05-09-2011: MilSciFi.com interviews author John G. Hemry (aka Jack Campbell), contributor to the anthology By Other Means, book three in the Defending The Future series.
MilSciFi: "Welcome back. Please
tell us about your story. What was the inspiration for it?"
Hemry: "The inspiration comes
from watching old ships, aircraft, bases and so on be retired and disposed
of. Having served on ships, I know the feeling that they are alive in
some way. Suppose they were "alive" and tried to keep carrying out their missions long after those who gave the orders had forgotten them?
That idea tends to produce stories of berserk automatons, but there's another way to look at it."
MilSciFi: "Is it a part of a
Hemry: "No. This was
pretty much a single story. I suppose it could fit in anywhere, but it was meant as a stand-alone."
MilSciFi: "Any plans to
continue with this storyline?"
Hemry: "I'm afraid not.
This is one of those stories that is clearly ended."
MilSciFi: "Each story is
accompanied by a unique icon, can you tell us something about the relevance
behind your own?"
Hemry: "The idea behind the
icon was to portray something suitable to a fortification, so an overhead shot of an old Vauban-style fortress seemed just the thing. As a symbol, it's timeless and also has a specific, clear
MilSciFi: "How did you become
involved with the By Other Means project?"
Hemry: "Dani threatened to hurt
me unless I gave her a story."
MilSciFi: "What tips would you
given an aspiring military science fiction author?"
Hemry: "The same tips I give
every aspiring author. Read everything you can, and write and then keep
writing. Try new things rather than going over one story time and again. Go to conventions to meet authors and editors, and listen
to them on panels or if they are holding forth elsewhere."
MilSciFi: "Is military accuracy
important to you, or can one simply 'fake' it?"
Hemry: "I think that accuracy
regarding the military is very important. For veterans, a story not grounded in the reality of the military (for better and for worse) will ring false. For those who haven't been there, a falsely premised story or one which portrays the military in wrong ways will mislead and confuse. We owe it to the people in uniform, those retired, those
serving now and those who will serve, to show the military to everyone as it is.
That doesn't mean a writer has to have served, but it does mean they need to do the research for anything they haven't experienced."
MilSciFi: "Have you been
involved with any similar projects outside the series?"
Hemry: "I've written a number
of short military SF stories that have appeared in Analog magazine, such as "Swords and Saddles" (written because
there aren't enough SF stories set in Kansas nor enough featuring the US mounted cavalry) and 'The Rift.'"
MilSciFi: "With your growing
success as an author, do you plan to continue writing for the Defending the Future
Hemry: "If I can come up with
stories that are good enough for the series, I will certainly try."
MilSciFi: "Are there any
upcoming projects you would like to tell us about?"
Hemry: "My latest book The Lost
Fleet – Beyond the Frontier – Dreadnaught just came out. It is the first
in one of the spin off series from the original Lost Fleet, and continues the
story of Black Jack Geary and his companions. The other spin off series
is The Phoenix Stars and is set in a Syndic star system as the people there
cope with the results of the war."
MilSciFi: "And what events do
you have in the months ahead?"
Hemry: "I will attend the World
SF convention in Reno from 17-21 August as well as Capclave in Washington, DC
from 14-16 October."
MilSciFi: "How can our readers
find out more about your work?"
Hemry: "IMy website at www.johnghemry.com provides updates and a full listing of my works. I also have a facebook page and a blog accessible from the
MilSciFi: "Thank you for your time."