Why did the Score authors write what they did? What were they thinking about? And what music would they pair with their story? Find out below!

David A. Gray (“The Bureau of Sinful and Emotional Gods”) – Awe + Lust

Interviewer: In “The Bureau of Sinful and Emotional Gods”, how did personifying your assigned emotions by using the literal gods of ‘Awe’ and ‘Lust’ help you explore the feelings more? What did you learn about awe and lust through your characters and writing process? David Gray: Oddly, it was the …

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Pauline Yates (“Raising Mira”) – Awe + Longing

Interviewer: You sum up the complicated interlacing of ‘longing’ and ‘awe’ beautifully in “Raising Mira” when the protagonist thinks, “How I long to hear Mira’s tinkling, music-box giggles and experience the wonderment of being a family again.” If these two feelings hadn’t been the assigned emotions for your story – …

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Mariah Montoya (“Selkie’s Song”) – Lust + Sorrow

Interviewer: In “Selkie’s Song,” how did your minor emotion, ‘sorrow,’ change the dynamic of your primary emotion, ‘lust’? Mariah Montoya: Before writing this story, whenever I thought of lust, it was usually accompanied by joy or excitement. It was never sorrowful. My minor emotion pushed me to think about what …

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Rob Francis (“Tree and Flame”) – Hope + Serenity

Interviewer: In “Tree and Flame”, Thya’s returned father seems to epitomize serenity: “But it’s like a song, a tale,” he says, “something that happened to someone else. Now I can only see the wonder in things, not the pain.” Do you think, then, that a certain level of immediacy and …

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B. Morris Allen (“The Humblebract Expedition”) – Fun + Love, (“Fountainhead”) – Longing + Sorrow

Interviewer: In “The Humblebract Expedition,” the key to fun is “a lack of appreciation of risk” and a true sign of love is “eyes tightened at the corners,” or, in other words, pain. How did you manage to utilize the full power of fun and love in your story without …

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Thom Connors (“Naves Autem Vacuo”) – Misery + Dislike

Interviewer: In the beginning of “Naves Autem Vacuo,” Lauren loves silence, but by the end, she grows to hate it. Usually ‘dislike’ is directed toward a person or thing, not a lack thereof. How did your unique construction of the meaning of ‘dislike’ in this story contribute to your other assigned …

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David Hammond (“That Moment You Realize”) – Boredom + Tension

Interviewer: “That Moment You Realize” is somehow both boring on the one hand and hilarious on the other. Your assigned emotions, ‘boredom’ and ‘tension’, are at odds with each other; if Victor felt too much tension, he wouldn’t feel so bored after quitting his job as a meme generator. How …

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Felicity Drake (“Potential”) – Hope + Joy

Interviewer: After so many stories about death and darkness, your story “Potential” ends Score with the hope and joy of birth and infinite possibilities. How does Aspasia’s decision to revive a once-living human exemplify these two emotions more so than the creation of a new one? Would the story have ended differently …

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Michael Gardner (“The Factory”) – Fun + Hatred

Interviewer: ‘Fun’ and ‘hatred’ seem to be on opposite ends of the emotion spectrum, but you utilized them so well in “The Factory” – a supernatural carnival ride aimed at hurting those you hate epitomizes the dual pairing vividly. How did you come up with the idea of “The Factory” …

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A. Martine (“Faux Ami”) – Curiosity + Respect

Interviewer: In “Faux Ami”, your two assigned emotions, curiosity and respect, both involve a certain level of sophistication. When Moira discovers the Scarlett Inn, curiosity trumps her fear, for “The impulse [to run away] was nevertheless muffled by a more potent inclination, that which had made her follow the two …

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Damien Krsteski (“The Trader”) – Hope + Interest

Interviewer: In “The Trader,” the emotions ‘hope’ and ‘interest’ seem to be in conflict. Marko has hope for the renewal of the city due to his own work in trading, which involves maintaining an objective perception of the war; he tells Anja, “… I don’t know what any of them …

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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” …

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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 …

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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 …

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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. …

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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 …

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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 …

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