Sunday, April 12, 2009

An Interview with SF&F author Ruth Nestvold

The website of the Nebula Awards has a neat interview with SF&F author Ruth Nestvold, whose short story “Mars: A Travelers Guide”, published in the January 2008 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, has been nominated for a Nebula Award. Here’s a snippet from the interview:
Rochita Loenen-Ruiz: Tell us a bit more about your story, Mars: A Traveler’s Guide? What was the inspiration behind this story and what did you hope to achieve?

Ruth Nestvold: The gestation period for my stories tends to be very long, so it’s hard for me to pinpoint any one source. [...]

For “Mars,” one of the inspirations was that I like to play with new ways of telling a story, something that probably at least in part comes from my work in hyperfiction, fiction in hypertext. This story is like doing that _without_ the hypertext.

Another one of the inspirations, believe it or not, was a little lecture Michael Swanwick gave at a workshop a few years back entitled “How to win a Hugo.” (Really!) I didn’t do what he said, but the idea stayed with me. What Michael told us to do was to have a character stranded in a hostile environment in our solar system and have him or her solve the problems that arise using science. I just turned it around a bit and had the science take over and not solve the problems.
Ruth Nestvold is an American writer living in Stuttgart, Germany. She has a Ph.D. in English literature. Her short fiction has been published in several venues, including Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Realms of Fantasy, Baen’s Universe, and Strange Horizons, as well as several anthologies.

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