Welcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on Tor.com featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!
Today we’re joined by Martha Wells, author of over a dozen science fiction and fantasy novels, including the Nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer, as well as a number of short stories and nonfiction articles. Her books have been published in seven languages. In Stories of the Raksura: Volume One—available now from Night Shade Books—Wells returns to her Books of the Raksura series with two new novellas.
You wake up tomorrow morning as the antagonist in your book series: what do you do to change the ending for yourself?
Stop eating people.
What is your favorite short story?
“The Vostrasovitch Clockwork Animal and Traveling Forest Show at the End of the World” by Jessica Reisman. It was in Crossed Genres magazine, March 2010. It’s a gorgeous story.
Doing a movie of one of the Raksura books would involve a lot of CGI, but I have thought about who I’d like to play the characters. Some of them I just can’t pin down to a specific actor, and I keep revising my mental list. But two that I decided on recently were Gina Torres to play Pearl, reigning queen of the Indigo Cloud Court, and Lyndie Greenwood (from Sleepy Hollow) to play Jade, the sister queen.
If you regenerated as a new Doctor, what would your signature outfit/accessory be?
David Tennant. I think he would be the best accessory ever.
Do you have a favorite unknown author?
Charles R. Saunders, who wrote the Imaro books (the first one came out in 1981) and Dossouye, among other excellent sword and sorcery and epic fantasy. Also Phyllis Ann Karr, who wrote Frostflower and Thorn (1980) and Frostflower and Windbourne (1981), gritty fantasies that I think now might be labeled grimdark.
What was your gateway to SF/Fantasy, as a child or young adult?
I started reading SF/F so early, I don’t remember the first authors I read. When I was a kid, the public library we went to had the SF/F section next to the children’s book section (this was before YA was a separate category), and I thought they were both one big section. So I didn’t make a conscious decision to start reading SF/F, I just read all the books that were over in that corner, including the ones that weren’t actually meant for children. I know that by the time I was in middle school, Andre Norton was definitely my favorite author.