David D. Levine
David D. Levine is an award-winning
writer who won the 2006 Hugo for Best Short story and has numerous
other plaudits. His work has appeared in a number of anthologies, both
SF and Fantasy.
Space Magic (Wheatland Press,
story Tk'tk'tk, winner, Hugo Short Story Award, 2006
with David D. Levine
How long did it take you to write all the stories in your collection?
David D. Levine: They
were written between 2000 and 2005, and each took from a couple
of days to a month (or so) to write.
TSR: Did you
have a collection in mind when you were writing them?
DL: No, each was written
with the intention of publication in a magazine
or anthology. Some were written for specific markets, others as
general "spec" stories. I figured I would not have a collection until
much later in my career, but fellow Portland writer M. K. Hobson said
I should be shopping a collection around. I put together a proposal,
and the first small press I sent it to accepted it.
TSR: How did
you choose which stories to include and in what order?
DL: The editor
asked for 80,000 words, and it was really hard to choose
such a small slice of my work. It's a mix of my best-known stories
and my favorite but least-known stories, and is intended to
demonstrate my range (fantasy, hard SF, humorous, serious, etc.).
Each of these stories makes me proud in some way.
TSR: What does the word "story"
mean to you?
think that a "story" has to have a beginning, a middle, and an end.
There has to be a situation, and characters, and the characters have
to DO things -- things that have an effect on the situation and the
other characters -- and the characters must be changed by the effects
of those things. A lot of modern fiction is just vignettes, not
stories -- the difference is that the characters don't take any
action, or there isn't an end.
TSR: Do you
have a "reader" in mind when you write stories?
DL: I suppose, like
a lot of writers, I write mostly for myself, or people
like me. My ideal reader is one who is looking for the traditional
science fiction "sense of wonder," who wants a story where things
happen, in an interesting and unusual setting.
TSR: Is there
anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your
anything at all?
DL:Which of these stories surprised you the most?
TSR: How does it feel knowing that people are buying your book?
DL: I'm amazed and honored that anyone is willing to pay good money for
some stuff I just made up. One of the coolest things that's happened
to me is seeing my book in the catalog of my local library system...
and most of the copies were checked out!
TSR: What are
you working on now?
DL: At the moment I am just finishing up final revisions on my second
novel; I plan to have it in the mail by the end of this month. My
first novel has been rejected by just about everyone but I haven't
given up on it yet. Once this novel is out of the way I plan to work
on short stories for a little while before starting on novel #3.
TSR: What are
the three most recent short story collections you've read?
DL: The Dog Said Bow-Wow by Michael Swanwick, Transhuman edited by
Mark Van Name and Toni Weisskopf, and the 25th annual Year's Best SF
edited by Gardner Dozois.