A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Interview with a Flynn

Michael Ventrella has posted an interview with yr. obt. svt.

MICHAEL A. VENTRELLA: Today I am pleased to be interviewing Hugo-nominated author Michael Flynn. Mike and I met at the Greater Lehigh Valley Writer’s Group and have run across each other at Philcon and other conventions before, but we’ve never really had a conversation together, so this should resolve that.

Mike, what was your first big break into the business?

MICHAEL FLYNN: I entered a contest by Charlie Ryan, who was editor at the old Galileo magazine. It was for never-before published writers. So I wrote a story “Slan Libh,” about a fellow who has invented a time machine and decides to use it to feed his ancestors during the Irish Potato Famine.  continued here


  1. I was interested in your comment about The Wreck of the River Stars. I confess I wasn't too thrilled about it the first time I read it, but having recently re-read it, I was much more impressed. Perhaps this may have been one difficulty with it on the sales front: on first reading the story can seem to meander through endless episodes of bad luck, and a bit much at that; it's on second or third reading that it really begins to be clear how the hamartia of each character really is subtly at every step of the way contributing to making what should have merely been unfortunate into an all-out disaster despite the best efforts of a fairly resourceful crew. Serious psychological tragedy requires a bit more patience from the reader.

    1. I thank you, and the voices in my head thank you.

  2. So, I have a question.

    I read your "Eifelheim" and enjoyed it quite a bit, although I don't care that much for science fiction (I do enjoy (medieval European) historical fiction, though, if it's well-written, which "Eifelheim" pretty much was). I've decided from your postings here, and on other blogs, that you are quite well-educated and conscientious Christian.

    So ...

    Why does a devout Christian fiction writer decide to portray his protaganists as a couple living in sin, instead of being married? Did you just want to add uncertainty to the relationship by the introduction of your "narrative history" librarian?

    1. Versimilitude, the times being what they are.

      Besides, the couple itself is the minister of the sacrament. The priest is a witness for the community. This was introduced in the early middle ages to mitigate the scandal of "woods marriages," in which, vows having been exchanged privately, one partner would later deny they had been made. Public declarations of banns also provided time for the necessary genealogical research. (The Early Medieval Church was more concerned with incest, and a common-law marriage was still a marriage.)

      That the couple must secure a license from Caesar is a modern innovation, dating in most countries from only the mid-19th century.

      But also, yes to your second question. Lack of a formal commitment makes things rather more uncertain.

  3. Well, Ok, just wondered. I appreciate your sneaking a sympathetic view of Christianity into works of (semi-)popular fiction. But if you were exposing your readers to the nuances of the Roman Church's understanding of the sacrament - different from the Orthodox, in this case - I'd have to say that for me the reference was too sneaky by half.


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