What are some of the differences in writing novels versus short stories?
I have to mention Varley again. Famous for good reason. I’ve read every story in his collections The Barbie Murders and The Persistence of Vision at least ten times. Wow. Short stories are an excellent place to hone your craft. It’s a real trick to wrap up a plot and a character arc in the space of twenty pages, much less introduce a sub-plot and a smart bad guy. (I love smart bad guys.) Short stories are also a good place to experiment. If it fizzles, you’ve only lost a week or three. If it works, you make a nice sale. Either way, you learn something. Plague Year takes place in an apocalyptic near-future, with humans resorting to some very desperate means to stay alive. What was it like to put yourself in these characters’ heads and decide how they would react? How did you research this world? The setting was easy—being trapped at 10,000 feet elevation because of the nanotech plague and looking at the tallest mountains around the world not only as remote peaks but as islands. I’m a li