Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Interview with Ian Douglas, author of Altered Starscape


Inside the Book:

Title: Altered Starscape
Author: Ian Douglas
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Format: Ebook

Galaxies collide in a thrilling new series from bestselling author Ian Douglas, as the last humans in the universe face off against a new threat 2162.

Thirty-eight years after first contact, Lord Commander Grayson St. Clair leads theTellus Ad Astra on an unprecedented expedition to the Galactic Core, carrying more than a million scientists, diplomats, soldiers, and AIs. Despite his reservations about their alien hosts, St. Clair is deeply committed to his people—especially after they're sucked into a black hole and spat out four billion years in the future.Civilizations have risen and fallen. The Andromeda Galaxy is drifting into the Milky Way. And Earth is most certainly a distant memory. All that matters now is survival. But as the ship's Marines search for allies amid ancient ruins and strange new planetary structures, St. Clair must wrap his mind around an enemy capable of harnessing a weapon of incomprehensible power: space itself.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
·         I have loved science and history from very young age. In my youth I was a Navy hospital corpsman (Marine medic) and a laboratory technician, and I employ my Navy experience in all my military writing. I was aided and abetted by growing up with a writer as a father.
When and why did you begin writing?
·         I began writing in grade school.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
·         My imagination caught fire with Ben Bova's first novel, The Star Conquerors, followed by E.E. Smith's Lensman series.
When did you first know you could be a writer? 
·         My first trilogy was pounded out on a portable typewriter at age 12; it was a very bad imitation of E.E. Smith.
What inspires you to write and why?
·         Just about everything is an inspiration.
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
·         Military science fiction
What inspired you to write your first book?
·         As a professional writer? I learned that I could earn more money writing about space ships that by painting them. (I was working as an illustrator in the gaming industry, and then I was asked to write about the illustrations.)
Who or what influenced your writing once you began?
·         The Holy Trinity of Science Fiction: Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, and Robert Heinlein.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
·         Since I write science fiction and political technothrillers, the biggest challenge is the short-term future compared with publication lead time. It takes about a year to write and publish a book. Which pronouns should I use when referring to the President, when I'm writing a book that won't be released until next year? What happens if I write about a newly discovered exoplanet, turn in the manuscript, and then another new discovery negates the information I've already written (and makes me look like a fool)?
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?
·         I'm always learning. My science fiction is based on real science, and I love doing the research for each book.
Do you intend to make writing a career?
·         It's been my full-time career for the past 35 years.
Have you developed a specific writing style?
·         God, I hope so. After 35 years, I'd better sound like me.
What is your greatest strength as a writer? 
·         Sheer bloody-minded persistence. Actually, I’m known for my extremely alien aliens; I try very hard to get into their cultures, psychologies, motivations, and minds, and keep them from being humans in rubber suits.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?
·         "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Arthur C. Clarke. Much of my writing lately focuses on the technological singularity and what technology is going to mean as humankind moves into post-humanity. Sheer magic!

Meet the Author:

Ian Douglas is one of the pseudonyms for William H. Keith, New York Times bestselling author of the popular military science fiction series The Heritage Trilogy, The Legacy Trilogy, The Inheritance Trilogy, Star Corpsman, and Star Carrier. A former naval corpsman, he lives in Pennsylvania.

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