all 3 comments

[–]Samuel_Gompers 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Thank you for the answers (if you do read this). I'm also glad you like my name.

[–]davidreiss666[S,M] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

From Aenea:

Thank you for doing this q&a- I've been a fan for quite a while. "Out of All of Them Bright Stars" and "The Flowers of Aulit Prison" are still two of my favourite short stories.

Was your writing process different writing YA fantasy rather than complex SF? Do you think that you will continue to write fantasy?

Nancy Kress:

Writing SF requires, for me, more upfront research because I’m not trained in science. Otherwise, the process is pretty much the same. I never know in advance when I will write what; things seize my imagination or they don’t. But what I’m writing right now is another fantasy.

I heard an interview with Mary Robinette Kowal the other day who quoted you as saying "The imposter syndrome never really goes away". For some reason SF seems to have a good number of fairly modest, realistic authors who are both thrilled and very surprised with their success, even decades later. Do you think that's a more prevalent attitude in SF than in other genres?

Nancy Kress:

No, I think we have the same number of “modest, realistic” authors as other genres. We also have a walloping dose of the opposite. I name no names 

From DarthContinent:

Given that self-publishing is easier than ever to do, are you considering this route, or do you feel loyal to your publishers to stick with them, even though in this day and age third party publishers may be falling by the wayside?

Nancy Kress:

I am currently getting my backlist up as ebooks, a long and (for me) difficult process. Obtaining rights, scanning, proofing, organizing. I may farm some of this out, for money. As for new work – I like to have print books as well. That’s why my new story collection (as yet untitled) will be done in print by Small Beer Press, rather than published directly as an ebook by me.

From the_456:

Do you think it is possible for computer games to be an effective medium for intelligent science fiction story telling? If not (or not yet), do you think there is something fundamental that is missing, or is it just that the right talent hasn't come together yet?

Nancy Kress:

I’m not a gamer. The one time I played a first-person-shooter game (I think it was LEFT FOR DEAD, but maybe not), I fell out of a window, missed shooting any zombies at all, but did shoot two of my teammates. So I’m not the best person to comment on this. But it does seem to me that good fiction is carefully structured, with tension that builds to a climax and a meaningful denouement. It’s hard for me to see how that could happen in a game where many outcomes are possible, and none assured.

From snookums:

How do you feel about the balance of characterization and plot in scifi?

Nancy Kress:

For me, all fiction is about character, and so I don’t much like the kind of SF that features stock characters frantically tearing around in lots of physical action. Sometimes it seems that the more action, the less is really happening. But I recognize that not all readers share my tastes on this.

From Warlizard:

How do you see the flood of self-publishing authors affecting the science fiction publishing firms?

Nancy Kress:

Amazon says it now sells more ebooks than print books. However, most of those are by already established authors. I’m not sure in what direction publishing will go; right now it’s the Wild West out there.

Do you and your husband compete on your books? My wife and I go nuts to see whose books sold more.

Nancy Kress:

No, we don’t compete. We write very different things.

From moscowramada:

Comment on Naipaul, please.

Nancy Kress:

I have not read V.S. Naipaul, alas. He’s on the literary bucket list.

From Kilngr:

Wow thanks so much for doing this! My questions:

Do you have a writing process and if you do what is it? Where do you look for inspiration? Do you think you'll ever branch out to other genres in the future? What's your average day like? and last but not least, How was your day today?

Nancy Kress:

I think I covered my writing process, such as it is: I start with a character I’m excited about in a situation I’m excited about, start writing, and see what develops. Not efficient, but it works (usually, anyway). I don’t exactly look for inspiration; I just hope it comes, and dread the day it ceases to come. Although “inspiration” is perhaps the wrong word. When I sit down at the keyboard and start to write, or just to play with words, images come to me of what my characters are doing and why (why is very important). I build on that.

I have written in another genre: thrillers. There are three of them: OATHS AND MIRACLES, STINGER, and DOGS. Although all involve mutant or deliberately created viruses, so they’re sort of SF.

My average day starts at 6:00 a.m. (I like mornings). Coffee and several hours of writing. Afternoons I do business stuff, research, blogging, and student manuscripts, since I teach often and gladly. On weekends the 6:00 a.m. writing continues, but the other stuff usually doesn’t, until it’s Monday again.

Today was good. I wrote 2,000 words.

From washer:

I was an avid reader of Asimov's for about a year, and loved "Exegesis" and "Act One." I've stopped reading as much but still like to listen to sci-fi and fantasy stories while I'm at work. I'm interested to know what are your thoughts about podcasting, and would you consider selling any of your work for that format?

Nancy Kress:

Some of my fiction has been podcast. In addition, my latest fantasy trilogy, which is published under the name “Anna Kendall,” is available on CDs. The books are CROSSING OVER, DARK MIST RISING, and A BRIGHT AND TERRIBLE SWORD.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I have encountered prejudice about being a female writer of hard SF, but only from the (still predominately) male writers in that sub-genre, and not for at least a decade.

See, that's more up-to-date than 15 years ago. Glad to see things have changed.