05-20-2011: MilSciFi.com interviews author Jeff Young, contributor to the anthology, By Other Means, book three in the Defending The Future series.
MilSciFi: "Welcome. Please tell us about your story, and what
was the inspiration for it?"
Young: "That's a good story. I was at Balticon and going to a panel that I
really had high hopes for called 'Megastructures'. Well, let's just say as panels sometimes go,
its more about who's on the panel than what they are supposed to be
discussing. I did happen to catch
something that James Daniel Ross said concerning large-scale troop ships. He made the comment that it was probably
impossible to keep them clean and that they might become breeding grounds for
diseases. On the whole the rest of the
panel was somewhat less than satisfactory.
As we were leaving, my friend Eric asked, 'Did you get anything out of
all of that?' I remember saying, 'Yeah,
an idea for a story' Readers therefore might recognize the "tuckerism"
of the troop ship's name, The Ross."
MilSciFi: "Is it a part of a larger universe?"
Young: " 'Blankets' is currently self-contained."
MilSciFi: "Any plans to continue with this storyline?"
Young: "No immediate ones, as I did very limited world
building for it. If a good idea strikes
me, it would be hard to say no."
MilSciFi: "Each story is accompanied by a unique icon,
can you tell us something about the relevance behind your own?"
Young: "First of all, thank you to Mr. McPhail for
letting me design my own icon. Cards
have always gone along with soldiers wherever they go. They use up no battery power and you can play
games with little to no noise. The ace
of spades should be familiar as the death card.
The seven and the tree represent the remaining rebel frontier worlds,
referred to as the Sylvan Seven. The
motto represents the choice that the soldiers made upon enlistment, to see their
mission through to its end."
MilSciFi: "How did you become involved with the By Other
Young: "I've known Dani and Mike for almost ten years
now and when they were up for a signing after the aforementioned Balticon, I
happened to let drop that I had an idea for a story. Mike heard me out and told me that I had to
write it and I had a year before he would need it for consideration for By
Other Means. So with a deadline and an
opportunity like that, how could I say no?"
MilSciFi: "What tips would you give an aspiring military
science fiction author?"
Young: "If you don't have the experience, ask and ask
the right people. Do the research and be
as true to the realism of the moment as you can."
MilSciFi: "Is military accuracy important to you, or can
one simply 'fake' it?"
Young: "That's a tough question, because I don't have
the experience and I had to have someone check over my work to see if it made
sense. So without the experience, I had
no choice but to make it up. Now also I
am writing about fictional weaponry, other fictional technologies, and a
fictional setting – so it is all fake, but I tried to make it as realistic as
possible. If you have respect for the
military, then you will want to make things as accurate as possible."
MilSciFi: "Have you been involved with any similar
projects outside the series?"
Young: "This is my first themed anthology
contribution. Since then I have done two
others. I have some magazine publishing
credits, but I really do like the idea of writing for an anthology because it
gives you a goal to focus on rather than sending something out that you hope is
close to what a magazine or market is after."
MilSciFi: "With your growing success as an author, do you
plan to continue writing for the Defending the Future series?"
I already have an idea what I would like to submit for the fifth volume
and just need to edit it and a reader or two check it over. Unlike the organized troops of the Federate,
this time it's mercenaries."
MilSciFi: "Are there any upcoming projects you would like
to tell us about?"
Young: "There's another Dark Quest book on the horizon
called In An Iron Cage: The Magic of Steampunk, which will contain my story, 'Drinking
Down Death'. Hopefully, the follow up
story 'Ambergris on Ice' which is slated for Clockwork Chaos will see print
some time in the future. I am also the
editor for the Drunken Comic Book Monkeys and their book, The Drunken Comic
Book Monkeys in Science Fictiony Tales of Science, may be out as early as late
July. They were kind enough to offer to
include my short story 'Primordial Monkeys' as well as make me the antagonist
of the book--well, sort of kind."
MilSciFi: "And what events do you have in the months
Young: "Balticon is coming up at the end of this
month, and I look forward to going to my local Con for the first time as a
participating author. I hope to be able
to also go to Confluence and make some other day trips to other cons if time
MilSciFi: "How can our readers find out more about your
and thanks for asking all of the above, cheers."
MilSciFi: "Thank you for your time."