Author Q&A with Michael J. Martinez

We’re getting very excited about how this project is coming together, and we want you to be excited, too, so we’ve asked the authors involved to talk with us a little about why they signed on and what they’re working on. We’ll be posting their answers to our questions here over the next couple of months, so be sure to check back often.

We’re also planning our first giveaway early next week, as a sneak peak of the excellent swag that is coming your way as part of Geeky Giving. The SF/F community has been beyond generous with their contributions to date and I think you all might pee a little at some of what we have to offer. If you’re not already following us on social media, you’re going to want to do that. Trust.

Now without further ado, our Q&A with Michael J. Martinez.

Michael J. MartinezQ: What made you want to sign on to the Geeky Giving project?

Short answer: You asked!

Longer answer: I’m really quite fortunate to be a published author. My initial goal was just to see a novel I wrote in a bookstore, and now I have my fourth novel coming out next September, plus some short stories in anthologies and such. Doing things for charity — I’ve been involved with Worldbuilders and Con or Bust as well — is just my way of trying to recognize my good fortune and pay it forward as best I can.

Q: Have you ever written anything about the neurosciences before? If yes, tell us a little about that. If no, tell us (or at least hint at) where you looked for inspiration for the story you’re working on.

A: No, this is a first. My work tends to focus on historical fantasy/SF, but I’m always looking to branch out and explore, and this was a great opportunity to give traditional “hard SF” a shot. The work of the Barrow Neurological Institute itself was a great source of inspiration — they’re doing stuff that’s practically science fiction, but is very much for-real and helping folks live full lives. It’s pretty awesome.

Q: What’s your favorite story that involves the neurosciences, drawing from all types of genres and media? Why?

A: Two spring to mind right away. The first is the movie Firefox from the 1980s, where Clint Eastwood has to steal a Russian jet that’s powered by human thought. The neurological aspect really isn’t front and center in the film, but it should’ve been. And of course, there’s Neuromancer, which was cutting-edge sci-fi at the time, but now we’re seeing reality start to catch up.

Q: How would you explain the relationship between science fiction/fantasy and hard science to someone who didn’t know anything about it? For an added challenge, try to do it as a tweet (140 characters or less).

A: Hard science pushes the bounds of what’s possible. Science fiction/fantasy provides the imagination to define “possible” in the first place.

Q: What’s the number one thing a science fiction writer has created that you wish was now a real life thing but isn’t?

A: I’m still waiting for my jetpack/hoverboard/transporter, because frankly, I spend far too much of my commute stalled in traffic.

About Michael J. Martinez

Michael J. Martinez is the author of the Daedalus trilogy of Napoleonic era space opera novels, as well as the forthcoming MAJESTIC-12 series, starting with the Cold War spy-fi thriller MJ-12: Inception this fall from Night Shade Books. His short fiction has been published in the anthologies Cthulhu Fhtagn! and Unidentified Funny Objects 4. He is an avid traveler and homebrewer, and lives in New Jersey with his wife, child, two cats and three chickens.

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