The Fictitious podcast, hosted by Adron Buske, delves into the craft of Science Fiction and 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.
Caitlin Starling, LAST TO LEAVE THE ROOM author
Caitlin Starling returns to Fictitious to talk about her new horror-tinged, sci-fi thriller, LAST TO LEAVE THE ROOM. We talk writing surreal scenes, and using a "load-bearing cat".
About Last to Leave the Room The city of San Siroco is sinking. The basement of Dr. Tamsin Rivers, the arrogant, selfish head of the research team assigned to find the source of the subsidence, is sinking faster. As Tamsin grows obsessed with the distorting dimensions of the room at the bottom of the stairs, she finds a door that didn’t exist before – and one night, it opens to reveal an exact physical copy of her.
This doppelgänger is sweet and biddable where Tamsin is calculating and cruel. It appears fully, terribly human, passing every test Tamsin can devise. But the longer the double exists, the more Tamsin begins to forget pieces of her life, to lose track of time, to grow terrified of the outside world.
As her employer grows increasingly suspicious, Tamsin must try to hold herself together long enough to figure out what her double wants from her, and just where the mysterious door leads…
LAST TO LEAVE THE ROOM is potent and surreal, horror-inflected science fiction available now from St. Martin’s Press:
Amazon » Bookshop » » Some of these are affiliate links. Using them supports the channel, at no additional cost to you! Whenever possible, though, I encourage you to purchase from your local bookstores.
About Caitlin Starling Caitlin Starling is the nationally bestselling author of The Death of Jane Lawrence, as well as Last to Leave the Room and the Bram Stoker-nominated The Luminous Dead. Her other works include Yellow Jessamine and a Vampire: The Masquerade novella, The Land of Milk and Honey (published in the collection Walk Among Us). Her nonfiction has appeared in Nightmare, Uncanny, and Tor Nightfire. Caitlin also works in narrative design, and has been paid to invent body parts.
Website Twitter Instagram BlueSky Amazon » Goodreads Previous Fictitious Conversations with Caitlin Starling The Luminous Dead interview 10 Points to Slytherin: Why Good Fans Love Evil Characters — San Diego Comic Con Panel Vampire: The Masquerade: Walk Among Us interview with Genevieve Gornichec
Cassandra Khaw & Richard Kadrey, THE DEAD TAKE THE A TRAIN co-authors
Cassandra Khaw and Richard Kadrey are both powerhouse bestselling authors in their own rights. Now, they’ve merged their considerable talents in cosmic horror and urban fantasy to create the new novel, THE DEAD TAKE THE A TRAIN.
In a New York City absolutely filthy with magic—monsters and the mundane intermingle. When that cohabitation breeds horrific problems—and it always does—you need people like Julie Crews to clean up the mess. But being a coked-out, broke ass, pig-pen disaster of a magician like Julie creates as many issues as it solves.
Struggling to make rent and constantly getting screwed by her clients, Julie is desperate to score some real paying work. Complicating matters is the arrival of her childhood friend Sarah, the prim and pretty opposite to Julie’s deadbeat, mage-punk lifestyle.
Sarah’s brightness is just what she needs, and the vibes are way more than platonic. But Sarah brought her own baggage to the big city.
When Julie’s pompous Wall Street ex-boyfriend Tyler calls, offering big money for a highly suspicious job, she can’t refuse.
Getting tangled up in his lies, and the innumerable arms of a dream-eating demon, will be least of their issues, though. Because Tyler’s corporate job serves some seriously eldritch monstrosities, big ugly elder god-things on a schedule to consume their workforce. And maybe the world.
This, of course, is all about to become Julie’s giant mess to solve—and make infinitely worse along the way.
THE DEAD TAKE THE A TRAIN is a visceral, violent, wickedly fun urban fantasy available now from Tor Nightfire:
Amazon » Bookshop » About Cassandra Khaw
Cassandra Khaw is an award-winning game writer and former scriptwriter at Ubisoft Montreal. Khaw’s work can be found in places like The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Lightspeed, and Tor.com. Khaw’s first original novella, HAMMERS ON BONE, was a British Fantasy Award and Locus Award finalist, and their latest novella, NOTHING BUT BLACKENED TEETH, was a USA Today bestseller; Bram Stoker, Shirley Jackson, World Fantasy, and British Fantasy Award nominee; and an Indie Next Pick. In 2023, they won the Bram Stoker Awards Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection for BREAKABLE THINGS, a collection of short stories.
Instagram Twitter Amazon Profile » Goodreads Profile About Richard Kadrey
Richard Kadrey is the New York Times bestselling author of the SANDMAN SLIM supernatural noir series. Sandman Slim was included in Amazon’s “100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books to Read in a Lifetime,” and is in production as a feature film. Some of Kadrey’s other books include THE GRAND DARK, THE EVERYTHING BOX, and BUTCHERBIRD. In comics, he’s written for Heavy Metal, Lucifer, and Hellblazer. He’s currently partnered with Winterlight Productions for his original horror screenplay, Dark West.
Website BlueSky Instagram Twitter Amazon Profile » Goodreads Profile
James L. Sutter, rpg co-creator of PATHFINDER and STARFINDER; author of DARKHEARTS
In this episode we’re going to deviate a bit from the usual focus on fiction to talk about writing for tabletop roleplaying games and related media. RPGs have always been deeply interconnected with fantasy, sci-fi, and horror, and right now they are more popular and prevalent than ever before.
James L. Sutter co-created the lore and story-rich fantasy RPG PATHFINDER for Paizo Publishing, which has become one of the most popular roleplaying games in the world. He then took the role of Creative Director on STARFINDER, a science-fantasy RPG that reimagined the world of Pathfinder in a space-faring future.
Along the way, he’s written Pathfinder tie-in novels DEATH’S HERETIC and THE REDEMPTION ENGINE, RPG adventures and source books for Pathfinder, Starfinder, and Dungeons & Dragons, and a large body of short fiction, comics, and video games.
His latest book, DARKHEARTS, is a departure from genre fiction—a young adult romance about estranged bandmates that must reconcile the loss of their best friend, and their unexpected attraction to each other.
DARKHEARTS is available now from Wednesday Books:
Amazon » Bookshop » » Some of the links above are affiliate links. Using them helps support this site and creator. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I am an affiliate of Bookshop.org and I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
All of the RPG work previously mentioned is available at your local game store, or wherever books are sold:
Pathfinder (1st Edition) Core Rulebook » Starfinder Core Rulebook » Pathfinder Tales: Death's Heretic » Pathfinder Tales: The Redemption Engine » About James L. Sutter
James L. Sutter is a co-creator of the Pathfinder and Starfinder Roleplaying Games. From 2004 to 2017, he worked for Paizo Publishing, starting out as an editor on Dungeon Magazine, moving on to do foundational work for Pathfinder, and eventually becoming the Creative Director in charge of launching Starfinder, as well as the Executive Editor of the Pathfinder Tales novel line for Paizo and Tor.
James is also the author of the young adult romance novel Darkhearts, as well as the fantasy novels Death's Heretic—a finalist for the Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel—and The Redemption Engine, which won the 2015 Scribe Award for Best Original Speculative Novel. His short stories have appeared in such venues as Nightmare, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Escape Pod, and the #1 Amazon best-seller Machine of Death. In addition, he's written comic books, essays in venues like Clarkesworld and Lightspeed: Queers Destroy Science Fiction, a wealth of tabletop gaming material, and video games.
When not writing, James has performed with musical acts ranging from metalcore to musical theater. He lives in Seattle.
Website Instagram Twitter Amazon Profile » Goodreads Profile
Greta Kelly, THE QUEEN OF DAYS author
Greta Kelly returns to Fictitious to talk about her new fantasy novel, THE QUEEN OF DAYS. We discuss its origin as a NaNoWriMo project, developing a tightly-contained fantasy setting, and maintaining emotional drama in a fast-paced heist story.
THE QUEEN OF DAYS is breakneck-paced fantasy adventure coming October 24th from Harper Voyager. Order it now at:
Amazon » Bookshop » Publisher Site » Some of the links above are affiliate links. Using them helps support this site and its writers. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I am an affiliate of Bookshop.org and I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
About Greta Kelly
Greta K. Kelly is (probably) not a witch, death or otherwise, but she can still be summoned with offerings of too-beautiful-to-use journals and Butterfingers candy. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her husband EJ, daughters Lorelei and Nadia who are doing their level-best to take over the world.
Follow Greta Kelly Website Instagram Twitter Goodreads Amazon profile » About THE QUEEN OF DAYS From Greta Kelly, the author of the Warrior Witch duology, comes The Queen of Days, an epic adventure that weaves together a flawed-but-lovable family of thieves, a battle between fallen gods, and stakes high enough to cause vertigo—perfect for fans of The Lies of Locke Lamora and Six of Crows.
For Balthazar and his family of thieves, stealing a statue during the annual celebration of the god Karanis was just a good bit of fun…or a way to stick it to the governor who murdered his parents. And yeah, the small fortune in reward doesn’t hurt—even if his boss also hired the mysterious Queen of Days to join the crew as “the weapon of last resort…”
Whatever that means.
But Bal doesn’t know the ceremony isn’t simply empty words and dusty tradition; it’s true magic. The kind of magic that rips open a portal for the god himself. Only the idol that Karanis planned on using for a body now lies broken at the Queen of Days’ feet. And half of it is missing.
With the aid of a lovable brawler, a society lady turned bomb maker, a disgraced soldier, and a time-eating demon, Bal must hunt down the missing half of the statue if he has any hope of earning his money, keeping his crew alive…and perhaps even saving all of humanity. But as his journey sends him racing through the city—and across realities—he discovers that doing all this might just doom the city.
The city be damned. It’s time to kill a god.
Matt Wallace, SAVAGE CROWNS author
Matt Wallace talks about his epic fantasy trilogy, THE SAVAGE REBELLION — which includes SAVAGE NATION, SAVAGE BOUNTY, and SAVAGE CROWNS, all available now from Saga Press. We discuss the series's examination of empire, historical influences, impact of sensitivity readers, and challenging editorial process.
Savage Legion Amazon » Savage Bounty Amazon » Bookshop » Savage Crowns Amazon » Bookshop » » Some of these are affiliate links. Using them supports the channel, at no additional cost to you! Whenever possible, though, I encourage you to purchase from your local bookstores.
About Matt Wallace Matt Wallace is a retired professional wrestler and the author of the Sin du Jour novella series (Tor.com Publishing), the Savage Rebellion Trilogy (Saga Press/Gallery Books), and the middle grade novels BUMP, THE SUPERVILLAIN’S GUIDE TO BEING A FAT KID, and NOWHERE SPECIAL (Katherine Tegen Books).
In 2018, alongside co-host Mur Lafferty, he took home the Hugo Award for their podcast, Ditch Diggers. In addition to writing for several television series, Matt has also done extensive narrative work on video game titles for publishers such as inXile Entertainment. He currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Nikki.
Follow Matt Wallace Website Twitter Instagram Goodreads Amazon Profile » About SAVAGE NATION They call them Savages. Brutal. Efficient. Expendable.
The empire relies on them. The Savages are the greatest weapon they ever developed. Culled from the streets of their cities, they take the ones no one will miss and throw them, by the thousands, at the empire’s enemies. If they live, they fight again. If they die, there are always more to take their place.
Evie is not a Savage. She’s a warrior with a mission: to find the man she once loved, the man who holds the key to exposing the secret of the Savage Legion and ending the mass conscription of the empire’s poor and wretched.
But to find him, she must become one of them, to be marked in her blood, to fight in their wars, and to find her purpose. Evie will die a Savage if she has to, but not before showing the world who she really is and what the Savage Legion can really do.
About SAVAGE BOUNTY A war has begun. Savages, the empire’s most valuable resource, have been thrown at their captors’ enemies long enough. If their rebellion succeeds, it will undo a nation.
At the helm of this Savage uprising is Evie, the Sparrow General. It isn’t a title she asked for or particularly wants, but she is the last hope for several peoples at the edge of extinction. Back in the empire’s city seat, Dyeawan, a brilliant young strategist plucked from the streets, must risk her life to maintain her newfound authority. And Lexi has finally taken control of the guild built by her family, but she finds herself at the heart of a sinister power play that could tear apart society as she knows it. Meanwhile, Lexi’s loyal retainer, Taru, has been conscripted into the legion of Savages still under the empire’s control.
These four individuals hold the fate of the world in their hands. But even if they survive their missions, they may find themselves at odds with one another.
About SAVAGE CROWNS The final war for the nation of Crache has begun.
At the helm of the people’s rebellion is Evie, the Sparrow General. She has been captured by the Skrian, Crache’s vicious army, and is being brought back to the Capitol for punishment. But reinforcements are coming for her.
Dyeawan, who has climbed from street urchin to Crache’s highest seat of power through clever schemes and ruthless bloodshed, finds trouble on every front once she arrives. The rebellion approaches, and there are whispers of a martyr within the city who holds enough sway to stage a coup. If she doesn’t act quickly, her rule will be short-lived.
As the women who hold the nation’s future meet each other from different sides of the battlefield, will they be able to find a sh
Fictitious Returns from Hiatus!
After a two-year hiatus, Fictitious returns to your podcast feeds. Host Adron Buske explains the reason for the break, and the return, and how the show will evolve going forward.
For all my interviews, show info, and more, visit: https://fictitiouspodcast.com
Right now, the best social media platform for Fictitious is Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fictitiouspod/
A Fabulous Interview Show
Fictitious is a really fabulous interview show that covers the craft of sf/f storytelling. Buske is a natural interviewer. He and his guests dig into various storytelling concepts with passion and a real interest to learn -- about the craft and about different perspectives.
Frankly, it's one of my default interview-style shows, and one of my favorite craft-oriented podcasts currently out there. Non-writers will get a lot out of hearing some of their favorite authors talk shop. Writers will get a whole different set of positives from listening!
Host talks too much
The host talks way too much. He should be quiet and let the guests speak. In addition, he should stop pushing his political views.
I just listened to one episode so far, but I have to say, I think this is the genre author interview podcast I’ve been looking for. The host is clearly as much a fan of the writing process as he is of genre fiction.
I’m very much enjoying it. My only concern is that all these authors and great books, my obsessive book buying may jump to a new level!
Great stuff here!