Steven R. Boyett
In 1978, Boyett received a writing scholarship to attend the University of Tampa. However, at age 19, he decided to leave college to complete his first book, Ariel. Soon after the science fiction novel was released, Boyett moved to Los Angeles, where he continued to write fiction and screenplays and teach college writing courses and workshops. He has been published in literary, science fiction, fantasy and horror anthologies and magazines, as well as comic books. His most recent novel, Mortality Bridge, was released on July 31. Boyett is also an electronic dance music DJ known for his Podrunner podcast.
What's on your nightstand?
Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1, edited by Harriet Elinor Smith, and I'm reading Asimov's Guide to the Bible by Isaac Asimov, which ironically is twice as big as the Bible.
Why are you reading Asimov's Guide?
I have had this book as a reference book for 15 to 20 years. He was known as a science fiction writer who published I, Robot and the Foundation novels. I didn't care for the fiction, but he was a very good science writer, and a good explainer in the Carl Sagan vein. His guide to the Bible isn't about philosophical issues. It's not a religious book at all. It's about historical relevance and context, placing these events in history in relation to culture. I'm fascinated with the historical Jesus. I'm fascinated with differences between the myth and the real and what people bring to that.
Any other books on your nightstand?
I'm a fan of people's "B" sides. I'm reading Phases of Gravity by Dan Simmons. It's a tone piece and character study of a man who is one of the astronauts during the Apollo moon missions, and how he goes through life afterward. It's bittersweet. It is about somebody trying to find meaning in his life. It seems he's always going to be the guy who stepped on the moon.
Are there any current science fiction/fantasy writers that you recommend?
There's no one in the field that I currently read. When I go back a little, I think of Kathe Koja. She writes really disturbing, visceral, upsetting horror fiction in this sort of machine gun, caffeine-fueled way that you just get the feeling she just sat down and typed until she fell over.
Piper Castillo can be reached at email@example.com.