Friday, August 1, 2014

Straight Chatting from the Library: S. L. Dunn

S.L. Dunn has stopped by The Library to chat with us today as part of his virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. He will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to one entrant in the Rafflecopter below. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


What is the favorite book you remember as a child?

All paths lead to the Lord of the Rings when it comes to my childhood.

Tell us about your current book in 10 words.

10 words!? That’s a tough task… Okay, her goes:

Michael Crichton meets Marvel Comics with a strong, smart heroine.

What are you reading right now?

Neuromancer by William Gibson.

E-Reader or print? and why?

I love e-books as a writer and a reader. I tend to do most of my reading at night, so it’s incredibly convenient when reading with the lights off. With an e-reader there’s no hassle. I like paper books too, but the convenience of an e-book is tough to beat for casual reading.

One book at a time or multiples?

I think when you find a book you really love, any other book gets set aside until the book you love is finished. The best books have a tendency of being read swiftly. Otherwise, multiples. I’m usually plodding my way through a literary or non-fiction tome over long periods of time as I plug out quicker reads.

Favorite book you've read this year?

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Favorite genre?

I love all genres, and my bookshelf is quite eclectic, but when push comes to shove I have to go with sci-fi or fantasy. For me, those are the genres that place a focus on the integration of imagination. Empathy is at the heart of every novel, but only in sc-fi/fantasy is imagination also a key component.

8Favorite book to recommend?

You can learn a lot about a person by how they regard any given book. I think the logic behind the expression, “What Peter says about Paul says more about Peter than it does about Paul,” holds especially true for novels, because the words on the pages never change. Personality traits and deeply held beliefs can sometimes show themselves amid novel criticism. In that vein, my favorite book to recommend, purely for my own sociological amusement, is Snowcrash by Neal Stephenson.


Above a horrified New York City, genetics and ethics collide as the fallen emperor and a banished exile of the same herculean race ignite into battle over the city’s rooftops. In the streets below, a brilliant young scientist has discovered a technology that can defeat them both, yet might be more terrible than either.

Set both in modern New York City and in the technologically sophisticated yet politically savage world of Anthem, Anthem’s Fall unfurls into a plot where larger than life characters born with the prowess of gods are pitted against the shrewd brilliance of a familiar and unlikely heroine.


It had its certain comforts and learned familiarities, but New York had never felt like home. The initial novelty of Manhattan and all of its cultural and architectural grandeur had long waned, and what she once regarded with wonder, she now felt only a moldering cynicism. These days Kristen Jordan considered the soaring edifices and crowding streets to be the material shape, the substance, behind the insatiable and thoughtless ambition of the modern. Nudging her straw against the melting ice cubes at the bottom of an empty vodka tonic, Kristen looked about the shabbily decorated and dimly lit college bar. Glowing neon beer signs and television screens hung on walls that enclosed a dozen booths and tables. A distinct smell of stale beer and hot wings hung in the air, yet the nearby conversations of fellow academics, exultant and self-assured, ignored this atrophy.

Kristen studied genetics at Columbia, and her brilliance was unrivaled. Sitting quietly and gazing across the young faces of the bar, Kristen wondered if she stood out among her outwardly preoccupied and self-satisfied peers, or if they too were all carrying unspoken anchors of anxiety and doubt. On some level, though, she knew her general restlessness was an unfortunate byproduct of her intellect, and not an affliction shared by the masses.

From across the table her fellow graduate student Steve Armstrong had started rambling over the loud rock music, his hand clutching a perspiring glass of beer. “My point is that there’s a difference between intelligence, or even consciousness for that matter, and awareness. They’re two entirely different phenomena that are always lumped into the same category. Don’t you think?”

Kristen Jordan groaned and rolled her eyes, which elicited a laugh out of another graduate student sitting beside her, Cara Williams.

“I don’t care, Steve,” Kristen said, her voice distracted and leaden. “I hardly think it’s a topic worthy of lengthy discussion. There’s no way of knowing for certain because that kind of technology doesn’t exist.”

“Are you kidding me?” Steve gulped his beer and glared at her, his words faintly slurred. The alcohol added a note of indignation to his tone. “You’re saying we shouldn’t consider how a new technology will operate?”


S.L. Dunn is the debut author of Anthem’s Fall, a novel he wrote amid the wanderings of his mid twenties. He has written while living intermittently in St. John USVI, Boston, Maine and Seattle. Raised on big screen superheroes and pop science fiction, he sought to create a novel that bridged a near-sci-fi thriller with a grand new fantasy. He currently resides in Seattle with his girlfriend Liz and their dog Lucy, and is hard at work completing the next book of the Anthem’s Fall series. Get in touch at

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