Right now is SpecFicNZ Blogging Week and I'll be hosting a couple of guests from the Kiwi Speculative scene. First up is Grant Stone...
Hi Grant! Would you please first of all introduce yourself for my readers? I live in Auckland and I write strange things. You can find my stories in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Strange Horizons and many other places.
What got you hooked on speculative fiction in the first place?One of the first books I can remember reading is Lord Foul’s Bane, by Stephen Donaldson, which I read long before I discovered Tolkien. It was a remarkably grim and complex introduction to fantasy - I suspect (I hope) the grimmest scenes went over my head. Even so, The Land became a real place to me, one I can still see if I close my eyes.
I think I’ve been looking for imaginary places to live in ever since.
In your opinion, what is it that makes a SF book a classic?Each book is different, but a story packed with scenes and characters you remember for years afterwards .
Please share some of your favourite SF titles that you consider classic.Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy. The scope, from the first landings on Mars, all the way through to Mars’ secession from Earth, make this a series I find myself returning to.
Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow about an ill-fated Jesuit mission to an alien planet. It’s a heartbreaking book, but it sears itself into your mind.
I really like Dan Simmons’ Hyperion. It borrows the structure of The Canterbury Tales, with pilgrims sharing their stories of how they came to be travelling together. I’m a fan of novels with multiple narrators and multiple stories thrown into a bag and mixed up and Hyperion fits the bill perfectly.
What’s your top NZ SF read?I’m really impressed with Helen Lowe’s Wall of Night series so far. It feels fresh, yet at the same time squarely in the tradition of David Gemmell and Raymond Feist, so for The Heir of Night to win the Gemmell Morningstar award was excellent.
Tim Jones’ collection Transported is a few years old now, but it holds up very well. It’s a mix of stories that are clearly SFnal in nature, with others that sit perhaps more on the literary side of the fence. Some of my favorite stories are more literary than SF, so Transported felt like it was written just for me.
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