The Geomancer


Setting The Pages on Fire

Chris Roberson is interviewed on Yatterings. "Setting the Pages on Fire," is a comprehensive-Chris interview, talking not only about his previous two Pyr novels, Here, There & Everywhereand Paragaea: A Planetary Romance,but also about his forthcoming Solaris novels Set the Seas on Fireand The Dragon's Nine Sons,as well as his forthcoming S&S/Firebird young adult Iron Jaw & Hummingbird, and even his not-even-scheduled-yet next Pyr novel, End of the Century.

Although he has written outside of it, the vast majority of Chris's published and forthcoming work is set in one of two fictional universes. First, there is his stories of the extended Bonaventure-Carmody clan. Comparable to Michael Moorcock's Beck/Begg dynasty, Chris says, "Along with the von Beck family, the other inspirations for the Bonaventure family (more properly the Bonaventure-Carmody family, though the Carmody side of the clan hasn’t much appeared in print, as yet) are Kim Newman’s Diogenes Club stories, and Philip José Farmer’s Wold-Newton stories. I’ve got a real weakness for stories that mix genres, or at least blend different subgenres, and I’ve always been a sucker for heroes." Novels in this universe include Here, There & Everywhere, Paragaea, Set the Seas on Fire (forthcoming, but featuring a pre-Paragaea Hieronymus Bonaventure) and End of the Century.

His other major universe is that of the Celestial Empire, an alternate history of a space-faring Chinese empire that diverges from our own timeline sometime in the 15th Century and follows the empire as it sets out to colonize Mars. I published the first of these tales, "O One," in my anthology Live Without a Net. Several more have appeared in Asimov's and Postscripts, with the novella The Voyage of Night Shining Whiteout from PS Publishing. Forthcoming is The Dragon's Nine Sons, which I suspect will rocket these tales to widespread attention. Speaking of the universe, Roberson says, "With a timeline that covers a thousand years, the stories I’ve written in it tend to focus on the quieter moments, on people just a little bit off to the side, right before or right after some larger and louder event has taken place. Not the larger-than-life heroes and villains, but regular people caught in the wake of extraordinary events. Even when I try to write about the more pivotal moments in the history, I find myself gravitating to those at the sidelines, for some reason." Novels in this universe include The Voyage of Night Shining White (novella), and the forthcoming The Dragon's Nine Sons and Iron Jaw & Hummingbird.

Check out the interview, and then, if you haven't already, dive into the universe of your choice. Not that you can't visit both.

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