Interviewed by File 770 about Better Worlds


Mike Glyer at File 770 recently interviewed me about the online anthology that I’ve been working on, Better Worlds. Mike asked some good questions about the balance between science and technology, the larger impact of the project, and some advice for aspiring writers.

MG: What’s your advice for aspiring science fiction authors?

ANDREW LIPTAK: There’s a lot of advice out there that’s good — read a lot, write a lot, and read what you’ve written out loud, and so forth.

Something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is how incredibly valuable it is to break out of your shell / community / circle of writers / group to discover new ideas and viewpoints. I recently moderated a panel on the implications of artificial intelligence at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and I came out of that three-day experience with a notepad full of ideas for potential stories, based on what I’d seen and heard.

In other, related Better Worlds news, we’ve released a couple of other stories since I first updated about the project back in January. We’ve got ‘Online Reunion’ by Leigh Alexander, ‘A Model Dog’ by John Scalzi, ‘Monsters Come Howling in Their Season’ by Cadwell Turnbull, ‘St. Juju‘ by Rivers Solomon, ‘The Burn’ by Peter Tieryas, ‘A Sun Will Always Sing’ by Karin Lowachee, and ‘Skin City’ by Kelly Robson. We’ve got three more stories coming up — ‘Move The World’ by Carla Speed McNeil (coming Friday), ‘Overlay’ by Elizabeth Bonesteel (coming Monday), and ‘Machine of Loving Grace’ by Katherine Cross (coming Wednesday).

The project has been a bear, and it’s great to finally see the stories up online. Of the entire group, I think my favorite stories are the ones by ‘Monsters Come Howling in Their Season’, ‘A Sun Will Always Sing’, and ‘A Theory of Flight’, but that’s not to say that I don’t really like everything else on this table of contents. The art is superb — all credit there goes to William Joel, our Art Director for the project, and I’ve really enjoyed the videos — especially ‘A Theory of Flight’ and ‘A Sun Will Always Sing.’ The video for ‘Overlay’ is also quite good — you’ll see that next week.

I’m also a big fan of the audio adaptations, which feature full casts and sound effects, which really puts them a leg up and above other fiction podcasts that I’ve heard. I’m biased, of course, but the general feedback that I’ve seen in online comments on the videos and on Twitter / Facebook have been almost uniformly positive.