Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Author Spotlight - Michael Swanwick

"Why did you choose to set the story on Titan? I blame Geoffrey Landis. He observed that NASA had spent billions of dollars sending out probes to the planets and moons of the Solar System and then posted all the scientific data, analyses, photos, and films on the web, free for anybody who wanted to use it—and most science fiction writers were ignoring this largesse! Which seemed to me not only a valid criticism, but a great opportunity. One which, incidentally, new writers should take advantage of—there’s nothing that will get you attention like a well-written hard science fiction story. I liked Titan specifically because there was a lot known about its chemistry and geography, but most people were not familiar with it, so a story set there would feel fresh to them. There was also the possibility—since confirmed—of open bodies of liquid on the surface, which still seems pretty exciting. Finally, there’s speculation that primitive life forms might well be at work in the observed chemical processes there. Put all that together, and Titan is a natural for science fiction." 3.5 out of 5