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Bud Sparhawk's, novel Vixen
Bud Sparhawk's, Dancing With Dragons
Bud Sparhawk's, Sam Boone, Front To Back


author Bud Sparhawk

Bud Sparhawk


11-09-08: interviews Bud Sparhawk author of the upcoming science fiction novel VIXEN.

MilSciFi: "Welcome. What was your inspiration for your novel?"

Sparhawk: "VIXEN arose when I considered what might have evolved had a group like the Mongols become the predominant humans, then projected that eons into the future as the wave of humanity spread outward from Earth. This novel begins with the fourth or fifth wave of expansion.  I threw in the aliens, religion, and a mystery as a vehicle for what I was saying about social stability and its cost."

MilSciFi: "Do you have any future plans for stories set in the same universe?"

Sparhawk: "The novel ends on an equivocal note that I will probably revisit in the future.  It depends a lot on the way this book is received. FYI I used the same alien idea in a military short story called CLAY'S PRIDE, which I've turned into a novel that is making the rounds."

MilSciFi: "What would your ideal project be if you could plan your own novel?"

Sparhawk: "Not sure what this question is asking. I plan all my novels since no one seems to be putting out commissions for writers."

MilSciFi: "What other upcoming works are on the horizon for you?"

Sparhawk: "I am completing a near future techno-thriller about the damage/rewards a mind-altering machine unleashes on an unsuspecting world.  Also in the works is a coming of age story on an abandoned colony world. Both are in their penultimate stages of draftage."

MilSciFi: "How would you describe your experience working on the book?"

Sparhawk: "VIXEN developed organically, growing from the nature of the protagonists and their mission.  I threw away about thirty thousand words about Tam and Larisha's previous lives to shorten the work. The story evolved continuously rather than in fits and starts.  Only occasionally did I have to go back and introduce new material.  I did edit this ruthlessly because of the number of characters.  This was the third novel I finished (the other two still haven't sold)."

MilSciFi: "If you had a chance to write one story just because you wanted to, and didn't have to worry about if it would sell or not, what would it be about?"

Sparhawk: "I write all my stories because I want to say something very specific, even the humorous ones like the Sam Boone stories (which incidentally continue to be downloaded from FICTIONWISE after all these years.)  I only sell about half of my stories and usually get "well written, but not for our magazine" replies on the rest.  Maybe some day I'll find some way to put them in a collection of previously unpublished shorts or find an editor with the right whacked out mindset to buy them."

MilSciFi: "What is your favorite story you have ever written and why?"

Sparhawk: "That would be the 9-11 inspired short story BRIGHT RED STAR, which has touched so many people around the world and which I cannot read without crying.  I wrote that in one continuous scream against the vitrol I saw in those who didn't understand, who didn't appreciate different points of view."

MilSciFi: "What are you working on next?"

Sparhawk: "Well, I'm trying to finish two novels (see 4, above), and about a half dozen short stories. I work constantly and average about one novella, a couple of novelettes, and a handful of shorts each year.  I'd like to do more, but with a full-time job just getting my few hours of writing in each evening is all I can get."

MilSciFi: "Give us the details on your upcoming author appearances."

Sparhawk: "I'm a regular at the local cons - Balticon, CapClave, and PhilCon.  This year I'm going to RavenCon and making appearances at the SLA convention in Washington DC."

MilSciFi: "What advice would you give the aspiring military science fiction writer?"

Sparhawk: "Write, write, write, write, research, and write some more. Talk to veterans, read Leon Uris, read the Red Badge of Courage and then write some more."

MilSciFi: "Who is your single-most influence in science fiction and what impact have they had on our own work?"

Sparhawk: "Keith Laumer was a big influence since I shadowed his assignments in the AF for years.  Then there's the usual suspects - Asimov through Zelany - hell, I read EVERYTHING SF I could get my hands on for years and  years."

MilSciFi: "What is the one thing you find the most difficult about writing military science fiction?"

Sparhawk: "I try to write about people and their problems.  If you don't include their inner lives and emotions all you are doing is writing formulaic war porn."

MilSciFi: "Do you have any awards you would like to share with us?"

Sparhawk: "I treasure every check an editor sends me. I've been a Nebula finalist three times, for what that's worth."

MilSciFi: "Do you have a website where our readers can go to find more information about your work?"

Sparhawk: " contains a complete bibliography of my published works as well as biographies and other stuff. I try to keep it current."

MilSciFi: "Is military science fiction the only thing you write, or is there something else out there we should be looking for?"

Sparhawk: "I've written some milfic, a lot of humor, some soft and some hard science fiction. ( I also do articles, but I wash my hands afterwards.)"

Bud Sparhawk's website is:

Vixen, is published by Cosmos Books:

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Copyright 2008 Mike McPhail, All Rights Reserved.


The views contained in this interview are those of the author, and
do not necessarily represent the views of