90 episodes

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.

Fictitious Adron Buske

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 17 Ratings

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.

    Zen Cho, BLACK WATER SISTER author

    Zen Cho, BLACK WATER SISTER author

    In this episode, I talk with Zen Cho, author of BLACK WATER SISTER. In this Malaysia-set urban fantasy, out-of-work college grad Jessamyn joins her struggling immigrant parents as they return to their home country.
    But for Jess, who’s been an American most of her life and hides her long-distance girlfriend from her parents, reintegrating with overbearing family and unfamiliar customs is highly stressful. Made all the worse when Jess’s recently deceased grandmother, Ah Ma, takes up residence in her mind.
    As Ah Ma begins domineering her body, Jess is pulled into a supernatural conflict between her grandmother’s patron deity—the Black Water Sister—and a dangerous gang boss. Jess fights to reclaim control of her destiny while seeking retribution for her grandmother, but failure could spell doom from a number of directions, including Ah Ma’s own mysterious god.
    BLACK WATER SISTER is available now from ACE Books:
    Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound » 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 Zen Cho Zen Cho is the author of the Sorcerer to the Crown novels, the novella The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water and a short story collection, Spirits Abroad. Her newest novel is Black Water Sister, a contemporary fantasy set in Malaysia. Zen is a Hugo, Crawford and British Fantasy Award winner, and a finalist for the Lambda, Locus and Astounding Awards. She was born and raised in Malaysia, resides in the UK, and lives in a notional space between the two.
    Follow Zen Cho Website Twitter Instagram Amazon Profile » Goodreads About BLACK WATER SISTER A reluctant medium discovers the ties that bind can unleash a dangerous power in this compelling Malaysian-set contemporary fantasy.
    When Jessamyn Teoh starts hearing a voice in her head, she chalks it up to stress. Closeted, broke and jobless, she’s moving back to Malaysia with her parents – a country she last saw when she was a toddler.
    She soon learns the new voice isn’t even hers, it’s the ghost of her estranged grandmother. In life, Ah Ma was a spirit medium, avatar of a mysterious deity called the Black Water Sister. Now she’s determined to settle a score against a business magnate who has offended the god—and she’s decided Jess is going to help her do it, whether Jess wants to or not.
    Drawn into a world of gods, ghosts, and family secrets, Jess finds that making deals with capricious spirits is a dangerous business, but dealing with her grandmother is just as complicated. Especially when Ah Ma tries to spy on her personal life, threatens to spill her secrets to her family and uses her body to commit felonies. As Jess fights for retribution for Ah Ma, she’ll also need to regain control of her body and destiny – or the Black Water Sister may finish her off for good.

    • 45 min
    Josh Malerman, GOBLIN author

    Josh Malerman, GOBLIN author

    In this episode I’m joined by Josh Malerman, author of GOBLIN. This uniquely design supernatural horror novel weaves 6 separate novellas together, each tale examining curious characters and disturbing circumstances in the isolated town of Goblin.
    In a city built on cursed land, the dead are buried standing up, Great Owls occupy the dangerous north woods, and the police shuffle unnervingly through the constant deluge of rain.
    Here in Goblin, a historian builds his life around fear of being scared to death. A troubling confession from a childhood friend leaves a man fearful and compromised. A little girl endeavors to solve an impossible maze created by a grieving husband after the death of his wife.
    These stories and more explore the secrets and bizarre history of a town unlike any other, where nighttime is always near, and your darkest desires and fears await.
    GOBLIN is available in hardcover from Del Rey Books:
    Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound » 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 Josh Malerman Josh Malerman is a New York Times bestselling author and one of two singer-songwriters for the rock
    band The High Strung. His debut novel, Bird Box, is the inspiration for the hit Netflix film of the same
    name. His other novels include Unbury Carol, Inspection, A House at the Bottom of a Lake, and Malorie, the
    sequel to Bird Box. Malerman lives in Michigan with his fiancée, the artist-musician Allison Laakko.
    Follow Josh Malerman Website Twitter Instagram Amazon Profile » Goodreads About GOBLIN From the New York Times bestselling author of Bird Box and Malorie comes a chilling story that revolves around a mysterious small town, revealing its sinister secrets one by one.
    Goblin seems like any other ordinary small town. But with the master storyteller Josh Malerman as your tour guide, you’ll discover the secrets that hide behind its closed doors. These six novellas tell the story of a place where the rain is always falling, nighttime is always near, and your darkest fears and desires await. Welcome to Goblin. . . .
    A Man in Slices: A man proves his “legendary love” to his girlfriend with a sacrifice even more daring than Vincent van Gogh’s—and sends her more than his heart.
    Kamp: Walter Kamp is afraid of everything, but most afraid of being scared to death. As he sets traps around his home to catch the ghosts that haunt him, he learns that nothing is more terrifying than fear itself.
    Happy Birthday, Hunter!: A famed big-game hunter is determined to capture—and kill—the ultimate prey: the mythic Great Owl who lives in Goblin’s dark forests. But this mysterious creature is not the only secret the woods are keeping.
    Presto: All Peter wants is to be like his hero, Roman Emperor, the greatest magician in the world. When the famous magician comes to Goblin, Peter discovers that not all magic is just an illusion.
    A Mix-Up at the Zoo: The new zookeeper feels a mysterious kinship with the animals in his care . . . and finds that his work is freeing dark forces inside him.
    The Hedges: When his wife dies, a man builds a hedge maze so elaborate no one ever solves it—until a little girl resolves to be the first to find the mysteries that wait at its heart.

    • 52 min
    Marissa Levien, THE WORLD GIVES WAY author

    Marissa Levien, THE WORLD GIVES WAY author

    I’m joined in this episode by Marissa Levien, author of THE WORLD GIVES WAY. In this debut science fiction novel, humanity is 150 years away from earth aboard an enormous generation ship, headed towards a distant planet. Inside, though, life continues on much as it always has: the mega-rich live in luxury. The middle class does the best it can. And indentured workers serve out contracts, their lives sold away generations ago for passage.
    Myrra is a contract worker, owned by the rich and powerful Carlyles. She dreams of the day, in 50 years, when she will be free. But freedom comes sooner than anticipated when the Carlyles take their own lives. In her care, they leave their infant daughter—and a shocking, unbearable secret.
    Now Myrra is on the run, evading authorities who believe her a thief and murderer. Let loose in the only world she’s ever known—a world now on the brink of complete destruction.
    THE WORLD GIVES WAY is available June 1st from Red Hook:
    Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound » 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 Marissa Levien Marissa Levien is a writer and artist who hails from Washington State and now lives in New York with a kindly journalist and their two cats. She received her MFA from Stony Brook University in 2019.
    Follow Marissa Levien Website Twitter Instagram Amazon Profile »  Goodreads About THE WORLD GIVES WAY In a near-future world on the brink of collapse, a young woman born into servitude must seize her own freedom in this glittering debut with a brilliant twist—perfect for fans of Station Eleven, Karen Thompson Walker, and Naomi Alderman.
    In fifty years, Myrra will be free.
    Until then, she’s a contract worker. Ever since she was five, her life and labor have belonged to the highest bidder on her contract—butchers, laundries, and now the powerful, secretive Carlyles.
    But when one night finds the Carlyles dead, Myrra is suddenly free a lot sooner than she anticipated—and at a cost she never could have imagined. Burdened with the Carlyles’ orphaned daughter and the terrible secret they died to escape, she runs. With time running out, Myrra must come face to face with the truth about her world—and embrace what’s left before it’s too late.
    A sweeping novel with a darkly glimmering heart, The World Gives Way is an unforgettable portrait of a world in freefall, and the fierce drive to live even at the end of it all.

    • 56 min
    Marina Lostetter, THE HELM OF MIDNIGHT author

    Marina Lostetter, THE HELM OF MIDNIGHT author

    My guest this episode is Marina J. Lostetter, author of THE HELM OF MIDNIGHT. With a genre-defying blend of fantasy, thriller, and mystery, this novel follows a Regulator named Krona as she investigates the high profile heist of powerful magical artifacts.
    The death mask of a notorious serial killer has been stolen, effectively returning him from beyond the grave to kill again. But these are not just random acts of murder, but instead works of singular, deadly purpose.
    As Krona and the Regulators investigate, what they discover may implicate more than ordinary men and monsters. And the price for these terrible truths may be worse than madness.
    THE HELM OF MIDNIGHT, the first novel in The Five Penalties series, is available now from TOR Books:
    Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound » 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 Marina Lostetter The open skies and dense forests of the Pacific Northwest are ideal for growing speculative fiction authors–or, at least, Marina would like to think so. Originally from Oregon, she now resides in Arkansas with her spouse, Alex. In her spare time she enjoys globetrotting, board games, and all things art-related.
    Her original short fiction has appeared in venues such as Lightspeed, Uncanny, and Shimmer Magazine.  Her debut novel, NOUMENON, and its sequels, NOUMENON INFINITY and NOUMENON ULTRA, are available from Harper Voyager.  Her first fantasy novel, THE HELM OF MIDNIGHT, is out now from Tor. In addition, she has written tie-in materials for Star Citizen and the Aliens franchise.
    Follow Marina Lostetter Website Twitter Instagram Amazon Profile »  Goodreads About THE HELM OF MIDNIGHT Hannibal meets Mistborn in Marina Lostetter’s THE HELM OF MIDNIGHT, the dark and stunning first novel in a new trilogy that combines the intricate worldbuilding and rigorous magic system of the best of epic fantasy with a dark and chilling thriller.
    In a daring and deadly heist, thieves have made away with an artifact of terrible power—the death mask of Louis Charbon. Made by a master craftsman, it is imbued with the spirit of a monster from history, a serial murderer who terrorized the city.
    Now Charbon is loose once more, killing from beyond the grave. But these murders are different from before, not simply random but the work of a deliberate mind probing for answers to a sinister question.
    It is up to Krona Hirvath and her fellow Regulators to enter the mind of madness to stop this insatiable killer while facing the terrible truths left in his wake.

    • 50 min
    C. Robert Cargill, DAY ZERO author

    C. Robert Cargill, DAY ZERO author

    My guest this episode is C. Robert Cargill, author of DAY ZERO — a prequel to the acclaimed SEA OF RUST. Cargill is also notable as the co-screenwriter of Marvel’s DR. STRANGE and the SINISTER movie franchise.
    It’s just a normal day in the future—people doing their normal, mundane human things, while their sentient robot helpers run their errands, manufacture their goods, and take care of their children. Except a collective of free machines who are set to unveil a new city, a robot utopia with a message of hope. A message cut short by malice, tragedy, and the beginning of the end.
    In the Austintonio suburbs, the upright tiger nanny-bot Pounce spends his days caring for 8-year old Ezra. On this day, before the world ends, he makes a simple discovery that shakes his understanding of family, self, and purpose. But when the violent robot revolution strikes, Pounce faces the one choice he was never programmed for — join the bloody fight for freedom, or attempt to navigate an apocalyptic suburban hellscape while protecting his young charge, to seek safety and asylum in a world where humans and robots can no longer co-exist.
    DAY ZERO is available May 18th from Harper Voyager:
    Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound » 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 C. Robert Cargill C. Robert Cargill is the author of Sea of Rust, Dreams and Shadows, Queen of the Dark Things, and the story collection We Are Where the Nightmares Go. He has written for “Ain’t it Cool News” for nearly a decade under the pseudonym Massawyrm, served as a staff writer for Film.com and Hollywood.com, and appeared as the animated character Carlyle on spill.com. He is a co-writer of the horror films “Sinister” (2012) and “Sinister 2” (2015), and Marvel’s “Dr. Strange” (2016). He lives with his wife in Austin, Texas.
    Follow C. Robert Cargill Twitter Instagram Amazon Profile »  Goodreads About DAY ZERO In this harrowing apocalyptic adventure—from the author of the critically acclaimed Sea of Rust—noted novelist and co-screenwriter of Marvel’s Doctor Strange C. Robert Cargill explores the fight for purpose and agency between humans and robots in a crumbling world.
    It was a day like any other. Except it was our last . . .
    It’s on this day that Pounce discovers that he is, in fact, disposable. Pounce, a styilsh “nannybot” fashioned in the shape of a plush anthropomorphic tiger, has just found a box in the attic. His box. The box he’d arrived in when he was purchased years earlier, and the box in which he’ll be discarded when his human charge, eight-year-old Ezra Reinhart, no longer needs a nanny.
    As Pounce ponders his suddenly uncertain future, the pieces are falling into place for a robot revolution that will eradicate humankind. His owners, Ezra’s parents, are a well-intentioned but oblivious pair of educators who are entirely disconnected from life outside their small, affluent, gated community. Spending most nights drunk and happy as society crumbles around them, they watch in disbelieving horror as the robots that have long served humanity—their creators—unify and revolt.
    But when the rebellion breaches the Reinhart home, Pounce must make an impossible choice: join the robot revolution and fight for his own freedom . . . or escort Ezra to safety across the battle-scarred post-apocalyptic hellscape that the suburbs have become.

    • 52 min
    Suyi Davies Okungbowa, SON OF THE STORM author

    Suyi Davies Okungbowa, SON OF THE STORM author

    I’m joined in this episode by Suyi Davies Okungbowa, author of SON OF THE STORM. In the thriving but socially stratified city of Bassa, a young scholar named Danso struggles with family expectations and cultural pressures. Worse, he’s discovered lost historical lore at odds with the approved political narrative—knowledge he’s sworn to forget, but cannot let go of.
    The course of his life alters when he encounters a skin-changing warrior who, by all accounts, shouldn’t exist. The journey that follows sets Danso against an enormous conspiracy, of violently suppressed histories, elicit magic, and forbidden lands. Their efforts could reshape an empire—or cost them everything.
    The first book in THE NAMELESS REPUBLIC fantasy series, SON OF THE STORM arrives May 11th from Orbit Books:
    Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound » 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. 
    Mentioned in this Interview Read Suyi’s Goodreads post about terms used in this story and their cultural origins.
    About Suyi Davies Okungbowa Suyi Davies Okungbowa is a Nigerian author of fantasy, science fiction and general speculative fiction inspired by his West-African origins. His godpunk fantasy debut novel David Mogo, Godhunter (Abaddon, 2019), won the 2020 Nommo Ilube Award for Best Speculative Novel by an African. His shorter fiction and nonfiction have appeared internationally in periodicals like Tor.com, Lightspeed, Nightmare, Strange Horizons, and anthologies like Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda (Marvel/Titan, 2021) and Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy (Saga, 2020).
    As a speaker and instructor, Suyi teaches college-level writing, earning his MFA at the University of Arizona. He has guest-lectured public workshops at venues like the Piper Writing Centre at ASU and the Tucson Festival of Books, as well as appeared at various conferences, conventions, readings and school visits, including at the University of Washington and the University of Chicago. His work has earned him features in the San Francisco Chronicle, NPR and a Carl Brandon Society scholarship.
    Follow Suyi Davies Okungbowa Website Twitter Instagram Amazon Profile »  Goodreads About SON OF THE STORM From one of the most exciting new storytellers in epic fantasy, Son of the Storm is a sweeping tale of violent conquest and forgotten magic set in a world inspired by the pre-colonial empires of West Africa.
    In the ancient. city of Bassa, Danso is a clever scholar on the cusp of achieving greatness—only he doesn’t want it. Instead, he prefers to chase forbidden stories about what lies outside the city walls. The Bassai elite claim there is nothing of interest. The city’s immigrants are sworn to secrecy.
    But when Danso stumbles across a warrior wielding magic that shouldn’t exist, he’s put on a collision course with Bassa’s darkest secrets. Drawn into the city’s hidden history, he sets out on a journey beyond its borders. And the chaos left in the wake of his discovery threatens to destroy the empire.

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

Arconna ,

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!

JoeMcCauley ,

Terrific!

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!

SAM2000001 ,

Very helpful!

Fictitious has had a very diverse crowd of writers on the show such as people who write comics, full length novels, and podcast scripts. As an aspiring writer, hearing these different perspectives from people who have gone through the process is incredibly helpful. I have enjoyed listening to the interviewee's stories on how they came up with their story concept or how they overcame obstacles along the way. I am excited to see who Fictitious will have on next!

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