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Ann Wilkes

Ann Wilkes
Immunity Project

Biography of

: interviews author Ann Wilkes, contributor to the anthology, No Man's Land, book four in the Defending The Future series.

MilSciFi: "Welcome. Please tell us about your story, and what was the inspiration for it?

Wilkes: "'Immunity Project' extrapolates on the increasing devaluation of individuals -- especially dying ones. Rather than rendering aid, the Allied Human Worlds Directorate experiments on the survivors of a nuclear war to develop a human immunity to further its political goals. This isn't exactly a new idea. The Nazis did it. The difference here is that the people don't know they are in a Petri dish.

Our 'hero', Donard Terrellen, goes from reluctant mercenary to conflicted 'could-be' saviour after he meets some of the human subjects. It's amazing what 'putting a face on it' can do.

I honestly can't tell you what one thing inspired it."

MilSciFi: "Is it a part of a larger universe?"

Wilkes: "The story takes place in a future in which humanity has taken to the stars, but hasn't learned how to play nice with other sentient species. No surprise there. The unique thing about my universe is the use of psionic fences to coral whole settlements."

MilSciFi: "Any plans to continue with this storyline?"

Wilkes: "I really like Cheela and would love to give her a tale all her own, picking up where 'Immunity Project' leaves off."

MilSciFi: "Each story is accompanied by a unique icon, can you tell us something about the relevance behind your own?"

Wilkes: "Allied Human Worlds Directorate does not tolerate other humanoid or non-humanoid intelligent life. They barricade themselves within fortresses to keep the 'others' out and they use fences to keep the test subjects captive, thus the chain. The dragon represents the vile control they exert over those subjects from above."

MilSciFi: "How did you become involved with the No Manís Land project?"

Wilkes: "I read the call for submissions on the Broad Universe message board. I highly recommend Broad Universe to any women who write speculative fiction. If you look on the book's web page there are several contributors who are members."

MilSciFi: "What were your thoughts about the fact that this was a collection featuring all-female authors?"

Wilkes: "Bravo! Women writers get lost in the shuffle. We can write every bit as well as the men. And not just chick-lit and romance. Reading this volume will convince you that women can write kick-butt military sci-fi, too. I can even write a convincing bull rider. I wrote 'Bullheaded' for an anthology on bull riding (This Ain't No Rodeo, 2008, Wolfsinger Press). It's time the publishing world gave women equal airtime."

MilSciFi: "What tips would you given an aspiring military science fiction author, female or otherwise?"

Wilkes: "Make sure you get your science and military references right. You don't have to be a military expert any more than you have to be a scientist. You just need to research primary sources and cross-reference and have a stable of experts to go to for information and consultation."

MilSciFi: "Is military accuracy important to you, or can one simply 'fake' it?"

Wilkes: "Sure, go ahead. But anyone who's ever been in the military or otherwise become familiar with the accurate information will throw your book across the room and tell everyone that they did."

MilSciFi: "Have you been involved with any similar projects?"

Wilkes: "My story, 'Trapped Star,' appeared in another Dark Quest Books themed anthology. In Beauty Has Her Way, all the stories are about women getting what the want even if they have to play dirty. They are not all written by women as DTF IV: No Man's Land is. Beauty Has Her Way released in January of this year."

MilSciFi: "With your growing success as an author, do you plan to continue writing for the Defending the Future series?"

Wilkes: "I would love to continue writing in this series. Working with Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Mike McPhail has been a pleasure."

MilSciFi: "Are there any upcoming projects you would like to tell us about?"

Wilkes: "I'm currently working on several stories, one of them in the Awesome Lavratt universe, reviving some of the characters from the book and bringing some fun, new ones. I have no projects pending publication at the moment.

I do have a lot going on at Science Fiction and Other ODDysseys blog ( May seems to be doom and gloom month, simply because the market is filled with post-apocalyptic themes. You'll find reviews of books by John Barnes, Will McIntosh and a review of TNT's upcoming Falling Skies. Stephen Spielberg is the executive producer on this alien invasion drama premiering in June."

MilSciFi: "And what events do you have in the months ahead?"

Wilkes: "I'm spending 2011 doing more writing and less traveling. I hope to do more traveling to my favorite cons next year."

MilSciFi: "How can our readers find out more about your work?"

Wilkes: "I have a complete list of my published works on my website at I make sure to always leave one or two stories up on online magazines to give my readers a taste of my work. They can also download the first chapter of my tongue-in-cheek space opera, Awesome Lavratt at"

MilSciFi: "Thank you for time."

Ann Wilkes's website is:

Dark Quest Books' website is:


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The views contained in this interview are those of the author, and
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