08-20-07: MilSciFi.com interviews John G. Hemry, contributor to the upcoming military science fiction anthology BREACH THE HULL.
MilSciFi: "Welcome. What was your inspiration for your story?"
Hemry: "I wanted to see if I could take a worst-case universe and still build a decent story in it. It was a challenge to myself in terms of imagining the worst
and finding an ending which wasnít a downer."
MilSciFi: "Do you have any future plans for stories set in the same universe?
Hemry: "I really hope not. Itís a very depressing place."
MilSciFi: "What would your ideal project be if you could plan your own
Hemry: "It would either be TOUGH GIRLS WITH GUNS (self-explanatory) or CAMELOT SQUADRON, a silly-but-cool anthology in which King Arthur and his knights awaken in Englandís darkest hour (1940) and (with the help
of Merlinís magic transforming their jousting skills into flying skills) operate a secret squadron of Spitfires to help win the Battle of Britain."
MilSciFi: "What other upcoming works are on the horizon for you?"
Hemry: "The third book from my national best-selling Lost Fleet series (COURAGEOUS) will be available in December 2007, followed by the fourth book (VALIANT) in July, 2008. (The Lost Fleet series (written under the name Jack Campbell)
began with DAUNTLESS and FEARLESS.) I also have a YA SF series which my
agent is trying to sell right now.
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
Hemry: "Actually, I ended up writing that story, and it did end up eventually selling. LADY BE GOOD, an old-fashioned tale of a tramp freighter in
space which is about choices and chances."
MilSciFi: "What is your favorite story you have ever written and why?"
Hemry: "LADY BE GOOD. It felt like Leigh Brackett was standing beside me as I
wrote, telling me what to say."
MilSciFi: "What are you working on next?"
Hemry: "The final two volumes of the Lost Fleet series (RELENTLESS and VICTORIOUS) and my YA SF series."
MilSciFi: "Give us the details on your upcoming author appearances."
Hemry: "Iíll be at Philcon, and always attend Capclave in the Washington, DC region and Balticon in Baltimore. Iíll also be at the 2008 World SF convention in Denver."
MilSciFi: "What advice would you give the aspiring military science fiction
Hemry: "Write and keep on writing. That doesnít mean revising the same story over
and over. Write new stories, try new things, learn new ways to getting the
MilSciFi: "Who is your single-most influence in science fiction and what
impact have they had on our own work?"
Hemry: "I donít think itís possible to identify a single figure who was most influential. SF is built on a foundation with many pillars. Some of
the writers with the most influence on my own work are Heinlein, Poul Anderson, Roger Zelazny and Andre Norton. They were great story-tellers."
MilSciFi: "What is the one thing you find the most difficult about writing military science fiction?"
Hemry: "I hate killing good characters and ships, but you have to if the story is to be true to the destruction of war."
MilSciFi: "Do you have any awards you would like to share with us?"
Hemry: "My novelette LADY BE GOOD was recently voted best novelette in Analog magazine in 2006 and my short story KYRIE ELEISON was voted best short story in Analog in 2006."
MilSciFi: "Do you write under any other names?
Hemry: "Jack Campbell"
MilSciFi: "Is military science fiction the only thing you write, or is
there something else out there we should be looking for?"
Hemry: "My novels to date have been military SF, but my short fiction (most in Analog magazine) have covered many other topics, including a linked series of short stories dealing with time travel. The YA SF series my agent is trying to
sell has plenty of action, but is more of a thriller."