This month's interview features Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Peunumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore! A big thank you to Robin for humouring me in answering my questions! Let's see what Robin’s answers were!
What's your first book-related memory?
I don't know if this is my first, but it's among them: ten or twelve years old, stretched out on a green couch under a tall lamp, finishing THE HIGH KING, the last volume in Lloyd Alexander's CHRONICLES OF PRYDAIN, and feeling sad—so sad—as the pages dwindled beneath my fingers, because it meant I wasn't going to get to spend any more time with these characters. It was the first time—not the last—that a book made me feel sad in that way.
Have you ever gotten a book hangover from a book? If so, which one?
I'm actually feeling one right now from HILD, Nicola Griffith's historical epic due out in November. I read an ARC [advanced reader’s copy] recently, and it's one of those books that absolutely sucks you in, not only to its world, but to its protagonist's way of seeing that world. Hild starts the book as a child and grows into a prophet, largely because she's able to recognize patterns (political, natural) that her contemporaries can't. I've been seeing in Hild-vision, or trying to, for weeks.
Is there one word or turn of phrase that you've felt compelled to work
into your writing?
As soon as I encountered the word "Hadoop"—the name of a very popular piece of open source software used to analyze huge data sets—I knew I had to use it somehow. And sure enough, it plays a pretty significant role in the plot of MR. PENUMBRA'S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE.
I mean, how can you resist a word like that? "Hadoop"!
Do you reread books? If so, which ones?
I'm trying to do it more often. The book I've just been rereading is—you're going to laugh—SO MANY BOOKS by Gabriel Zaid, a book of brilliant essays, all about books and reading and (yes) rereading. This is probably my fourth or fifth time through. Right now, there are only a handful of books I can say that about, but I'm trying hard to increase the number.
If you weren't a writer, what would you do as a profession?
I'd probably focus more on digital stuff, either as a programmer or app-maker of some stripe. (I still do a fair amount of this now, but I
balance it with writing.)
Use the word 'spatula' in a sentence.
My father's sword was called Doombringer; his father's before him, Doomsayer; his father's, Doom's Edge; but my blade, forged in the fires of the Darkmount, it has a different name. It is Spatula, flipper of souls.
(Okay, I realize that was actually two sentences.)
**If you’re an author that would like to participate in the Choose Your Own Adventure Interview series, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.**