Angry Robot Author Christopher HinzTuesday has arrived again, and with it another insight into the minds of our authors: Talk Tuesday To Us (sometimes under the coercive influence of torture, or in today’s case, an ice cream scoop).

This week we crack open the cranium of Christopher Hinz, author of the fast-paced, action filled SF Binary Storm, sequel to his 1980’s classic Liege-Killer. With the scoop in hand, we can proceed.

What’s the view from your writing window?
Trees, more trees and wandering critters. Mostly herbivores although I do believe that a black bear ripped into my recycling container a few months ago.

The biggest influence on your writing:
My first memorable book as a child, Stand by for Mars. It slammed consciousness and broke gravitational bounds. I haven’t been the same ever since.

What do you say when people ask “Where do you get your ideas from?”
If it’s a young person full of genuine curiosity, I might explain how ideas can erupt from everything we see, hear, touch and dream. If it’s an adult with ambitions to write science fiction, I try to gently break the news that they’ve probably chosen the wrong pursuit. (If that fails to impress, there’s always the old Harlan Ellison standby: a mail-order house in Schenectady.)

Support a team?
Philadelphia Eagles. Sooner or later, they’re going to get that elusive Super Bowl win.

Ideal dinner party guests:
Frank Herbert and J.R.R. Tolkien. A farseeing conversation would be enhanced by daring glimpses into a palantír and by a leisurely meal of mélange-infused lembas bread. Afterward, we’d summon a worm and surf the wild sands.

dsc_7248Any notable pets?
Avo, domestic cat. She’s indoor-outdoor, so “domestic” might be a bit of a stretch.

Earliest memory:
From a muddle of early images, playing with a set of wooden building blocks. There’s a lineage from that to creating stories although I’ve yet to deconstruct it.

The last time you cried?
I’m a sucker for “Stand up and cheer” movie endings. The most recent one that ignited a few pleasurable tears was The Martian, when Matt Damon’s character is finally rescued.

Tell us a joke…
It’s Paratwa-centric but here goes. A female binary (a person who exists simultaneously in two human bodies known as tways) is having lunch in a restaurant. One of the tways,who strongly resembles Meg Ryan from the film When Harry Met Sally, is at a table with a male friend; the other tway sits alone at a nearby table. The Meg Ryan tway pretends, rather loudly, to be experiencing a marvellous orgasm. The other tway, approached by a server, says, “I’ll have what I’m having.”

Do you have an unusual talent or skill?
I can build a decent model railroad diorama.

Tell us a secret.
Way back when the world was young and chief among its foes was the dreaded witch king of… Whoa! Wrong universe! Let me reboot before I do irrevocable damage to Tolkien’s prose. What I was going to say is that way back when, I played rhythm guitar in a teenage rock band.

We’re buying… what’ll you have?

A fully functional Robby the Robot from 1950s classic flick Forbidden Planet. If that’s not doable, how about a dinner of baked haddock spiced with curry, basil and thyme, and enough alcoholic beverages to fluidize conversation.

Cheers Christopher! We’ll absolutely get those brain scoops back in your head in the right order…

Binary Storm is released on November 1st (US/Can) and November 3rd (UK).

If you’re a Netgalley reader, Binary Storm is available to request right now!

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