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Welcome Samuel Peralta to the newest interview series from Author PK Tyler! This series is highlighting an amazing project, with several award-winning, and bestselling authors contributing 23 novels to an amazing boxed set, Dominion Rising!
Samuel Peralta is the creator and series editor for The Future Chronicles; he is a physicist and storyteller. He writes science fiction, fantasy, and poetry and has won awards from the BBC, the Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, and more, and been spotlighted by Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy and by Best American Poetry.
We hope you enjoy getting to know this Dominion Rising author a little better today on this instalment of the Dominion Rising Science Fiction & Fantasy Interview Series.
PK Tyler: You are the publisher and series editor for The Future Chronicles. Could you tell us what it’s like working on a speculative fiction anthology, and how you choose which stories to put into each anthology?
Samuel Peralta: It’s hectic, but also tremendously fulfilling. We have over twenty anthologies out now, all #1 bestsellers or hot new releases, and over 300 authors who’re writing or have written for the series, all over roughly two years. You can imagine what a logistical nightmare that is. But each individual piece and author represents a creative and professional milestone; for many of the authors, a story in the Future Chronicles series represents their first paid publication.
Stories in the Chronicles are all invited. I tap only authors whose books or stories I’ve read elsewhere, perhaps in a blog or another anthology, and liked. If they accept the invitation, they submit a story for a volume with a theme – artificial intelligence for The A.I. Chronicles, for example, or dinosaurs for The Jurassic Chronicles. If the story passes my reading – it’s a fair chance, because the authors have already been vetted as above – then it’s edited to the version for the anthology.
Occasionally an invited story has to be re-done completely – but the authors usually oblige. Outright rejection? It happens. And sometimes I do put out an “open call” anthology to provide opportunities for newer writers.
PK Tyler: Tell us about your next big project, Dominion Rising, and why you wanted to take part in a boxed set with other science fiction and fantasy writers?
Samuel Peralta: The Future Chronicles project, as successful as it’s been, was a detour from the path I thought I was taking in speculative fiction. I’d been planning to move from writing poetry to short stories to novels… but the last part never happened. Putting together the Chronicles turned out to be a passion project that consumes every hour I have. I’m lucky to be able to still write short pieces – fiction and forewords – but a novel was out of the question.
Dominion Rising afforded me the chance to break through that cycle and a chance to focus energy on something that I’d wanted to do for years: write my novel.
So I’m tremendously excited to be part of the Dominion Rising project. It’s thrilling to have my work alongside the books of several NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors, and yes, my piece in Dominion Rising will essentially be my debut novel!
PK Tyler: As an author writing in the science fiction genre, how much does your background of being a physicist play into the worlds you create?
I believe my scientific background gives me the intuitive ability to discern what kinds of worlds are possible. It also gives me the confidence to write my stories in the worlds I create, without having to obsess over whether something is too far-fetched.
I’m not a hard-science writer, though. My work is more character-driven, albeit against the backdrop of a world plausibly different from our own.
Instead, I use technological and scientific iconography as metaphor, in very much the same way I use them in poetry.
PK Tyler: In addition to writing novels and editing or writing for short story anthologies, your website also has a number of poetry collections. Are these something science fiction lovers will enjoy, or are they in a completely different genre/style from your other works?
Samuel Peralta: Indeed, on www.samuelperalta.com you’ll find a few of my poetry collections. While they’re not science fiction per se, they’re all written in the same way I write short stories – they’re narrative, character-driven, and quickly accessible.
I don’t prefer poetry that makes the reader work to get the first inkling of meaning. I want readers to become emotionally involved quickly, to have a connection and an understanding. However, if they re-read the poems, they’ll find more levels of meaning than the first one, like little treasures I’ve buried for them to find.
Will science fiction lovers enjoy them? I don’t know. But if you’re a reader who loves my short stories or essays, or likes my longer pieces, you’ll find a connection with my poetry.
PK Tyler: Tell us more about your book in Dominion Rising, will it err on the side of science or fantasy?
Samuel Peralta: My book is called The Zoo at the End of the World.
Zoo is about a young girl, one of the caretakers at a private zoo, as she looks after her charges in the final days before a comet destroys humanity.
Whether you think it errs on the side of science fiction or fantasy depends on your point of view, I suppose. There are ingredients of both in the story, and I think stirring the pot makes for a more wonderful soup.
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More about Samuel Peralta
Picture it. A launch facility along the west coast. I’d been waiting to fly the Antares all summer. Powered by a C6-5 solid-propellant single stage engine, it could achieve, on ignition, an impulse of 10 Newton-seconds, ramping to a maximum of 15 Newtons of thrust in 0.2 seconds, over a 1.6 second burn. Enough to power this baby to 1000 feet.
I was 14 then. The love for discovery that powered my model rockets also drove me here, to where I am now.
I’m Samuel Peralta, physicist and storyteller.
One of my own titles was designated a Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy notable work, and my poetry’s been spotlighted by the BBC and in Best American Poetry. I’m the creator and series editor of the Future Chronicles anthologies – all of which have, in turn, become the #1 Amazon hot new release and bestseller in science fiction, horror, or fantasy.
I’ve designed nuclear robotic tools, built solar cell fab plants, co-founded high-tech start-ups in semiconductors and software. I’m a supporter and producer of independent films, one of which earned a Golden Globe nomination. And I cook a mean risotto.
I’m always working at my craft, trying to be better at what I do. Sometime this year I hope to complete my first full-length novel.
Where do we go from here? Beyond 1000 feet? To the sky? My hope is… to the stars.
Won’t you follow me on the journey?
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