Interviews

Sometimes, for some reason, people ask me questions about myself and my work. Usually I take advantage of the opportunity to put all my flaws and hubris out on Front Street. Here are some of those occasions! Boxes include links to the actual interviews, on external sites, and a short quote from each.

'Eating the Fantastic' Podcast, Episode 24

Share a Philly cheese “steak less” with Sam J. Miller

“Sam and I discussed the value of community within the science fiction field, the transformative piece of advice he received from Ted Chiang while attending the Clarion Writers Workshop, how one deals with reviews that are more politically than artistically motivated, the way 9/11 changed horror movies, the importance of the life and works of the great Thomas M. Disch, and more.

Locus Magazine, August 2016

Spotlight On: Sam J. Miller

“More and more, I think it’s the storyteller’s job to insert the idea of ‘‘justice’’ into a world where it is so profoundly lacking, to show people that what we yearn for, what we fight for, can come to pass. Empires will fall; our oppressors will be punished; our suffering will be redeemed. The world we actually live in is profoundly unfair and unjust and cruel, but stories can help us escape – and imagine better ones. Our privilege and our oppression will be inverted. Our good acts and our wicked ones will be returned upon us. The ending might not be happy, but it will be just.”

Nightmare Magazine, December 2013

Author Spotlight

accompanying my story “57 Reasons for the Slate Quarry Suicides

“Someone in my writer’s group said that “alienated loners with superpowers” are kind of my thing, and I think they’re right. Mostly that’s because I believe that being gay is a superpower. It gives me an insight into how the world really works, and how patriarchy harms us all . . . and maybe a slightly more sophisticated fashion sense and superhuman ability to remember facts about Bette Davis and Donna Summer.”

The Shirley Jackson Awards, July 2014

Nominee Interview

with Charles Tan

“We all have a long list of excuses for when we do bad things – like Tom Ripley says, ‘whatever you do, however terrible, however hurtful, it all makes sense, doesn’t it, in your head? You never meet anybody that thinks they’re a bad person.'”

Geeks Guide to the Galaxy Podcast #157

Discussing the Wachowskis’ Sense8

with David Barr Kirtley, Tobias Buckell, and John Joseph Adams

“This is the most queer I’ve ever seen something intended for mainstream consumption be. I’ve never seen, in a mainstream piece of cinema or television, a character talk about the transformative, transcendent, spiritual power of giving somebody a blowjob. As a gay man, that’s one of those things that’s an aspect of your experience that you don’t see in mainstream narrative.”

Electric Velocipede, December 2013

Contributor Interview

about my story “The Beasts We Want to Be”

“I firmly believe that the universe sends me important messages via the shuffle function on my MP3 player. The germ of this story sprouted when the National’s song “Abel” came on while I was out for a run, and for years I’ve wanted to capture in fiction the relationship that song describes. It’s about two men, friends, one of whom makes the other want to be a better person. Really it’s about the function our friends serve in our lives, and what happens to us when they disappear.”

Lightspeed Magazine, September 2014

Author Spotlight

about my story “We Are the Cloud

“This story extrapolates from the very real and interconnected systems of exploitation that I was seeing up close through my work with homeless people. The people I met at soup kitchens had aged out of foster care; the moms I met in shelters had lost kids to the foster care system. The boys I saw hanging out in Morningside Park in Harlem were the ones who got arrested and fed into the prison system by cops looking to fill their quotas; they were also in the super-low-budget gay porno flicks some guys I worked with would share.”

Shimmer Magazine

Story Spotlight: Issue 20

about my story “Allosaurus Burgers,” and my recent win of the Shirley Jackson Award

“Dinosaurs make every dramatic fact about the human condition more dramatic.”

The Last World Fair

An Interview with Sam J. Miller

“I write speculative fiction because that’s how the world looks to me. Life is magic. The world is science fiction. We carry tiny rectangles in our pockets that can access the sum total of human knowledge! And have you ever seen an ocean? THAT SHIT IS CRAZY. To me the world is so full of wonder and horror that speculative fiction is the only literature equal to the task of reflecting it.”