Thursday, December 3, 2015

John Till's Strange Stars

There's a proof copy of Strange Stars Fate. There are a few things we want to fix, so it's not ready for release yet, but it's getting close.

Friday on the Hydra Collective blog we'll feature an interview I did with John "Fate SF" Till, author of the Fate implementation of Strange Stars (available now in pdf). John had a lot of interesting things to say. Here's an excerpt:

You write a blog with SF in the title! What are some works/authors that you like?
I read a lot of SF on my own, and I am also part of the Second Foundation, a SF reading group in the Twin Cities that has been meeting for decades! This is an SF-rich community, with two world-class SF book stores just a few miles from my house. We read a lot in Minnesota, because of the long winters.

As a kid, my first SF books were:
  • Robert A. Heinlein’s Orphans of the Sky (my lifelong love of generation ships started here!)
  • James Blish’s Spock Must Die. You can’t get any more Strange Stars than the sea of coffee produced by insane Organians!
  • Samuel R. Delaney’s great space operas, Babel-17 and Nova
  • John Christopher’s Tripods trilogy.
  • The Ace Books translations of the Perry Rhodan space opera series. In fact, the first space empires that my friends and I created in the years right before roleplaying games were inspired by Rhodan. I am the very proud owner of TWO German books full of Perry Rhodan ship blueprints!

My big SF influences these days include Alastair Reynolds, the Culture novels of Iain M. Banks, and the classic space opera of Cordwainer Smith. And of course, Eleanor Arnason, Minnesota’s best SF writer. Space opera fans should make a point of reading her Ring of Swords; fans of Niven’s Known Space stories should read her Tomb of the Fathers. I read ALL of Cordwainer Smith’s Instrumentality short stories and Norstrilia last year. I (re)read six Delaney novels over the summer!

Like I said, we read a lot in Minnesota.

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