B57 Mini Interviews with Victoria Sandbrook, Allen M. Steele, and Auston Habershaw

Hi all! Today we are interviewing Victoria Sandbrook, Allen M. Steele, and Auston Habershaw!

Victoria Sandbrook

Victoria Sandbrook is a speculative fiction writer, freelance editor, and Viable Paradise graduate. Her short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in SWORD & SONNET, PODCASTLE, SHIMMER, CAST OF WONDERS, and elsewhere. In her editorial life, she recently published STARTING FROM SCRATCH: A Primer on Writing and Editing Cookbooks through the Editorial Freelancers Association. She is an avid hiker, sometimes knitter, long-form talker, and initiate baker. She often loiters around libraries, checking out anything from picture books to monographs. She spends most of her days attempting to wrangle a ferocious, destructive, jubilant tiny human. Victoria, her husband, and their daughter live in Brockton, Massachusetts. Find her on victoriasandbrook.com and on Twitter at @vsandbrook.

Visit Victoria on their Twitter, Facebook, and website.

What topics are you most looking forward to talking about at Boskone?

I always love talking about what I’m reading (or watching or listening to), because that’s what we all have in common: a love of content that inspires us. I have always left Boskone with an impressive reading list and it’s so fun to contribute my favorites to others’ to-be-read piles. And it’s especially fun to put in good words for the work of talented friends and colleagues.

Authors: Fans often ask authors to talk about their favorite main characters, but what about the side characters? Who is one of your favorite sidekicks or secondary/tertiary characters who have had a lesser role in your work?

In LE JARDIN ANIMÉ (1893), I love Elouan, an automaton adopted by an aging inventor with a flock of her own creations already in her care. He is loyal, thoughtful, inquisitive–and just a touch insubordinate. I’d planned on the other background characters from the start, or at least, I had a vague idea of who I’d need, but Elouan came about organically as I wrote and really surprised me amid an otherwise tight outline.

What will you be working on in 2020? Any new releases or dates that fans should be looking forward to hearing about?

Though 2020 will be mostly about my novel-in-progress, I’m very excited that my novella, LE JARDIN ANIMÉ (1893), releases from GigaNotoSaurus on January 1, 2020! Check it out if you’re interested in a mad-scientist Gothic about ballet-dancing automata, an aging thornback inventor, and a female Muslim doctor in 1893 Philadelphia.

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Allen M. Steele

Allen M. Steele has published twenty-one novels and over a hundred short stories. Since 1988, his work has received numerous awards, including three Hugos, the Seiun Award, and the Robert A. Heinlein Award, and has been translated worldwide. A lifelong space enthusiast, Allen has testified before Congress in hearings regarding space exploration and participated in recent scientific conferences on interstellar exploration. He is also an amateur SF historian and an avid collector of SF novels and magazines. His most recent novel is AVENGERS OF THE MOON. Allen lives in Massachusetts with his wife Linda and their dogs.

Visit Allen on their Facebook, and website.

What topics are you most looking forward to talking about at Boskone?

I like discussions about science (space in particular), SF and its history, and the art of fiction writing. But Over the years I’ve found it just as satisfying to attend panels and listen instead of talking. When I see a topic on the schedule that looks interesting, where I could learn something new, I’ll try to make time for it. That’s always been one of Boskone’s strengths, its high level of discourse.

If you could be a fly on the wall during any scene or event in literature of film, which scene would it be and why? 

I would have liked to have been in the room when U.S. Army intelligence officers (not the FBI, as commonly believed) visited the New York offices of “Astounding Science Fiction” in 1944 to ask John W. Campbell how one of his writers, Cleve Cartmill, knew so much about atomic fission to write such an accurate description in his story “Deadline”. It would’ve been fun to see the look on Campbell’s face when it dawned on him that the Army must be making a Top Secret effort to make an atomic weapon; otherwise, why would the feds be coming to him?

What will you be working on in 2020? Any new releases or dates that fans should be looking forward to hearing about?

I’m continuing to work on my literary reboot of Edmond Hamilton’s Captain Future. I’m writing a four-part series of long novellas, THE RETURN OF UL QUORN, that picks up five years after my first Captain Future novel AVENGERS OF THE MOON, where I re-introduced Curt Newton and the Futuremen and updated them. Book One, ‘Captain Future in Love” the series’ first installment, is coming out soon (if it isn’t already) ; Book Two, “The Guns of Pluto” is forthcoming. The series is being published by “Amazing” as both ebooks and print-on-demand paperbacks, and it’s an effort to publish a digital “hero pulp” for our time.

If you could bring any object or device into the real world from fiction or film, and it would work perfectly, what would you choose? Why would you choose that item?

Star Trek teleporters. Because I love to go to distant, interesting places, but have really come to hate air travel.

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Auston Habershaw

On the day Auston Habershaw was born, Skylab fell from the heavens. This foretold two possible fates: supervillain or scifi/fantasy author. Fortunately he chose the latter, and spends his time imagining the could-be and the never-was rather than disintegrating the moon with his volcano laser. He is a winner of the Writers of the Future Contest and has published short stories in F&SF, Analog, and Galaxy’s Edge among other places. His fantasy series, The Saga of the Redeemed, is published through Harper Voyager—the final installment of which, The Far Far Better Thing, will be released in March of 2019. He lives and works in Boston, MA, and you can find him online at aahabershaw.com

Visit Auston on their Twitter, Facebook, and website.

What is it about Boskone that makes this the convention you choose to attend each year?

Or if this is your first Boskone, what attracted you most to Boskone this year?

Boskone is an intimate local convention that regularly attracts a lot of top talent from around the country and the world. A lot of British authors as well as American ones often show up, and it’s a great place to meet people and make connections. It also helps that I live in Boston, so I’m just a short train ride away from home!

Looking back, what was the first piece of work (whether it be from literature, cinema, art, music, video game, toy, or whatever it may be) that first made you love science-fiction and fantasy?

I think probably it was the Rankin-Bass version of The Return of the King, specifically the Witch King of Angmar on his flying steed at the battle of Minas Tirith. Man that was some amazingly cool, incredibly scary stuff for a six or seven year old to see. I read the Lord of the Rings as a direct result of that movie and, well, here I am!

What will you be working on in 2020? Any new releases or dates that fans should be looking forward to hearing about?

My fantasy series, The Saga of the Redeemed, will be (probably) coming out in audiobook this year and a story of mine (“Three Gowns for Clara”) is coming out in F&SF early in 2020 (may even be out as of the start of Boskone).

If you could bring any object or device into the real world from fiction or film, and it would work perfectly, what would you choose? Why would you choose that item?

I think we all underestimate just how awesome Inspector Gadget’s hat is. Pretty much any tool you need plus you get a cool hat! I’d be taking my hat-copter to work almost every day, lemme tell you.

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About DJ (@MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape)

DJ is a year 3 medical student in his clinical rotations, who in his spare time, loves to interview authors about all the books that he has no time to read :)
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