A few weeks back we did a review of the new book by Stephanie Osborn and Doc Taylor “Extraction Point!” At the time I said it was more fun than a barrel-full of radioactive mutant monkeys. So I managed to get a hold of Osborn’s email address and twisted her arm enough to get her to do an author Q&A.
What first attracted you to SF?
I was attracted to SF when I was small. I was always fascinated with the science shows that came on when I was little, usually on Sunday afternoons, and stayed glued to the TV, watching them. Science fiction seemed like the natural outgrowth, an attempt to figure out what came next, and present it in the context of a good story. I was writing SF myself when I was still in elementary school.
What made you decide to write it?
I’m the sort of person that, if I like something and I don’t see exactly what I’m looking for, I’m apt to go off and make it myself, or find someone who can make it for me if it isn’t in my personal skill set. I actually started – and honed – my writing by doing fanfic. But I’ll usually give it a twist, like taking a major turning point in an established story and then taking it in a different direction from the original story – like my Displaced Detective books did with Sherlock Holmes. They’re really, I suppose, the ultimate form of fanfic when you think about it. Then again, I think Watson was the original Mary Sue! ;-)
What do you think SF and science have to give each other?
Inspiration. I have a ring I recently acquired, and engraved on it is a reminder to myself: “Aspire to Inspire.” SF and science should always be symbiotic, each feeding off the other, each inspired by the other to new heights of creativity.
Who’s your favorite author and why?
In what genre? And do I have to just pick one?
What is it like to write with a major alpha geek like Doc Taylor?
An absolute major blast! Travis and I make a really cool writing team if I do say so. We’ve got degrees in a lot of the same subjects. We think a lot alike and have very similar opinions on things, and we also have similar styles. With not too much effort at all, our writing becomes seamless. On Extraction Point! it got to the point where I couldn’t remember who had written what, for sure.
We talk on the phone and brainstorm like crazy. He’ll be on a business trip and call me at the end of the day and say, “Steph! I had an idea today! Whaddaya think if we did this?”
And I’ll say, “WOW! I like it! You know what, if we did that, then this logically follows, and we could set it up so that THIS happens!”
“Ooo! Ooo! That is SO KEWL! ‘Cause then, you know, we can do this, and have so-and-so do that, and that causes blah to happen to whosis…”
And what started out as a 5-10 minute call ends up being two hours and our cell phones die!
Sometimes I tell him he’s the brother I never had. I’m not entirely sure what he thinks of that, but he’s never told me to quit saying it.
Do you have any thoughts on the future of the space program?
Well, unfortunately, yes, given that the President’s budget recommendations came out today, and it guts the UNmanned planetary programs in NASA – having already eliminated the manned planetary programs previously. If this keeps up, we will not have a space program. It is not in the interests of corporations to explore the universe in general, certainly not modern corporations. It takes – always has taken – a government sponsored exploration team to go there first, find out what’s there, and come back and tell people. THEN the venture capitalists look into what they can do with the newly discovered resources. It was that way with the British East India Company. It was that way with the New World – Columbus came over sponsored by the Spanish Crown, not by a Spanish corporation. We will never get past the Moon if NASA isn’t decently funded. Worse, we could end up with another country getting there before we get back, and laying claim to it. Yes, yes, I know that there’s a “Moon Treaty” out there, that declares that all extraterrestrial bodies cannot be claimed by any one nation. But not one of the spacefaring nations – not the US, not Russia, not Japan, not India, and not China – have signed it, let alone ratified it.
When’s the sequel to Extraction Point! coming out?
As soon as Travis and I can find time to finish it! We’re working on it and another book now.
What’s next for you?
Good question. I have the next 2 Displaced Detective books in the publisher’s hopper. I have the Burnout feature film project, and a film short project. I have the Point series, the Displaced Detective series, the Cresperian Saga, and the Burnout sequel. I have a steampunk novel I’m working on that I hope will become a series too. I dunno. Maybe I need to think about finishing off a couple of those series and extending others so I don’t stretch too thin!
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