Interview with W.B. Bjorn

Do you have a favorite book?
I was recently in Marrakech. I had just walked across town in the heavy summer heat to a row of little bookstores that are opposite a bus station. I was browsing, chatting with the owner. I asked him, "Do you have a favorite book?" He smiled and echoed something that I have always found true for myself. He said, "There are no favorite books. There are only good books and bad books."

Since I was a child, one of the good books has been "The Hobbit." I still love it for its simplistic, idyllic adventure story. Now that I am older, I still look back fondly on the works of Tolkien as some of the few that inspired me to pursue writing fiction.

I studied literature in university, and during this period found many of the authors that have had lasting effects on me. One that springs quickly to mind is Ben Okri, the author of Famished Road, which is part of the Infinite Riches Trilogy. His blending of the fantastical and the everyday is seamless, subtle, and imaginative. Long live the abiku! Hemingway, perhaps history's biggest and most talented asshole, taught me how to cut words and ideas. My top five Shakespearean tragedies are King Lear, Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, and Romeo and Juliet.

As I predominately write science fiction, I feel obligated to mention Asimov's Foundation, Huxley's Brave New World, Gibson's Neuromancer, Orwell's 1984, A Wrinkle in Time, etc, etc, but in terms of recent works that truly impressed me Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age stands in a league of its own for its acute extrapolation of today's international corporate cultures, its treatment of nanomachines, and its impressively large scope.

I've also become rather attached the New Weird genre upon reading China Miéville's Bas-Lag series, beginning with Perdido Street Station. As a loyal fantasy genre-ist I'll be the first to admit that, while always enjoyable, modern expansive fantasy can be a bit stale, but Miéville has changed the game, in my mind, perverted it in a good way, to create something demented, gripping, terrible, and fun.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My wife, a cup of coffee, and, hopefully, the promise of something I've never done before.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
The kindle is my e-reading device of choice, especially when I travel. The beloved tactile sensation of a real book is still irreplaceable for me, but the ability to carry a library in your pocket is not one easily cast aside, even if it is easily lost (on trains, planes, etc). It's happened before.
What are you working on next?
I am in the latter stages of writing The Fall of Shanghai. This is the second in the Cities of the Future series, and its events follow from A New London Rising. I am also working on the next issue of Feed Me Fiction magazine, for which I am an editor.
Published 2015-09-21.
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Books by This Author

The Fall of Shanghai
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 103,350. Language: English. Published: December 18, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Cyberpunk
Shanghai is under attack. A malevolent group of cybercultists — terrorists calling themselves Vaccinus — has plans to bring the city to its knees. Hacker and artist couple, Blake and Rosie must find a way to survive in the midst of this violent revolution, and, if they can, to fight back.
A New London Rising
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 100,090. Language: English. Published: September 21, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Cyberpunk
Welcome to London — a city of cyborgs, wizard-class hackers, corporate security, graffiti artists, squatters, sirens, cyberspace lovers, gamers, dissidents, genetic freaks, secret oligarchs and AI. The megacity’s newest additions are its most monumental: six mile-high, technologically advanced skyscrapers are on the rise, with implications no one expects.