Howdy. Blog time around here lapses longer than the return of Halley’s Comet, so thank you for waiting. David Lee Summers, a superb indie author, was tagged to answer the following questions on time travel and bookage and such. In turn, my compadre Jack Tyler (he of the Beyond the Rails series. Excellent! Read it!) tagged me to answer them as well. They gave great, detailed answers.Let’s see where this takes us, shall we?
What is your favorite setting for a book?
Punk. Whereas in my youth it would have been straight science fiction, steampunk, dieselpunk, atompunk, cyberpunk (you see where this is going) has taken over. I cannot love one over another. Each has its worth. Diesel I lean towards currently, but Atomic rays are calling my name from behind a glowing fog…
We are in the future! Why parse genres? Why nitpick? It’s writing, not rocket science. Meld worlds. Burn bridges. Invent. Make fantastic characters of depth and change in insane lands.
What writers would you like to travel back in time to meet?
In an older interview I think (memory?) I said H.G Wells. Now, I’d go with Gardner Fox. Yes, the comic book writer. Does that break a rule? Well, so be it. Polymath, great guy and creator of the Flash, Hawkman, Spectre, Johnny Thunder and the Whip plus more. Fox put the scientific, pulpy mash of greatness into Golden Age comics. As a kid who spent tons of time in the Penns Grove Public Library, the giant-sized issues of All-Star #1 and Flash Comics #1 gave me chills, stoked my imagination and made writing into a must.
What books would you travel back in time and give to your younger self?
The Bible, because it’s so close to me now but wasn’t then. Also, every indie steampunk novel I’ve recently read, along with a note:
“This stuff in your head they say is worthless? In time, it’ll be a thing. Stop moping! Get to writing!”
What book would you travel forward in time to give to your older self?
Now this is tough. How do I know what post-apocalyptic me would need to…oh, right…prepper guide. That, and an Oxford English Dictionary. I have a feeling the real cataclysm will be the loss of good writing and speech.
What is your favorite futuristic setting for a book?
I agree with those before me. Star Trek. Can’t lose. Broad in its scope, audacious in its talk of morality and humans acting humane. Yeah, like the Jackson Five–you know I got to be there!
What is your favorite book that is set in a different time period?
Back in the day I came across in the old Borders bookstore the Time Ships by Stephen Baxter. Written be a sequel to Wells’ famous novel, this neo-classic added quantum physics, altered pasts (very steampunk & dieselpunk) and loads of Morlocks. I felt a sequel to a centuries old novel was a joke, but Baxter proved me wrong. With this book I got to have variant timelines, fun and lots of science lessons. If someone were to write a third book in, say, the late 21st century, I wonder what their additional awareness of time would do to enhance the Traveler’s adventures.
Spoiler time: do you ever skip ahead to the end of a book to see what happens?
Nope. Well, if I read a really bad book (a rarity. I’m picky) then I read the end and call it a day. That’s that.
If you had a Time Turner, where would you go and what would you do?
First to the future! Strapped into a fix-it doohickey, I cure my asthma and bad eyes. Then, off to Victoriana, digging with Howard Carter, walking in the forests of North America before Europeans arrived, seeing Musketeers, walking the corridors of the first Martian dome city, etc. Long list!
Favorite book (if you have one) that includes time travel or takes place in multiple time periods.
Wells’ the Time Machine. So much for offering a new one to the list, huh?
What book/series do you wish you could go back and read again for the first time?
Indies. I’d reread all my recent indie steampunk, decopunk, dieselpunk books. Indie is not constrained by mainstream popular genre limits. I want broken Borders. Boom.
Heck, just grab a read via Empire Booksellers to see what I mean:
Special thanks to Jack Tyler for pulling my name out of his hat to kickstart my blog machine into running again.
Now then, let me go about tagging some fellow authors to answer these same questions. Let’s see…
Have fun! Know your alternate history!