Interview at SF Signal

I chatted to Patrick Hester recently for the SF Signal podcast, which is now online. We talk about steampunk, cover art, Going to the Moon, The Apex Book of World SF and lots of other stuff. Warning: quite a lot of bitching about steampunk follows!

And, for no particular reason, a picture – it’s funny because it’s true!

Photo’s from a pad thai place in Vientiane’s Talat Sao, or Morning Market


Going To The Moon

Going To The Moon has been reviewed over at SF Signal:

Going to the Moon is the story of a young boy named Jimmy who wants to be an astronaut. He wants to go to the Moon. Jimmy also doesn’t want to have to fight his constant, taxing struggle against the Tourette’s syndrome that dominates his life. He doesn’t like the dance-like involuntary movements it causes in him. He’s bullied, in the way young people who are different are often bullied. The corprolaia of Toruette’s syndrome means that he involuntarily uses curse words, even though he doesn’t want to. As such, the book doesn’t shy away from trangressive words. Words I can’t use in this review.

The real heart and soul of the book is found in the pictures by Paul McCaffrey. They are beautifully and colorfully drawn. But there’s more to the book than just Lavie’s words and the pictures. Like the best picture books, the text and the images engage and interpolate with each other, in a dialogue that makes the book stronger for that interaction. The theme of aliens (and Jimmy himself is definitely an alien in some ways) is reflected in the imagery much more than the text. To cite another example, the use of curse words in exclamation in the imagery reminds me of the innovative subtitles in the movie Night Watch.

And the end brought tears to my eyes as the reader figures out what Jimmy and the friend he makes are too young to realize. Curse you, Lavie Tidhar…your audacity strikes me again.

It’s not a book you’d want to read to your children, because of the language. Although its about a young boy and his concerns, its a book for adults. And it moved me. It will move you, too. – read the full review.

Photo (c) Sandy Auden 2012

And I am interviewed at SF Signal about the process of creating the book:

CT: How did you end up collaborating with Paul McCaffery? When you were writing the book, did you know he would be illustrating it?

LT: Terry put us together. It took a long time to find the right artist, if I remember rightly. But once the connection was made, it was obvious he was the perfect person for it. I love his artwork, and he gives the book this wonderful slightly-off sense – it’s innocent, and charming, and really emotive, I think, and that weird physical perspective of the characters really works. I guess I’m just a fan!

CT: What was the collaboration process like?

LT: To begin with, I had to do sort of word-sketches for each page of illustration. I had to take the original text and really clarify how it was meant to be split into pages, and opposite each page of text I had to write down notes for Paul, on how I envision the page to be, what should be in it and so on. So in a way it was a little like writing comics, only you’re not writing panels, you’re writing full page illustrations. Then Paul went away and then the pages would start coming in, and then, in a few cases, we’d have back and forth on them, what worked and what didn’t. So sometimes the first illustration was spot on, at other times we went through several tries to get to the one we were most happy with.

CT: What was the most difficult aspect about writing the book?

LT: The whole thing was a challenge – in the best possible way! I think the hardest thing though was having patience – we all knew this was a long-term project, it’s literally taken years from conception to actualization – I think I’m actually still in a bit of shock that it’s real and physical and in my hands. – read the full interview.

SF Signal Mind Meld, plus Podcast Interview

A couple of things recently – I participate in the latest SF Signal Mind Meld, on women SF writers, where I get to gush a bit about all the writers in the Apex Book of World SF, and talk about the influence of Tiptree (Alice Sheldon) and C.L. Moore on my own work.

And I was interviewed by Mur Lafferty for the Angry Robot podcast – where I ramble on about Camera Obscura and being a secret agent… erm.

New story should be up at Chizine soon. I’ll post as soon as it goes up!