So now The Lowest Heaven, a sci-fi short story spectacular which features some of the hottest names in modern genre publishing, is out in paperback – and very handsome it looks to. We love this book so much (and are in constant awe of the amazing work that our friends at Jurassic publishing are doing) so we’re going to celebrate all over again with some more exclusive interviews with the authors involved.
To kick things off, here’s a High Five interview with S.L. Grey.
S.L. Grey is a collaboration between Sarah Lotz and Louis Greenberg. Based in Cape Town, Sarah is a novelist and screenwriter and die-hard zombie fanatic. She writes crime novels and thrillers under her own name, and as Lily Herne she and her daughter Savannah Lotz write the Deadlands series of zombie novels for young adults. Louis is a Johannesburg-based fiction writer and editor. He was a bookseller for several years, and has a Master’s degree in vampire fiction and a doctorate on the post-religious apocalyptic fiction of Douglas Coupland.
S.L.’s first novel, The Mall, was published by Corvus in 2011 and The Ward came out in 2012. The New Girl, the last of their Downside novels, will come out in October 2013. They have also published a handful of short stories.
The S. L. Grey story in The Lowest Heaven is “We’ll Always Be Here” and is inspired by Pluto & Charon
On with the questions:
1) To start this off, what was the inspiration behind your story in The Lowest Heaven?
L: As dark writing twins, we thought it perfectly appropriate that we were assigned the dark twins of the solar system. We loved the idea of the misunderstood outsiders – demoted, outcast and resentful emo planets – lurking on the periphery. As things turned out, though, we needed to bring the action a bit closer to the centre.
2) What is it that attracts you to science-fiction as a genre and what one sci-fi thing, be it book, movie or real life event, has influenced you the most?
L: I devoured science fiction, particularly in my undergrad days. I joined the alt.scifi list and got a list of best sci-fi that I tried to work my way through. I played TrekMOO, did an English Honours elective on Dan Simmons’s Hyperion, and went to a 21st party dressed as Gully Foyle. Take your pick!
S: This is a total cliche, but I guess I’m attracted to it because of the genre’s endless possibilities for story-telling, from the fantastical to fresh social critique.
I read way too much PKD when I was a child – his short stories exploring what makes us human (Second Variety etc) were a massive influence. I am now obsessed with androids, hyper-realistic sex dolls and the uncanny valley.
3) Okay, so you’re going on a mission in to space. What is your mission? What three people (alive or not so alive) will you take with you? And most importantly what cool name would you give your ship?
L: I was moved by Carl Sagan’s Contact and the Jodie Foster film version. My mission would be to find plausible other life somewhere on a peaceful cosmic beach. I’d take my wife, sons and dogs with me. Our ship would be called, uh, Griswold’s Rocket.
S: The mission is to find the alien race responsible for Morgellons.
I would take Kim Stanley Robinson (anyone capable of writing the Mars Trilogy is someone I want on my side); the writer Sam Wilson (in case we run into some black holes – he’s the only person I know who can explain string theory coherently, plus, he’s funny) and my daughter Savannah (if I leave her behind she’ll have a party and trash the house).
I would call the ship The Wasp Factory in honour of the brilliant Iain Banks.
4) The age ol’ question, do you think we’re alone in the universe?
L: We can’t be, but it’s so damn annoying that until we invent a teleporter, we’re probably not going to know for sure.
L: For some reason, Jellybeans and Jujubes are on my mind today.
S: Jeyes Fluid (I have a lot of rescue animals on their last legs)
The Lowest Heaven is published by Jurassic London and is out NOW! For more information and where to pick yourself up a copy, check out the website here.