Heather Scott Partington

Heather Scott Partington is a writer, teacher, and book critic. She is the winner of an emerging critic fellowship from the National Book Critics Circle and the Critic-in-Residence for UC Riverside’s Palm Desert MFA. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times Book ReviewThe Washington PostUSA TodayThe Los Angeles Times, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, among other publications. She lives in Elk Grove, California, with her husband and two kids. 

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

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.

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?”

Talking with Sara Borjas

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

Alta Asks Live: Gustavo Arellano

If it’s happening in Southern California, author, journalist and frequent Alta contributor Gustavo Arellano knows the details and has an opinion. 

Alta Asks Live: Ishmael Reed

Ishmael Reed is a seminal American voice in literature, poetry, history, and issues around race, and culture. He contributes to Alta as a writer, poet, and member of the magazine’s Editorial Board. 

Alta Asks Live: Mary Melton

Can a mom forge a deeper connection with her autistic son — and a divided country — on a 15-day journey along Route 66? Mary Melton, who did just that, joins Alta Asks Live on Wednesday, July 15 at 12:30 p.m. PST. 

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

Talking with Alex Espinoza

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

Three Questions with Brian Evenson

The author discusses his influences, his work, and the new stories that will emerge from this historic moment in time.

Three Questions with Lawrence Wright

The acclaimed writer considers the 1918 flu, recommends sci-fi authors, and discusses his novel The End of October.

Three Questions with Edan Lepucki

The California author discusses her recent work, favorite sci-fi books, and where the pandemic will take fiction.

Three Questions with Katie M. Flynn

The Companions author discusses her new novel, favorite science-fiction titles, and what it’s like to write during a pandemic.

Alta Asks Live: Sara Borjas

Writer, poet, and educator Sara Borjas joins Alta Asks Live to discuss her debut poetry collection, how the current global movements around racism and oppression are represented in the arts and why that's important, and so much more.

Alta Asks Live: Alex Espinoza

Author Alex Espinoza will join Alta Asks Live to discuss the connections and inspiration found at a 50-year-old California writers community, his historical look at the radical pastime of cruising, and so much more. 

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

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.

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

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.

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