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David D. Levine

Website: Spiritone/dlevine

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.

Short story collections

Space Magic (Wheatland Press, May 2008) 

Short story Tk'tk'tk, winner, Hugo Short Story Award, 2006

Reviewed by Mark Dalligan

Interview with David D. Levine

The Short Review: 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?

DL:  I 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
collection, 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.