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Interview Transcript & Thoughts - A Recovering Physicist's Apology

About Interview Transcript & Thoughts

Previous Entry Interview Transcript & Thoughts Apr. 10th, 2010 @ 05:28 pm Next Entry
The interview went well.  I wish there had been more time for each author (or at least me!) becasue I enjoy talking.  All in all I had a great experience and can't wait to participate in Absolute XPress' next project.  I hope they accept my next flash fiction as well.



Saturday April 10, 2010 12:41 

http://cdn.cloudfiles.mosso.com/c71692/media/avitars/phpPK4lUVXpress.jpg

Absolute XPress: 

The next author to get grilled by your’s truly is Andrew Magrath.

Andrew’s Bio:
Passion comes in many forms. I enjoy writing logical proofs as much as prose. I have always loved science, mathematics, and reason. I see within the mathematical sciences an austere beauty and profoundly elegant worldview. Yet, I also derive great pleasure from the humanities. The printed word can inspire, bring joy, or provoke thought. My education at Oberlin College reflects my duel passions: I majored in Physics and minored in Rhetoric and Composition. After college, my wanderings brought me to Daito, Japan. In Daito, I taught English at Tanigawa Junior High School for three wonderful years. Since returning from Japan, I am pursuing an advanced degree in Logic and the Philosophy of Science, and, of course, writing fiction whenever I have free time.

Hi Andrew, how are things in Ohio?

Saturday April 10, 2010 12:41 

 

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Andrew Magrath: 

Things in Ohio are typical of Ohio, 70 degrees through the week and then snow on Friday.

 

Saturday April 10, 2010 12:42 

http://cdn.cloudfiles.mosso.com/c71692/media/avitars/phpPK4lUVXpress.jpg

Absolute XPress: 

Wonderful. Sounds alot like Alberta Weather.

So why don't we start off by you telling us a little bit more about you? Where are you from, what do you do, and how did you find out about the Flash Fiction Challenge?

Saturday April 10, 2010 12:42 

Saturday April 10, 2010 12:42 

Andrew Magrath: 

I'm Andrew Magrath. I went to school at Oberlin College, where I earned a degree in Physics. Yet, I felt I was still too approachable at parties and needed an extra layer of pretentiousness, so I also decided to get a degree in Rhetoric and Composition :) ...

Saturday April 10, 2010 12:43 

 

Andrew Magrath: 

After graduating, I did the natural thing for any physics major to do, I promptly moved to Japan and taught English in a suburb of Osaka. Currently, I'm at Kent State University earning my graduate degree in philosophy of science and logic ...

Saturday April 10, 2010 12:45 

Andrew Magrath: 

I heard about Absolute Xpress' Flash Fiction contest through a friend I've known since middle school, David Craddock (who will be in the hot seat at 6:15 EST so stick around for his session too!). I write for fun, but David's a professional!

Saturday April 10, 2010 12:46 

 

Absolute XPress: 

Very Cool.

Without giving away the plot of the story, tell us about what you've written for Thieves and Scoundrels?

Saturday April 10, 2010 12:46 

Andrew Magrath: 

In my story, "Stolen Time", I wanted to explore the idea of the gentleman thief. I find that character type intriguing, but I often find that the dichotomy of gentlemen and thief is often not explored. Too often I think this character type is portrayed as a great guy... that just so happens to steal things. ...

Saturday April 10, 2010 12:48 

 

Andrew Magrath: 

My main character, Sem, is not evil – he doesn't plot a grand scheme of revenge or anything like that -- but nor is he an altruist -- don't expect him to turn himself in and answer for his crimes. Sem's solution to the story's main conflict is selfish but also elegant.

Saturday April 10, 2010 12:49 

Absolute XPress: 

Would you classify this as Science Fiction? Is this the genre of story that readers can expect from your other work?

Saturday April 10, 2010 12:51 

 

Andrew Magrath: 

Yes, "Stolen Time" is science fiction. I would say on the hard-ish end of sci-fi. I try my best to work with the rules of the physics as we currently understand them...

Saturday April 10, 2010 12:52 

Andrew Magrath: 

I think it is typical of my work. I do not care for all powerful magic or technology. I like an universe built on natural law. I also think the piece is an examination of a character and the human condition which is another of my primary goals as a writer.

Saturday April 10, 2010 12:54 

 

Absolute XPress: 

Are you working anything else right now?

Saturday April 10, 2010 12:55 

Andrew Magrath: 

Aren't we all perpetually working on something :) While living in Japan I wrote 2 novels out of a trilogy which I am in the process of cleaning up and hopefully sending to potential publishers soon.

Saturday April 10, 2010 12:56 

 

Absolute XPress: 

Hmmm. More hints from these authors...

Are there any authors or books which you particularly admire, or which have influenced you as a writer?

Saturday April 10, 2010 12:57 

Andrew Magrath: 

I am a huge fan of hard science fiction so Clarke and Asimov. Frank Herbert's Dune is awe inspiring in terms of scope and history.

Saturday April 10, 2010 12:59 

 

Absolute XPress: 

What would you say is the hardest part about writing, in general or just flash fiction?

Saturday April 10, 2010 12:59 

Andrew Magrath: 

The hardest part of any writing project (but flash fiction specifically) is finding the balance in everything. Characters worlds that are easy to access but not cliche; narratives that are interesting but not broken; and ideas that are complex but not overly dense

Saturday April 10, 2010 1:01 

Absolute XPress: 

Do you find having those extra degree's helps your story writing or does it hinder it?

Saturday April 10, 2010 1:02 

 

Andrew Magrath: 

Helps! I am big on empiricism. The only way we know a thing is to experience it. So having direct knowledge of science, philosophy, and having traveled through Asia has given me amazing direct experience that I can apply...

Saturday April 10, 2010 1:03 

Andrew Magrath: 

There's more under the sun when your horizons have been expanded. It can be sometimes hard for me to narrow things down or just shut up about a topic, but I think authors in particular must be well rounded and well educated.

Saturday April 10, 2010 1:04 

Absolute XPress: 

Great stuff. Well let's bring on the audience questions...

Saturday April 10, 2010 1:04 

 

Sally :  

Have you ever collaborated with another author on a book or story?

Saturday April 10, 2010 1:04 

Andrew Magrath: 

Collaboration is something that I think I would really enjoy doing, but have not at this time. Currently I am very new to writing and do it mainly as a hobby. One day I'd love to try collaboration! Thanks for the question Sally.

Saturday April 10, 2010 1:05 

 

Betty :  

A Physics degree and you lived in Japan. I bet you've got a couple dozen robot stories to tell, right?

Saturday April 10, 2010 1:06 

Andrew Magrath: 

The Japanese have a particular affinity towards human shaped robots. I went to every robot expo I could while I lived there. Even though robots are a bit tired in terms of fiction right now (its difficult to beat Moore's treatment in the Galactica remake), there really is something amazing about machines!
Thanks Betty

Saturday April 10, 2010 1:08 

 

Red :  

As an academic, do you write non-fiction as well? Are the challenges similar or different?

Saturday April 10, 2010 1:08 

Andrew Magrath: 

I think the ideas are the same. I tackle every writing project as if it were a proving essay -- a mind at work/wondering. If I am writing in an academic sense Newtonian spacetime is the wrong way to think about space I prove it in my writing...

Saturday April 10, 2010 1:09 

 

Andrew Magrath: 

similarly if I am writing about a mankind's decision to colonize space, I have to prove to the reader that this is what people actually think. Both styles must be believable.

So I think the goals are the same, but the tool kit for each are very different.

Thanks Red

Saturday April 10, 2010 1:11 

 

Absolute XPress: 

And one more...

Saturday April 10, 2010 1:11 

Shirley Mason :  

Hello Andrew, "linear gate-ring" a term from your story made me wonder , since I've not read much about space, is this an imaginary term or does it denote some fact about space exploration?

Saturday April 10, 2010 1:11 

 

Andrew Magrath: 

That's mine! I like the idea that dimensions can be projected and expanded. Think about a photo is just a 2d projection of a 3d scene. So in a lot of my fiction I imagine the linear gate as a projection of 3d space down to a 2d line....

Saturday April 10, 2010 1:13 

Andrew Magrath: 

that's the background information that goes on in my head when I wrote the story. I wanted a sense that there was a network of faster than light gates, but did not want to go into too much detail (nor did I have the words to do it in!) so I just went with a brute force the name is the explanation (which is how physics in general works).

Thanks for reading my story and the question Shirley

Saturday April 10, 2010 1:14 

Absolute XPress: 

Wow. Thanks to all the commenters. You are a very popular man, Mr. Magrath. 

Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday April 10, 2010 1:14 

 

Andrew Magrath: 

Thank you all, and thank you Tina.

Saturday April 10, 2010 1:15 

 


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From:sneakypeteiii
Date:April 11th, 2010 12:40 am (UTC)
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I bought your book!!11
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