Which author is your biggest inspiration?
Tricky! I grew up on a diet of short-form Asimov. Other Sci-Fi short story writers as well, but I think Asimov’s “clean” story telling (with the occasional joke) definitely influenced me. I always got the impression that he was an ideas writer rather than a character writer, and I guess I’m the same.
What’s your favorite science fiction short story, book, movie?
Easy! The Sirens of Titan, Kurt Vonnegut. I read it young(ish), when it made a big impression, and it still ranks as one of my favourite reads. Who can resist the idea of a chronosynclastic infundibulum?
What advantages do you think flash fiction has to offer you as a writer?
For me, flash is a vehicle for ideas. If you try to do character in a flash, you’re as likely to end up with a vignette as a story. Which is fine, but not quite my thing.
Do you think science fiction lends itself well to flash compared to other speculative genres?
Maybe… flash doesn’t give you much room for world building. So the science (or fantasy) is best “borrowed” from elsewhere, such that the reader already knows the bones of the world they’re in. Like a good joke, you just have to know which expectation to thwart.
What are your greatest challenges with writing flash and micro fiction?
Ignoring the critics who say “we (kind of) like it, but we feel it’s only the start of a story. We’d like it to be a lot longer…”
Is your favorite genre to write in sci-fi?
I’m happy to write in any speculative genre and have had success with steampunk and horror as well as fantasy and sci-fi. My sci-fi tends to be “soft”, just as my fantasy tends to be low. It’s more interesting (and easier?) to start fairly close to where we are now and tweak, than to invent a whole civilization (I think!).
Where can readers find your other work and which story are you the most proud of?
My flash (1000 word) story “Ana” won the Quantum Shorts contest and was then picked up for Best of British Science Fiction 2016 (NewCon Press). And my collection of twisted fantasy, “Happy Ending Not Guaranteed”, is published by Arachne Press.
Are there any links you’d like to share where readers can follow you?
Links to all of my published stories are at http://happyendingnotguaranteed.blogspot.co.uk/, or follow me on twitter @LiamJHogan for sporadic updates.