What was the most surprising thing you found out while researching/writing your latest book?
Working out lifestyles on a space station forced me to think outside the comfort of the planetside life we take for granted, e.g., the ability to step outside and still breathe.
Why did you choose this setting?
Bogue Dast Station features in several of my books. It’s the last Station in human-space before you cross into the Lupan Dominion. Considering our hero Rick’s personal situation, there wasn’t anyplace else he could be.
What’s unique about your world?
I think it was Walt Kelly in his comic strip Pogo who said, ‘I have met the enemy & he is us.’ That’s very much the core concept on Bogue Dast and, indeed, throughout the star-flung Van Buren Commonwealth.
How real do you think the science is in your book?
As real as I could make it. I sat with genetic engineers from the University of California to work out the means of creating my human polymorph Lupans. I worked with the head of the LA Zoo’s predator division (same fellow who served as Spielberg’s consultant in predator behavior for Jurassic Park) to develop Lupan behavior patterns. I got guidance on what exposure to vacuum really does to the human body (you do NOT want to hear those details!) from the guys at JPL. The list goes on…most of the details never appear on the page as such, but they’re all built into the way the station functions. Of course, for the political structure I just had to turn on the TV…
What did you include that you wish was real today?
Uh…not a lot… Well, except maybe Lupans. I do have a real soft spot for those guys.
Anything else the readers should know?
From an author you ask this? How about: “GREAT BOOK! Buy it! Tell your family, friends, PTA parents, softball league, the world at large to buy it!”
On a more realistic note, ‘Liquid Gambit’ is a finalist in the 2017 EVVY awards. My debut novel, ‘Home World’ – which establishes the Commonwealth universe – won the EVVY Gold prize in 2016. It was also a Reader’s Choice Top 100 selection in 2015. My short story, ‘A Hot Day on Titan’ was nominated for the 2016 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award in short fiction.
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