Q&A with #SF Author John Park (& Win Choice of ChiZine eBook!)

Today, I’m pleased to welcome author John Park for a rare Saturday Q&A on Preternatura! I’m excited about having John here because his debut release Janus, which came out in mid-September with ChiZine Publications, sounds like a great read that combines edgy science fiction with a tremendous inner journey for the characters. It’s in my TBR stack and I’m anxious to get to it!
John Park was born in England but moved to Vancouver in 1970 as a graduate student and has lived in Canada ever since. He has done research in chemical physics and been part of a scientific consulting firm. Along the way, he developed a liking for Beethoven, became a graduate of the Clarion writers workshop, and began selling short stories (not necessarily in that order). His fiction and poetry have appeared in a number of Canadian, US and European publications. He lives in Ottawa, where he is a member of the Lyngarde writing group.

Read on for more info on Janus and how to win your choice of book from ChiZine!

ABOUT JANUS: In the near future, Jon Grebbel arrives on the colony world of Janus, and finds himself mysteriously without memory of his life on Earth. It seems that the long journey has caused severe memory loss in many of Janus’s colonists. While Grebbel wants to start his new life, he also wants his memory back, and starts treatments to restore his past. But they only leave him angry and disturbed and he begins to doubt the glimpses of the past the treatments reveal.
     Grebbel meets Elinda, an earlier arrival, whose lover, Barbara, vanished and then was found lying in the woods, apparently brain-damaged. Elinda has also lost her memories of Earth, but unlike him she has abandoned the effort to recover them. Now their meeting brings each of them a glimpse of an experience they shared back on Earth.     Investigating Barbara’s fate and their own, the two find their love and their search for justice turning toward bitter self-discovery and revenge, even as they begin to uncover the darkness at the heart of their world
Now, let’s hear from John—welcome!

Give us the “elevator pitch” for your book. Near-future space colonists struggle with lost memories, identity problems, tormented relationships and a possible conspiracy. 

Describe your favorite scene from the new book–and why is it your favorite? 
Can I have two? A lighthearted sex scene on a hike in the mountains. It wrote itself and was fun. And a much darker scene between the male and female leads, who are lovers, when he reveals what he has learned about his past self. It was challenging to approach but once I started, it went without too much struggle and I think it is one of the strongest things I’ve written. 

What’s on your nightstand or top of your TBR pile? I’m waiting for new novels by Terry Pratchett and China Miéville, and collections by Holly Phillips and Kij Johnson. 

Favorite book when you were a child. 
At various ages: W. E. Johns’ “Biggles” books, Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, Wyndham’s The Kraken Wakes. 

Book you’ve faked reading (Moby Dick is leading the votes on this question!): 
Oh dear. I can’t recall having to do that. Not that I’m enormously well read–I must move in very boring circles. (Still, I’m pretty sure Moby Dick wasn’t a giraffe, and I used to know the book well enough have recognised a couple of speeches from it in The Wrath of Khan.) *Suzanne: Wait…Moby Dick wasn’t a giraffe? No wonder I flunked that test. LOL. *

Book you’re an evangelist for: 
I rarely evangelise these days, but if I did it would be for one of these three: William Golding’s The Inheritors, Gene Wolfe’s The Shadow of the Torturer, Alan Garner’s Red Shift

Book you’ve bought for the cover: 
Not guilty as far as I can remember. Though I once bought a Glenn Gould LP for the liner notes (arguing that the piece he played on side 2 was one of the worst things Beethoven ever wrote). 

Book that changed your life: 
A school chemistry text, by someone named Brown I think. Sorry. And the change wasn’t irrevocable. Wyndham’s Kraken Wakes would be next in line–it sold me on science fiction. 

Favorite line from a book: 
“ . . . a towering cauldron of blasted rock over which the sea winds howl and the salt mists cling, as if dreaming nature were twisting herself awake at awkward angles, falling away into a blue surf of shimmering olive leaves and the gray immortal sea.”
–Julian Jaynes’ description of Delphi in The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind; not fiction (supposedly) but a sentence I’d be glad to have written. 
Book you most want to read again for the first time: 
Guy Gavriel Kay’s Sarantium Mosaic. 

Most horrifying moment while reading a book: 
It wouldn’t horrify me now, but I remember reading Wells’ First Men in the Moon in my early teens. At one point the two humans get into a fight with some Selenites and the protagonist punches one of them on the back of the head. It turns out the Selenites don’t have skulls, just membranes. . . . 

Favorite book about books or writing:
Storyteller by Kate Wilhelm, partly because I‘m a Clarion graduate; I also like Damon Knight’s Creating Short Fiction, John Gardner’s On Moral Fiction and The Art of Fiction, and Ursula Le Guin’s Steering the Craft.

Thanks, John!
You know the drill to win a copy your choice of Janus or another ebook from the ChiZine catalog. Extra entries for blog follow, Twitter follow or Facebook friend, and Tweet or Retweet. I’ll turn a question on its head: What song are you an evangelist for right now? I’m trying to push David Jalbert’s “Les Embuches” on everyone, without much success. NOTE: This giveaway will run through next week; this week’s other contests end tonight at midnight.
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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man's Curse; Black Diamond).

4 thoughts on “Q&A with #SF Author John Park (& Win Choice of ChiZine eBook!)

  1. The book sounds fascinating. Not crazy for any song now.

    I follow the blog.