Marissa Lingen writes short science fiction and fantasy, essays, and poems. She lives atop some of the oldest bedrock in North America. She is among the premier speculative fiction writers in the world named after fruit.
Today, I axe, err, ask her about her Six Books
1. What book are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading Megan E. O’Keefe’s Catalyst Gate, which is the culmination of a trilogy that starts with Velocity Weapon. It’s space opera that’s filled with spaceships, alien intelligence, nanites, and shooty-shoot–and also personal relationships and the human heart. The series is full of twists and turns, and I can’t wait to see where it all ends up.
2. What upcoming book are you really excited about?
I’m really bad at preorders, but I have made an exception for Ken Liu’s The Veiled Throne. It’s the latest in the Dandelion Dynasty Saga, and I expect it to be what I love most about late books in a series: consequences, consequences, consequences. Ken has set up so many world-shaking things in this series–now we see how it all plays out, what the characters build when they have a chance. I can’t wait.
3. Is there a book you’re currently itching to re-read?
Always. I’m a little bit afraid to think about this question because it might send me down a rabbit hole. But I think the one that’s most at the top of my mind on this blustery autumn day is Pamela Dean’s The Dubious Hills. I love how the language the characters use starts the worldbuilding immediately. I love their relationships, I love their exploration of the world, I love how self-contained they are and yet how they interact with the Secret Country trilogy. I see new things about how it’s constructed every time I reread it.
4. How about a book you’ve changed your mind about – either positively or negatively?
For some reason, the first time I tried Max Gladstone’s Three Parts Dead, I did not connect to it *at all*. The opening that now strikes me as exciting and evocative left me cold. I can’t even tell you why. It just did. I’m really glad I gave it a second chance, because it and the entire Craft Sequence are now favorites for their sharp wit, worldbuilding, and characterization. Sometimes things are worth a second look. (I have negative examples, too, of course–we all do. But I prefer to focus on the positive.)
5. What’s one book, which you read as a child or a young adult, that has had a lasting influence on your writing?
Like a lot of Swedish-American children, I grew up with more of Astrid Lindgren than just Pippi Longstocking. One of my favorites is Ronia the Robber’s Daughter, which is a story of a semi-feral little girl growing up running around in the Swedish woods–which I still love to do whenever I get the chance, although mine don’t have harpies and dwarves in them, that I’ve ever found. They live in a half-ruined castle, and there are massive thunderstorms and all sorts of very vivid images that stuck with me quite firmly. She and her best friend turn their parents’ bands of robbers peaceful and honest in the end, but not before a lot of shenanigans as they grow up. I still love Ronia.
6. And speaking of that, what’s your latest book, and why is it awesome?
My chapbook is Monstrous Bonds, a collection of five short stories about monsters and friendship. I think the thing that’s most awesome about it is its inspiration, my friend and fellow author John Wiswell. I was sitting in on a panel John was doing on monsters at Fourth Street Fantasy in the beforetimes, and I started writing down title idea after title idea, all related to monsters. Five of them have coalesced into these stories. (I might write more later!) The combination just felt like a really good time to me, and having it come out on Halloween was the obvious choice.
There’s a really large range of monsters here, both physically and relationally, and I just find it really satisfying to write about friendship. I hope you find it satisfying to read too! You can find it on Marissa’s site here.
Thank you so much, Marissa!