The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Jane Lindskold

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 Jane Lindskold, the award-winning, bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including the incredibly popular Firekeeper series (Through Wolf’s Eyes,Wolf’s Blood), as well as more than sixty shorter works. Lindskold’s work has been repeatedly praised for its sensitive depiction of worlds and cultures different from our own—especially those that aren’t in the least human. Her latest novel, Artemis Awakening, is available now from Tor Books. Read an excerpt here!

Join us as we cover topics from Ziggy Stardust to Snow White, and more!

Describe your favorite place to read or write.

For writing, my home office. We built it onto our house some years ago and it was designed to give me just what I wanted. I haven’t regretted any element.

Reading… Anywhere I can find a moment. The only thing I like about air travel is it gives me time to read.

Jane Lindskold Artemis AwakeningIf you had to choose one band or artist to provide the official soundtrack to your new book, who would it be?

David Bowie. He’s got such an incredible range in the types of music he has done. He also uses great images in his lyrics.

Would you rather discover the fountain of youth or proof of life on Mars?

Life on Mars. Such a discovery would rock human culture to its roots and, I hope, instigate a lot of reconsideration and change. The fountain of youth, by contrast, would be an impetus to stagnation.

And, hey, see the question above. “Is there life on Mars?”

What’s your favorite sandwich?

Hot pastrami on seeded rye with a good sharp Swiss cheese, dressed with a moderate amount of spicy but not overwhelming mustard.

Two roads diverge in a yellow wood: one leads toward a mysterious laboratory in which a mad scientist is currently ensconced. The other winds its way toward a tower inhabited by a powerful wizard. You could really use a snack, and it would be nice to have somewhere to crash for the night—which road do you choose?

Neither. Given the sort of wizards and mad scientists I write about, I’d camp. Or climb a tree—except I’d worry about all that yellow. What’s going on here? I mean, what sort of snack would you get in either those places? You’d probably find yourself turned into a toad or an Igor.

What was your gateway to SF/Fantasy, as a child or young adult?

Mythology. Started getting seriously hooked on it at about age nine. Have never stopped being fascinated by all the different ways humanity has come up with to try to make sense out of the senseless.

What would your Patronus/familiar be?

Wolf. No, maybe a cat. But which cat? Big or small? Or maybe one of the grander hoof stock? How about an otter? Seriously, when I was a kid and we played pretend, I made up these incredibly complicated animals because I couldn’t choose. They’re all so interesting.

What’s the most embarrassing guilty pleasure you’ll admit to? (music, movies, pop culture, food, drink, etc…all fair game!)

Anime/manga—and I’m not in the least embarrassed, except when I have to explain it to someone who thinks it’s just cartoons. I don’t need to do that as often now, but when I started watching it, back in the dark ages, people still used terms like “japamation” and couldn’t understand why their kid really shouldn’t be watching some of it.

List three things you’d like our readers to know about you and your work.

I think of myself as a storyteller. I don’t think I have any agendas to push. I’m always surprised—and usually delighted—when someone finds something in my works that becomes their personal mantra.

Which language, real or fictional, would you like the ability to speak fluently? Who would you talk to?

Japanese. Then I’d be able to spare my friend Cale all my questions about what are the subtle idiomatic implications behind certain words and phrases that I have encountered when watching anime.

I’d also be able to go directly to the original text of stories I’m interested in without wondering why the translator made the choices he/she did. So I guess you could say, I’d be talking to the text.

What’s your favorite fairy tale, or fairy tale retelling?

“Snow White and Rose Red,” except I always get the title wrong and want to call it “Rose White and Rose Red.”

No idea why I like it so much. Maybe because it’s about sisters who actually care about each other, even if they’re very different people. And I like the bear.

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