Sci-Fi November: an interview with Kameron Hurley

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Today I’m taking a little break from talking about all the stuff that makes me geek out, and inviting someone else to do it. That someone is none other than the Hugo Award-winning writer Kameron Hurley, which makes this her third* guest appearance in my little internet nook! That kind of makes me geek out a little bit. Just a little bit. I’m staying mostly cool, I swear.

Anyway! The questions…

First up, what are your earliest memories of reading science fiction? Which author (or authors) first got you into it?

I was reading science fiction in the kid/middle grade/young adult section for a very long time, pretty much since I could read at 7 or 8 years old. Those mostly veered toward fantasy at the time, but I didn’t make much of a distinction between space ships and unicorns. I made a more concerted effort to read the science fiction classics in my early twenties – Joanna Russ, Octavia Butler, Alfred Bester, Cordwainer Smith, Ursula LeGuin, Sam Delany, all those folks.

Are you the rereading type? If so, which are your favourite books to reread?

Most of the books I’ve re-read are non-genre. I’ve read Michael Cunningham’s THE HOURS six or seven times. I may have re-read THE EYE OF THE WORLD once, and I’ve spent far too long studying Joe Abercrombie’s BEST SERVED COLD. But as I’ve gotten older, I have less time for this.

If you had the chance to write books for an established SF franchise, would you do it? If so – which ones?

Nope. Well, if the pay was phenomenal, but for the most part, franchise work doesn’t earn one the big bucks, and I’m so backlogged with original work that I can’t imagine doing a tie-in for a long, long time.

To the movies! Do you enjoy watching sci-fi films, and which are your favourites?

Well, sure. I’ve been watching a lot of space opera recently – EDENLOG, PANDORUM – but my real love is old 80’s post-apocalypse movies, from MAD MAX to NEON CITY and CYBORG. If it’s an 80’s post-apocalypse movie, no matter the budget, I’ll watch it.

I’ve been discovering lately that television is also not a bad place to find good science fiction – do you have any such TV shows you’ll make time to watch?

I’m a big fan of ORPHAN BLACK currently, and from back in the day, BABYLON 5, FIREFLY.

Going back to books for a last round – which SF writers of today get you most excited about their work, and which books have you read recently that you’d recommend to SF fans?

Elizabeth Bear continues to level up her game, as does Nicola Griffith, so I like to recommend them. Folks with a love for beautiful language should check out the short fiction of Benjanun Sriduangkaew, who writes some great fantasy, SF, and WTF. Nnedi Okorafor also writes some really powerful, heartbreaking stuff. Recommended.

 

Many thanks to Kameron for answering my questions! Her latest book, The Mirror Empire, is out now and reviewed here.

* The first two were guest posts, which you can read here and here if you haven’t done so previously!

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