This interview was conducted by Andrew Liptak.

Hi Anna, thank you for taking the time to answer a couple of questions for us! First off, what inspired this story, ‘Lullaby’?

I love ghost stories, especially stories about haunted houses, and so I wanted to tell the story of a house that’s “haunted” by robots. Everything else kind of flowed from that premise. Continue reading ›


This interview was conducted by Jude Griffin.

What was the seed for “Small Things”?

The idea for “Small Things” came about after I had reread Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” and started thinking about the destructive nature of new technology. Every new advance we make replaces something that already exists, and this growth is often destructive. Conrad wrote about how civilization spreads and destroys existing societies while remaking them. I wanted to write a story built on a similar theme. Continue reading ›


This interview was conducted by Jude Griffin.

At the time of writing “Spider the Artist” you were dealing with some arachnid visitors in your home. Did writing the story change how you viewed your eight-legged guests?

No.  I was terrified of spiders before and I am still terrified of them now. Continue reading ›


This interview was conducted by Jude Griffin.

The name of the war is pretty genius—was that the spark for “Misfit Toys” or did it come later?

The spark was actually the idea of AI toys, toys where the Velveteen impulse was not only real, but uncontrolled and unstoppable. The name of the war itself followed pretty quickly after, and then I had the story. Continue reading ›


This interview was conducted by Patrick Stephens.

What was the inception of “Of Dying Heroes and Deathless Deeds”? Were there any works that might have inspired your distinct twist on this theme?

I studied history in college and grad school, and studying history inevitably means studying war. But it was never the battlefield that interested me—it was the effects of battle, the way it reshaped the minds and souls of the people who endured it. I was particularly struck by the stories of the shell-shocked soldiers of World War I—probably because their torment was so beautifully expressed by writers like Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, both of whom spent time convalescing from shell shock at the Craiglockhart War Hospital. Owen was in authentic neurasthenic distress, but Sassoon was there because he’d become a vocal conscientious objector to the war, and his superiors felt the diagnosis would be kinder (or perhaps more undermining of his cause) than a court-martial. I’m fascinated by the way the body rebels against things the mind convinces itself to tolerate, and it occurred to me that if robots gained sentience, they might not be immune to that kind of inner conflict—or poetic torment. Continue reading ›


This interview was conducted by Patrick Stephens.

How much anatomy and physiology did you understand, and how much did you need to learn, before starting “Nanonauts! In a Battle With Tiny Death-Subs!”?

I made myself wiki-wise. I used to work in television, in programme development. It’s the unglamorous coal-face of the small-screen—where ideas are devised, developed, formatted and pitched. The hit-ra eit soul-witheringly low: one in fifty ideas gets commissioned. One of the axioms of the development den is ‘expert in an afternoon’—learn enough to convincingly pitch your idea and stand up some question, with a minimum investment. It’s the same with stories: I become an ‘expert for a couple of weeks’.  Enough to bore in the bar. Continue reading ›


This interview was conducted by Patrick Stephens.

What was the inception of “Seasoning”? How did you approach the story when starting?

The first thing I do when asked to write a story for a themed anthology is try to avoid the obvious. No matter how appropriate a story idea, if it feels obvious, then someone else has likely already thought of it. So I throw it away and strive to go off on another tack. Continue reading ›

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Alastair Reynolds

This interview was conducted by Patrick Stephens.

What was your approach to a story that held the theme of “robot uprisings,” but had such concepts as seas monsters, oil rigs not used for their intended purpose, and a futuristic Earth unlike any we’ve seen before?  

While this story fits the theme of the book, in that it deals with the consequences of runaway artificial intelligence, I think it’s only fair of me to mention that it was written and published elsewhere a few years ago, so it wasn’t a question of me directly addressing the anthology’s remit. That said, I’m very happy to have the piece included and I’m glad you find the story elements unusual. Continue reading ›

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Julianna Baggott

This interview was conducted by Jude Griffin.

What did “Golden Hour” come from?

My husband and I were in new Orleans when the idea came to me. That city always feels Old World to me. It has a steampunk vibe — old architecture, a little Black Plague meets black magic, an undercurrent that feels like it’s running on gears. So the robots that arrived in my brain weren’t the typical fare. They had heart and a literary bent; New Orleans is so beautifully storied. Continue reading ›


This interview was conducted by Stephanie Loree.

“Human Intelligence” has all the twists and turns of a classic spy story. What attracted you to this genre-bending take on a Robot Uprising?

I love science fiction, but I haven’t written very much of it, and I thought a war between man and robots would still have the espionage that we expect in a real-world war. I thought it would be fun to play with the idea of a spy behind enemy lines. Continue reading ›

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