Author of “One of the Cities” (Hard Science Fiction)
How long have you been writing? Do you write genres other than speculative fiction?
My first story was published in December 2010, but it took years of writing just for myself before I ever submitted anything to a magazine.
I have a couple non-speculative stories published, but I find they all have a veneer of otherness, as if I couldn’t have helped myself, as if they’re genre stories without the makeup. When I was a teenager I was a big fan of the e-zine scene, and I enjoyed writing magazines on various topics, but fortunately they rarely made it out of my hard drive.
What are you working on right now? And which of your stories would you recommend to someone new to your work?
I’m working on several short stories simultaneously, one of which is a five-minutes-from-now piece set in Vasilegrad, the capital city of my fictional Balkan federation.
I would recommend “Siv Delfin,” the first of my Vasilegrad stories to be published; “The Curve,” which is a story about innovation, discovery, and sorting algorithms; “Many Worlds Away,” a first-person tale about quantum immortality; and “Boxes, Basements,” a non-genre involuntary-memory piece about family and growing up.
What are some of your literary influences?
On the SF side, I’ve been shaped by stories by everybody from Asimov to Zelazny; Greg Egan, Gene Wolfe, Kim Stanley Robinson, William Gibson, JG Ballard are some of the authors who stand out. I’m a fan of H.P. Lovecraft’s and Clark Ashton Smith’s Weird, and an even bigger fan of Kelly Link’s and China Mieville’s New Weird.
I’d count DeLillo, Pynchon, M. Andreevski, Joyce, Salinger among my non-genre influences.
What are you reading right now?
Rumena Buzharovska’s short story collections.
Was your process for writing the 5×5 piece largely different from your normal writing process or largely similar?
Definitely very similar to my normal process; I have a beginning and an end in mind when I start writing a story, which was covered by the brief in this case. The brief provided great scaffolding for the story, and was purposefully non-specific, which allowed me to pad the plot out with details and twists of my own making.
Knowing there were four other versions in-progress of the same story made me try hard to approach the plot from an original angle—a challenge which I enjoyed immensely.
You can read Damien Krsteski’s story in Metaphorosis Magazine, “Lake Oreyd,” for free online.
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