L’Erin Ogle (“Shiver Soft Feathers”) – Despair + Trepidation

Interviewer: In “Shiver Soft Feathers,” the only glimmer of hope derives from darkness: “There’s hope in the huntress stalking the night. There’s none in the daylight.” After being assigned ‘despair’ and ‘trepidation,’ what did your writing process look like? How did you arrive at the idea of “The Spotted Girl” …

Samuel Chapman (“Universe of Ghosts”) – Joy + Friendship

Interviewer: In “Universe of Ghosts”, Esther understands that “Without a friend, the joy I’ve tried to rebuild slips farther and farther away.” Why did you choose the peculiar (yet fascinating!) friendship between an AI and a ghost to articulate the meaning of joy? Samuel Chapman: I’ve always been partial to …

Adan Berkowitz (“Orl, His Master, and the Egg”) – Respect + Disgust

Interviewer: As Orl tells his pupil at the end of “Orl, His Master, and the Egg”, “One day, when your respect for me is matched with disgust, you will understand.” During the writing process, how did you construct your characters in order to properly convey this relationship between respect and …

Ian Rennie (“The Bully Pulpit”) – Fear + Detachment

Interviewer: In “The Bully Pulpit,” Seth is both detached from Senator Dillard’s campaign and the source of increasing fear among his audience. He later reveals that “Anywhere a man drew a blade against another, I was there. Anywhere a daughter shed tears on hearing her father’s fate, I was there. …

T.B. McKenzie (“The Interrogation of Kelstrom Nor”) – Interest + Dislike

Interviewer: The relationship between Kelstrom Nor and his young interrogator is certainly fraught with both dislike and interest on both sides. How did that twist ending amplify or expand these emotions for you as both a writer and a reader of your own story? T.B. McKenzie: Interest was an easy …

A.C Worth (“Homecoming”) – Joy + Longing

Interviewer: Although your assignment was to base a story on an emotional pairing, your protagonist is part-robot, a character who, consequently, has trouble feeling: “The dustless hallows of his mechanical chest ached for something he couldn’t quantify.” Why did you choose to use a part-robot as your protagonist? Does Hunter’s …