B55 Mini Interviews with Gerald L. Coleman, James Cambias & Deirdre Crimmins

Our latest batch of mini interviews touches on the importance of having science fiction and fantasy characters who represent us, reliving childhood fascination with the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and a participant who’s been coming to Boskone since she was a kid-in-tow.

 

Gerald L. Coleman

Gerald ColemanGerald L. Coleman is a philosopher, theologian, poet, and author residing in Atlanta. Born in Lexington, he did his undergraduate work in Philosophy and English at the University of Kentucky. He followed that by completing a degree in Religious Studies and concluding with a Master’s degree in Theology at Trevecca Nazarene University. He is the author of the Epic Fantasy novel saga, The Three Gifts, which currently includes When Night Falls (Book One) and A Plague of Shadows (Book Two). He has appeared on panels at DragonCon, SOBSFCon, Atlanta Science Fiction & Fantasy Expo, the Outer Dark Symposium, and has been a Guest Author and panelist at JordonCon and Imaginarium. He is a co-founder of the Affrilachian Poets and has recently released three collections of poetry entitled the road is long, falling to earth, and microphone check. Visit his website, find him on Facebook or follow him on @Iconiclast.

There are a number of conventions that you could attend. What is it about Boskone that makes you want to attend this convention?

I’m interested in Boskone for its history, its focus, its reputation among fellow authors, and its new interest in being more inclusive and diverse.

Looking back at your work, which character, piece of art, song, poem, article, etc. stands out as an all-time favorite? What is it about this piece that makes it stand out for you?

The main character, Bantu, in my epic fantasy series, The Three Gifts. He stands out as the embodiment of what I was always looking for when I perused the shelves in the science fiction and fantasy section of bookstores. He’s a hero that looks like me, that represents me, in my favorite genre. Over the years I read all kinds of interesting and exciting stories: The Faded Sun, Elric of Melnibone’, The Black Company, The Dragon Riders Of Pern, Guardians of the Flame, The Wheel of Time, but none of them included main characters who looked anything like me. Bantu is the realization of that desire and dream, for me and for readers who want a more diverse landscape in science fiction and fantasy.

What are you working on now? What excites or challenges you about this project?

In between working on book two of The Three Gifts, which I finished this summer, and book three, I’ve written some short stories for upcoming anthologies. Those are exciting for me, because I get to create more characters and tell their stories in different sub-genres of speculative fiction. But I’m most excited about a pure science fiction novella I’m working on about a seventeen year old black girl with certain gifts who might have to save the galaxy. It’s not dystopian – I think, honestly, we’ve had enough of that. But I think it’s fresh and interesting and exciting. I know there’s a vast, untapped hunger for Speculative Fiction, especially Science Fiction that centers around black characters and people of color. The Three Gifts is pure epic fantasy, so writing this pure science fiction story is exhilarating.

If you were building a team of 3 (super)heroes to save the world from this trio of (super)villains: The Night King (GOT), the Emperor (Star Wars), and The Master/Missy (Doctor Who), who would you pick? The only catch is that you can’t pick characters from the GOT, Star Wars, or Doctor Who universes. Share why you chose your 3 (super)heroes.

Wow, what an interesting question. Ok, I’ll refrain from picking characters from my own stories. Let me see, I think to fair we should try to stay in the same genre of the villains, right? So, I’d go with Rand from The Wheel Of Time to stop the Night King. He seems to have the powers necessary to defeat him. Q from the continuum (Star Trek: The Next Generation) to stop the Emperor, though convincing him to do it would be the hardest part. And Doctor Manhattan (Watchmen) to take down the Master/Missy. Can a Time Lord regenerate if they’ve been atomized?

James Cambias

JamesCambiasJames L. Cambias writes science fiction and designs games. Originally from New Orleans, he was educated at the University of Chicago and lives in western Massachusetts. His first novel, A Darkling Sea, was published by Tor Books in 2014, followed by Corsair in 2015. His short stories have appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Shimme, Nature, and several original anthologies — including the collection Hieroglyph, edited by Kathryn Cramer and Ed Finn. Most recently, his story “Treatment Option” was featured on the X-Prize foundation’s Seat 14C website. Mr. Cambias has written for Steve Jackson Games, Hero Games, and other roleplaying publishers, and is a partner in Zygote Games, a small company specializing in science and nature-based games. His most recent game title is Weird War I, from Pinnacle Entertainment Group. Visit his blog or find him on Facebook.

There are a number of conventions that you could attend. What is it about Boskone that makes you want to attend this convention?

I like Boskone’s literary focus, and the strong awareness and emphasis of science fiction’s history. It’s also a good size: small enough to be informal and intimate, with no “velvet ropes” between participants and attendees; but big enough to have an interesting variety of activities. It’s a great old-fashioned science fiction convention, and I like that.

If you could relive your first experience with any book or film, which one would you pick? What is it about this book or film that you want to experience again for the “first time?”

I’m tempted to say the opening of Star Wars, but that’s like talking about how much I enjoy oxygen. So instead I’ll cite my childhood experience with the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. When I was six or so that was the greatest movie ever made. I saw it again a few years later as a worldly-wise eight-year-old and hated it. That was my first experience of changing tastes and perspectives. Still, I wish I could see the movie I saw when I was six. That one was great.

When was the last time you dressed up for Halloween? What costume did you wear?

The last time I really made a Halloween costume for myself was back around 1995 when I dressed as Jean-Paul Sartre. I still have no idea what Sartre looked like, so I got a beret and a striped shirt and went as a comic-strip Frenchman with a copy of No Exit.

If you were building a team of 3 (super)heroes to save the world from this trio of (super)villains: The Night King (GOT), the Emperor (Star Wars), and The Master/Missy (Doctor Who), who would you pick? The only catch is that you can’t pick characters from the GOT, Star Wars, or Doctor Who universes. Share why you chose your 3 (super)heroes.

Okay, so to stop an evil undead wizard, a space wizard with a Galactic Empire, and a time-traveling psychopath, there’s really only one hero who can save us.

Dorothy Gale. Dorothy eats Wicked Witches for breakfast, snacks on Nome Kings, and has Yookoohoos for dessert. Those three won’t even get a smudge on her gingham dress.

If we actually think Dorothy needs backup, I’d pick Flash Gordon and The Spectre, but really they’re just window-dressing.

Deirdre Crimmins

Deirdre Crimmins

Deirdre is a Cleveland-based film critic. She regularly contributes to Rue Morgue Magazine, Birth.Movies.Death., and Film Thrills. Her specialty is contemporary horror film, though she grew up going to cons. Follow her on @dedecrim.

There are a number of conventions that you could attend. What is it about Boskone that makes you want to attend this convention?

I’ve been attending since I was a kid-in-tow!

If you could relive your first experience with any book or film, which one would you pick? What is it about this book or film that you want to experience again for the “first time?”

I’d reread Slaughterhouse Five. I read it in high school and adored it, but I wonder how I would have related to it differently as an adult.

When was the last time you dressed up for Halloween? What costume did you wear?

In 2015 my sister and I dressed up as the Grady twins from The Shining.

What are you working on now? What excites or challenges you about this project?

There are always new films to review.

About Brenda Noiseux

Product Owner by day/Sci-fi geek and community builder by night. Using my super hero powers for the good of all kind. I'm the organizer several groups, including the League of Extraordinary Gentlewomen, a women's comics discussion group and a writer for Women Write About Comics.
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