ODDITY author Eli Brown discusses his alt-history fantasy novel for young readers. We talk world-building in an 1800's North American setting, approaching sensitive historical topics, creating an objected-based magic system, and tackling themes of grief, trauma & agency for a middle grade audience.
New & Featured
GAME CHANGER author Neal Shusterman talks about his thoughtful & propulsive young adult sci-fi novel. We discuss the story as an 'empathy primer'—exploring a center-of-their-own-world protagonist who is not the hero—and why his writing process begins with a completely handwritten first draft.
THE BONE MAKER author Sarah Beth Durst talks about her dark (but hopeful) fantasy novel. We discuss this standalone story's exploration of second chances, the hero's relationship with the idea of being a hero, and how relationships evolve under the weight of time, duty, and trauma.
THE UNBROKEN author C.L. Clark discusses her brutal and complex military fantasy debut about a conscripted soldier returned to her homeland, and a princess in search of a turncoat. We talk about the novel's examination of colonialism, and the power imbalance at the heart of the story's romance.
The Storytelling Craft of Science Fiction & Fantasy
FICTITIOUS is a YouTube show and podcast that delves into the craft of Science Fiction & Fantasy storytelling through interviews with authors and other professional writers. These conversations examine the writing process, techniques, and work habits of passionate creators and explore their most recent, and most popular, works.
Fictitious is hosted and produced by Adron Buske, co-produced by Wendy Buske, and is a Nerd For A Living production.
More Recent Fictitious Episodes
A SONG WITH TEETH author T. Frohock discusses writing her long-running Los Nefilim dark fantasy series, which features 3 novellas and 3 full-length novels. We talk about the intricate world-building for the action-packed saga that sees angels and daimons as 1930s gangsters.
THE EFFORT author Claire Holroyde discusses her present-day sci-fi novel about an extinction level event, and the people trying to save Earth. We talk about balancing a large cast, using real science without bogging down the reader, and tackling real world problems in a fictional narrative.
THE ROAD TO WOOP WOOP: AND OTHER STORIES author Eugen Bacon talks about her speculative fiction collection and why she loves writing short stories. We discuss how these lyrical tales weave sci-fi, fantasy, magical realism, and horror elements to explore empathy and disconnection, identity and longing.
ESCAPING EXODUS: SYMBIOSIS author Nicky Drayden talks about her Afrofuturist sci-if/space opera duology that started with ESCAPING EXODUS. We discuss the novels' extraordinary—and squelchy—world-building, the layered social caste and plural family dynamics, and environmentalism themes.
THE VELOCITY OF REVOLUTION author Marshall Ryan Maresca discusses his "dieselpunk" fantasy novel. We chat about the setting's complex, historically inspired social caste system, the impact of his theater background on dialogue, and the story's magic mushroom that bootstraps empathy.
THE MASK OF MIRRORS author M.A. Carrick—co-writing team Marie Brennan & Alyc Helms—talk about their twisty, intricate Fantasy novel. We explore their collaboration creative process, the impact of their anthropology backgrounds on the world-building, and their setting's casual queerness.