For example, one fan wondered why it seemed to take “a lot longer” to write To Sleep in a Sea of Stars than the Inheritance Cycle:
Because it took a lot longer. Partly because it’s a long, long book. (Longer than Inheritance. Longer than all but three of Stephen King’s books, going by this link.) Partly because I had to learn a lot about science in order to do justice to the story I wanted to tell. Partly because I worked on other projects during that time. But mostly because I had to relearn how to tell a story. After so long spent working on the Inheritance Cycle, my plotting skills got a bit rusty.
Fortunately future projects shouldn’t take as long. I turned out The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm in short order, and my next few projects are already lined up.
Another person wondered whether the book is “hard sci-fi:”
Hard(ish). There’s a solid scientific underpinning for the story (which I expand upon in some back material), but the story itself doesn’t hinge upon the science. It’s more concerned with the characters and what they’re dealing with.
Someone else was curious if he prefers to write fantasy and science-fiction over other genres:
I don’t! I really enjoy stories in all different genres, and I want to write quite a few of them myself. It’s just taken me this long to write my big fantasy story, and then my big sci-fi story. Lol. One of the nice things about my short story collection, The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm, is that it allowed me to write some different types of stories while still remaining in the fantasy genre.
That said, I’ll always have a particular fondness for fantasy. It’s our modern mythology, and I think that the freedoms fantasy allows for give the genre a power (or the potential for power) that few other genres possess.
And that’s just a sampling of the AMA, but many more of your burning questions were answered! As always, stay tuned for updates and feel free to send Christopher your remaining questions on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
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