Speculate! Interview with Gregory A. Wilson

Last month, I had the honor of being a guest interviewer over at the excellent Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers, and Fans, talking with Gregory A. Wilson, author of The Third Sign and the forthcoming Icarus.


Headshot for author Gregory A. Wilson

Greg is normally a host on the show, but he and Brad have done a two-part series where they, the hosts, take a turn in the interviewee seat. It was a great time, and I’m really happy to have been able to help shed some light on Greg’s project Icarus, which is being made into a graphic novel with comics artist Matt Slay.

Greg and I had talked a bit before about Icarus, and I’m really pleased to see him bringing his vision for the story to life in graphic novel form.

You can listen to the interview here:

And here’s a link to the Kickstarter! It’s reached its initial goal, and now looking at very cool stretch goals.

Generation One Kickstarter – Guest Post

Dear all,

Today I’m handing the reins of the blog to my friend Steven R. Stewart. Steve and I met at World Fantasy in San Diego, and he quickly impressed me with his generosity, his curiosity, and his humor. I was very excited to see that he’s launched an already-successful Kickstarter to tell the tale of the first generation of children raised on Mars. I think this is the kind of SF we really need – a return to an optimistic, youth-oriented future, where the future is something great and exciting, not dark and terrifying.

In the last day of the Kickstarter, they’re pushing for a cool Halloween bonus issue.

Here’s Steve:

As I write this, I’m sitting by a window that overlooks my grassy lawn—a carpet of organic solar panels that turn sunlight into sugar—and the busy residential street beyond. A steady flow of traffic­—human beings in wheeled metal boxes—comes and goes a little too fast for my liking. I have kids, and they play in this lawn, near this busy street. I love my little girls; I don’t want them to break, to go out like a candle, to stop being.

It is night, the moon is out, and I think to myself how crazy all this is. That’s a real place, that ball of white up there in the sky, a place I could plant my feet, draw in the dust with the toe of my boot. It’s not hypothetical. It’s not an idea. It’s really there.

Near the moon, a faint pink dot hangs in the starry sky. It’s a real place too, a red planet, our next door neighbor. It’s so small, so easy to miss, and we could go there.

One day, if we can muster the courage, we will go there. We will live there. As NASA director Mike Griffin said, “One day…there will be more humans living off Earth than on it.” I agree, and I think that’s the way it should be. Earth is just a dot, “a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam,” all too easy for some cosmic cataclysm to swat out of the sky. If we want to continue surviving in this absurd, beautiful universe, we have to strap on our pioneer hats and get to work.

So here I am, a 29 year-old fiction writer with two kids and a wife, and zero background in science, mathematics or engineering. How can I help bring this bold future into being? How can I pitch in, or at the very least, cheer on the men and women who can? How can I cheer my loudest?

Generation One: Children of Mars is my attempt to do just that—to create a smart, accessible piece of entertainment that will hopefully encourage young people to look up at that pink dot in the sky and think big about humanity’s future in space. It’s a comic book about kids growing up on Mars and discovering what that means, and what it costs. You can learn more by watching our project video here.

My team and I launched the Kickstarter on August 6th, and so far, the public response has been overwhelming. People are hungry for this kind of story, far hungrier than I had realized. They want the same bold future I want, and that gives me hope. Because once we believe it’s possible, it will be.

We’ve been lucky enough to secure the endorsement of Dr. Robert Zubrin, author of “The Case for Mars” and President of The Mars Society. He had this to say about the project:

“Someday Mars will have its own Laura Ingalls Wilder to tell the tale of growing up on the new frontier. But with ‘Generation One: Children of Mars,’ we can experience some of that story now. It’s going to be great.”

There’s only a handful of days left in the Kickstarter. Join us. Come alongside us as we tell this story; be a part of our journey. It’s the same journey humanity has been on since the beginning: a quest to spread out and survive, to understand and grow, to become more than what we are.

Let’s add to the discussion—and have some fun in the process. We’re human after all.

And a cool poster for their final stretch goal:

Poster for Generation One Halloween issue.

Poster for Generation One Halloween issue stretch goal



Comic Talk

With the DC New 52, I decided to get back into comics-buying on a regular basis.  For the last few years, I’d been only following a few series, mostly ones put out by my company’s client publishers.  This meant I read Dark Horse, Image, IDW and a few other publishers’ series, but not much more.  I grew up reading comics, though, and I kind of missed it, especially getting to geek out with friends about comics on a regular basis.

So, I took the plunge and subscribed to a handful of New DC comics, as well as nibbling around the edges of a few other series and titles (Marvel’s Generation Hope, X-Men Schism, and now ReGenesis).

My favorite of the new DC series are:

Action Comics:  This is a huge callback to the very first version of Superman, where he was a one-man new deal, taking on robber barons and corrupt officials.  I find this extra-resonant considering the economic climate and the Occupy Wall Street Movement.  It’s nice to have Superman in tune with contemporary political sentiment, and to have him be pro-active and revolutionary rather than a staid defender of the status quo.

Batwoman: This series has gotten less reboot than many others, mostly due to the fact that the character is pretty new.  I highly recommend the first Batwoman trade, Elegy, which seems to be entirely preserved in the New DC.  The new series gives Batwoman a sidekick and puts her in opposition with most everyone else in Gotham, pursuing her own agenda.  The art here (by J.H. Williams III) is phenominal, and pretty much worth buying by itself.

Animal Man: I am really liking this one, though it feels more like a Vertigo title than a straight-up DC title.   The importance of Buddy’s family is pushing this title over the top for me, along with the striking art style.  This is a series you could read pretty well independent of the rest of the DCU and probably be happy.  Special shout-out-recommendation to old Vertigo readers or Sandman fans.

Batgirl:  Barbara Gordon resuming the mantle of Batgirl ruffled a lot of feathers, since as Oracle she was a rare differently-abled/disabled (pick your term) superheroine.  Barbara was crippled in the classic story arc of Batman: The Killing Joke, and in the New DC, she has gone through physical therapy and resumed the mantle of Batgirl.  Simone’s writing here is solid, and the art by Adrian Syaf is well-done, corresponding with the ‘superhero costumers are armor’ paradigm.

Demon Knights:  This is a straight-up action-adventure/sword & sorcery comic starring magic/occult heroes from DC that would have been around in a medieval setting.  Aside from the actual D&D comic, it is the D&D comic.

More to come later.  The problem with reading individual issues again is that it is a lot more expensive than buying trades.  After the first arcs of these DC reboots, I’m likely to subscribe to the trades and back off my weekly purchases to save some $.  But right now, I really enjoy having my weekly pilgrimages to the nerdery.