. A strange bunch, their motivations are less than clear, and accidents start plaguing their missions. Jerry suspects the Authority is feeding them lies, and team members are spying on him. As a dangerous situation spirals into catastrophe, is there anybody he can trust?

 Grab a copy of Extinction Game here

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