Alta Asks

  • David L. Ulin says that “science fiction grows out of its moment, and out of the writer’s engaged response to those times.”
    ALTA ASKS

    Talking with David L. Ulin

    - Alta’s books editor discusses how science fiction is “responsive,” the influence of music on his writing, and the emerging body of pandemic and quarantine literature.
Steph Cha’s fiction often places regular people in trying circumstances.
MARIA KANEVSKAYA
ALTA ASKS

Talking with Steph Cha

The author of the Juniper Song Mysteries and last year’s Los Angeles Times Book Prize winner Your House Will Pay says we’re facing “noir days ahead.”

Steve Erickson’s fiction explores “chaos as it impacts—and is impacted by—identity, memory, obsession.”
ALTA ASKS

Talking with Steve Erickson

The author of 2017’s Shadowbahn says that “right now history is outpacing the imagination” and “writing definitely needs to get bigger.”

Charlie Jane Anders’s The City in the Middle of the Night was a 2020 Hugo Award finalist for Best Novel.
ALTA ASKS

Talking with Charlie Jane Anders

The author of The City in the Middle of the Night says her writing asks, “What does it mean to be a good person during horrible, unjust times?”

Sara Borjas’s poems ask, “How do I decenter whiteness in my desires and begin to decolonize my life, starting with my love?”
ALTA ASKS

Talking with Sara Borjas

The city of Fresno, Latinx heritage, and family figure prominently in the poet’s debut collection.

Alex Espinoza examines his experiences with anonymous sexual acts within a broad historical and cultural context.
ALTA ASKS

Talking with Alex Espinoza

The author of Cruising writes about how sexual encounters with male strangers provided him with “solace and acceptance.”

Novelist Katie M. Flynn says she’s become “deeply skeptical of the tremendous influence tech companies have on our lives.”
SCOUT PRESS
ALTA ASKS

Talking with Katie M. Flynn

Sci-fi novel The Companions is set in a post-pandemic California where survivors are in quarantine and the consciousnesses of the deceased are the intellectual property of a tech company.

Tod Goldberg, author of Gangster Nation, is also a podcaster and a professor. He draws inspiration from “bingeing TV and reading poetry, [which] do the same thing to my brain,” he says.
LINDA WOODS
ALTA ASKS

Talking with Tod Goldberg

The Gangsterland series examines identity and the moral consequences of violence.

The central characters of Rishi Reddi’s Passage West are people who leave “what is near and familiar and travel—either psychologically, geographically, or socioeconomically—far from where they started.”
PETER TANNENBAUM
ALTA ASKS

Talking with Rishi Reddi

The first-time novelist explores ideas of identity and citizenship among South Asian immigrants in California’s Imperial Valley of the early 20th century.

Edan Lepucki says that her work asks a central question: “How can we truly know another person?”
ALTA ASKS

Talking with Edan Lepucki

Sixty essays tackle a question of identity: Who were our mothers before they became mothers?

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