Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tina Connolly

Tina Connolly lives with her family in Portland, Oregon, in a house that came with a dragon in the basement and blackberry vines in the attic. Her stories have appeared all over, including in Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

Connolly new novel is Copperhead, the sequel to her Nebula-nominated historical fantasy debut, Ironskin.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Connolly's reply:
Well, I just turned in Ironskin #3 to my editor, and I'm about 2 weeks from my due date for our baby #2 [ed: it's a girl!], so I'm indulging in some comfort reading. I'm currently re-reading all the Anne McCaffreys on my shelf. Just started in on Pern, and I went ahead and picked up the ones written by her son Todd McCaffrey as well, since I'd never read those.

It's fun immersing yourself in a long series. I was actually just thinking about how much scope the worldbuilding in the Pern series gives you to play around with. I recently read a blog post by Daniel Abraham (whose work I really enjoy) about building lots of secrets into the first book of a series, so you have plenty of room to pull them out in later volumes.

Similarly, the first book in the Pern series (Dragonflight, 1968) looks rather like a standard fantasy world at first glance, with humans bonding telepathically to dragons and fighting the dangerous organism Thread. But since McCaffrey's world is actually science fiction based, there ended up being a lot of stories to tell over the years about the origins of the world, and the difficulties as humans slowly lose their futuristic technology, and regress to the level of tech seen in the very first book. Plus, since time travel is possible in the books, there are a number of stories where people later in the timeline are able to access valuable information from people earlier on.

Comfort reading it may be, but it's also given me lots of thought for how to make a world with enough scope to tell 25 different novels!
Visit Tina Connolly's website, blog, and Twitter perch.

My Book, The Movie: Copperhead.

--Marshal Zeringue