• Summary

  • The Fictitious podcast, hosted by Adron Buske, delves into the craft of Science Fiction and Fantasy storytelling through interviews with authors and other professional writers. These conversations examine the writing process, techniques, and work habits of passionate creators and explore their most recent, and most popular, works.
    Armadian Media / Armadian LLC
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Episodes
  • Jun 11 2021

    In this episode, I talk with Zen Cho, author of BLACK WATER SISTER. In this Malaysia-set urban fantasy, out-of-work college grad Jessamyn joins her struggling immigrant parents as they return to their home country.

    But for Jess, who’s been an American most of her life and hides her long-distance girlfriend from her parents, reintegrating with overbearing family and unfamiliar customs is highly stressful. Made all the worse when Jess’s recently deceased grandmother, Ah Ma, takes up residence in her mind.

    As Ah Ma begins domineering her body, Jess is pulled into a supernatural conflict between her grandmother’s patron deity—the Black Water Sister—and a dangerous gang boss. Jess fights to reclaim control of her destiny while seeking retribution for her grandmother, but failure could spell doom from a number of directions, including Ah Ma’s own mysterious god.

    BLACK WATER SISTER is available now from ACE Books:

    » Some of these are affiliate links. Using them supports the channel, at no additional cost to you! Whenever possible, though, I encourage you to purchase from your local bookstores. 

    About Zen Cho

    Zen Cho is the author of the Sorcerer to the Crown novels, the novella The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water and a short story collection, Spirits Abroad. Her newest novel is Black Water Sister, a contemporary fantasy set in Malaysia. Zen is a Hugo, Crawford and British Fantasy Award winner, and a finalist for the Lambda, Locus and Astounding Awards. She was born and raised in Malaysia, resides in the UK, and lives in a notional space between the two.

    Follow Zen Cho

    About BLACK WATER SISTER

    A reluctant medium discovers the ties that bind can unleash a dangerous power in this compelling Malaysian-set contemporary fantasy.

    When Jessamyn Teoh starts hearing a voice in her head, she chalks it up to stress. Closeted, broke and jobless, she’s moving back to Malaysia with her parents – a country she last saw when she was a toddler.

    She soon learns the new voice isn’t even hers, it’s the ghost of her estranged grandmother. In life, Ah Ma was a spirit medium, avatar of a mysterious deity called the Black Water Sister. Now she’s determined to settle a score against a business magnate who has offended the god—and she’s decided Jess is going to help her do it, whether Jess wants to or not.

    Drawn into a world of gods, ghosts, and family secrets, Jess finds that making deals with capricious spirits is a dangerous business, but dealing with her grandmother is just as complicated. Especially when Ah Ma tries to spy on her personal life, threatens to spill her secrets to her family and uses her body to commit felonies. As Jess fights for retribution for Ah Ma, she’ll also need to regain control of her body and destiny – or the Black Water Sister may finish her off for good.

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    46 mins
  • Jun 8 2021
    In this episode I’m joined by Josh Malerman, author of GOBLIN. This uniquely design supernatural horror novel weaves 6 separate novellas together, each tale examining curious characters and disturbing circumstances in the isolated town of Goblin. In a city built on cursed land, the dead are buried standing up, Great Owls occupy the dangerous north woods, and the police shuffle unnervingly through the constant deluge of rain. Here in Goblin, a historian builds his life around fear of being scared to death. A troubling confession from a childhood friend leaves a man fearful and compromised. A little girl endeavors to solve an impossible maze created by a grieving husband after the death of his wife. These stories and more explore the secrets and bizarre history of a town unlike any other, where nighttime is always near, and your darkest desires and fears await. GOBLIN is available in hardcover from Del Rey Books: Amazon »Bookshop »Barnes & NobleBooks-a-MillionIndieBound » Some of these are affiliate links. Using them supports the channel, at no additional cost to you! Whenever possible, though, I encourage you to purchase from your local bookstores.  About Josh Malerman Josh Malerman is a New York Times bestselling author and one of two singer-songwriters for the rock band The High Strung. His debut novel, Bird Box, is the inspiration for the hit Netflix film of the same name. His other novels include Unbury Carol, Inspection, A House at the Bottom of a Lake, and Malorie, the sequel to Bird Box. Malerman lives in Michigan with his fiancée, the artist-musician Allison Laakko. Follow Josh Malerman WebsiteTwitterInstagramAmazon Profile »Goodreads About GOBLIN From the New York Times bestselling author of Bird Box and Malorie comes a chilling story that revolves around a mysterious small town, revealing its sinister secrets one by one. Goblin seems like any other ordinary small town. But with the master storyteller Josh Malerman as your tour guide, you’ll discover the secrets that hide behind its closed doors. These six novellas tell the story of a place where the rain is always falling, nighttime is always near, and your darkest fears and desires await. Welcome to Goblin. . . . A Man in Slices: A man proves his “legendary love” to his girlfriend with a sacrifice even more daring than Vincent van Gogh’s—and sends her more than his heart. Kamp: Walter Kamp is afraid of everything, but most afraid of being scared to death. As he sets traps around his home to catch the ghosts that haunt him, he learns that nothing is more terrifying than fear itself. Happy Birthday, Hunter!: A famed big-game hunter is determined to capture—and kill—the ultimate prey: the mythic Great Owl who lives in Goblin’s dark forests. But this mysterious creature is not the only secret the woods are keeping. Presto: All Peter wants is to be like his hero, Roman Emperor, the greatest magician in the world. When the famous magician comes to Goblin, Peter discovers that not all magic is just an illusion. A Mix-Up at the Zoo: The new zookeeper feels a mysterious kinship with the animals in his care . . . and finds that his work is freeing dark forces inside him. The Hedges: When his wife dies, a man builds a hedge maze so elaborate no one ever solves it—until a little girl resolves to be the first to find the mysteries that wait at its heart.
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    52 mins
  • May 31 2021

    I’m joined in this episode by Marissa Levien, author of THE WORLD GIVES WAY. In this debut science fiction novel, humanity is 150 years away from earth aboard an enormous generation ship, headed towards a distant planet. Inside, though, life continues on much as it always has: the mega-rich live in luxury. The middle class does the best it can. And indentured workers serve out contracts, their lives sold away generations ago for passage.

    Myrra is a contract worker, owned by the rich and powerful Carlyles. She dreams of the day, in 50 years, when she will be free. But freedom comes sooner than anticipated when the Carlyles take their own lives. In her care, they leave their infant daughter—and a shocking, unbearable secret.

    Now Myrra is on the run, evading authorities who believe her a thief and murderer. Let loose in the only world she’s ever known—a world now on the brink of complete destruction.

    THE WORLD GIVES WAY is available June 1st from Red Hook:

    » Some of these are affiliate links. Using them supports the channel, at no additional cost to you! Whenever possible, though, I encourage you to purchase from your local bookstores. 

    About Marissa Levien

    Marissa Levien is a writer and artist who hails from Washington State and now lives in New York with a kindly journalist and their two cats. She received her MFA from Stony Brook University in 2019.

    Follow Marissa Levien

    About THE WORLD GIVES WAY

    In a near-future world on the brink of collapse, a young woman born into servitude must seize her own freedom in this glittering debut with a brilliant twist—perfect for fans of Station Eleven, Karen Thompson Walker, and Naomi Alderman.

    In fifty years, Myrra will be free.

    Until then, she’s a contract worker. Ever since she was five, her life and labor have belonged to the highest bidder on her contract—butchers, laundries, and now the powerful, secretive Carlyles.

    But when one night finds the Carlyles dead, Myrra is suddenly free a lot sooner than she anticipated—and at a cost she never could have imagined. Burdened with the Carlyles’ orphaned daughter and the terrible secret they died to escape, she runs. With time running out, Myrra must come face to face with the truth about her world—and embrace what’s left before it’s too late.

    A sweeping novel with a darkly glimmering heart, The World Gives Way is an unforgettable portrait of a world in freefall, and the fierce drive to live even at the end of it all.

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    57 mins

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