Thursday, December 1, 2016

Steampunk Author Interview: Robyn Bennis

I first met Robyn Bennis last year after a panel discussion I was on at FOGcon, whereupon we immediately began chatting it up about steampunk. I quickly realized she knew way more about the genre (and its subgenres) than I do, and so was thrilled to find out she had her first novel, a rollicking airship adventure called The Guns Above, forthcoming from Tor books this coming spring. Robyn was kind enough to sit down and chat about her new novel, her experience working in the sciences, and copious reading recommendations.

GC: Based on my exhaustive Google search, there’s not much out there in the way of published fiction from you (although I did find at least one scientific article in Nature that it looks like you co-authored). Is there any fiction you have that readers can get their hands on before the The Guns Above comes out next spring?

Author Robyn Bennis
RB: Unless I come up with a killer short story between now and May, The Guns Above is going to be my first publicly available fiction. I've been very shy about posting any of my previous fiction, and I almost never submitted. Something changed after I finished this book, though. I think Sam from Quantum Leap may have been involved, because all of a sudden I was submitting personalized queries to every agent with even a vague interest in steampunk. And my memory of those months of querying is pretty much Swiss-cheese, so the data all fits. My next clear memory is signing the agency agreement with Paul Lucas at Janklow and Nesbit. (Alas, Dr. Sam Becket never returned home.)

GC: What can readers expect in the new novel, style-wise? From the cover blurb, we know there’s going to be a lot steampunk and airship action, but is it fast-paced, more character oriented, geared toward all-ages or YA? And can we expect to see any of your dry sense of humor that readers of your blog have come to know and love?

RB: Oh, it's going to be dry. Let me give you a little taste from the opening scene, as Lt. Josette Dupre lies wounded in the aftermath of a chaotic battle: