Author’s Comments

I think of this series as “Future Historical Fiction,” because it is set a few centuries in Earth’s future, but is written in the style of an Eighteenth-Century memoir or philosophical novel, like Candide. It is filled with period-feeling philosophical and historical asides, but freely mixes discussions of real history with the invented future events between the present and its future setting.  It thus mixes elements of science fiction with historical fiction, and also strong hints of mystery and political intrigue.

In fiction, I enjoy extensive worldbuilding, and I like how fantasy and science fiction elements make it possible to explore powerful moral and philosophical situations.  A friend once said she thought I had summed up my work well when I commented: “A story without metaphysics is like a day without gelato–it might be excellent, but wouldn’t it be even more excellent with gelato?”

My favorite authors, the ones which have had the most impact on my writing style, are, within the world of fantasy and science fiction, Alfred Bester, Gene Wolfe and Samuel R. Delany.  In the broader realm of literature I would say my biggest influences are Diderot, Voltaire, Robert Graves, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Robert Fagles translations of Homer.  If you read all nine of them in rapid succession and then fall asleep while thinking about flying cars, you might have an experience somewhat like reading Too Like the Lightning.  Maybe.

Read more of my comments about the series, and the cover art, in my Cover Reveal Post on Ex Urbe.