178: Writing Speculative Fiction – Interview with Ada Palmer

Hey there word nerds!

Today I have the pleasure of talking with author Ada Palmer on the show!

Ada is an intellectual historian and the author of the four part science fiction series Terra Ignota. The first book in the series (also Ada’s first science fiction novel), Too Like the Lightning, was a Hugo Best Novel Finalist in 2017 and is followed by Seven Surrenders and The Will to Battle which just released this month.

In addition to writing these awesome books, Ada composes fantasy, Sci-Fi, and mythology-themed music, performs at conventions with her vocal group Sassafrass, researches anime and manga, and blogs about philosophy and travel.

Listen in as we chat about Ada’s epic series, and the art of world building in speculative fiction.


In this episode Ada and I discuss:

  • How to avoid being pigeonholed by your books and your brand.
  • Why thinking like a historian aids world building.
  • Ada’s personal techniques for building multiple worlds at once.
  • Avoiding the info. dump, crafting an opening scene of speculative fiction the right way.
  • Fiction burn, what it is and how to avoid it in your novel.

Plus, Ada’s #1 tip for writers.

For more info and show notes: DIYMFA.com/178

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