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Interview: Albert E. Cowdrey on "The Overseer"

Albert E. Cowdrey–author of “The Overseer” (our March 2008 issue‘s cover story)–said in an interview that the story grew out of his love of the great Victorian ghost story.

“[I’ve] always wanted to try my hand at the genre, and what a pleasure to find a way to do it at last!” Cowdrey said. “As a former historian I’ve spent much time and a lot of ink trying to weave history and fantasy together. An early version (which Gordon politely declined) had too much history, and it wasn’t until the Overseer came stalking out of the shadows that the fictional elements took charge and the story came to life. Where did he come from? No use asking, because I’ve really no idea. I never knew such a man, though somebody who looks remarkably like him appears in one of Toulouse-Lautrec’s prints advertising the Moulin Rouge—a rail-thin figure in top hat, with (like the Overseer) a Mardi Gras mask of a face. Why he stopped dancing with La Goulue long enough to run a plantation in Louisiana’s Red River country I’m not sure. But the Victorian ambiance is preserved.”

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F&SF Author Interviews

Now, in my first post here at the shiny new F&SF blog, I promised you there’d be interviews, right? Well, check out the next post for a new interview with Albert E. Cowdrey, author of "The Overseer"–the cover story of our March 2008 issue.

Before we started this blog, I’d been doing some interviews with F&SF authors on my personal blog. Here’s an index of those, in case you missed them:

F&SF Enters the Blogosphere

Welcome to the editorial blog of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction! Here you’ll find news about the magazine, interviews with our contributors, contests and giveaways, and other fun stuff. The whole concept is still a work in progress, so stay tuned to see how it develops. You, the reader, will play a part in that–by letting us know what sort of content you like, dislike, or would like to see in the future.

And who are “we”? Since this is the editorial blog of F&SF, it’s only appropriate that the magazine’s editors–editor Gordon Van Gelder and assistant editor John Joseph Adams (that’s me)–do the blogging. And who are they?

Well, Gordon Van Gelder is the editor and publisher of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. He’s been editor since January 1997, and became the publisher as well in October 2000 after long-time publisher Ed Ferman retired. In his teens, Gordon published several short stories in anthologies such as 100 Great Fantasy Short-Short Stories and Bruce Coville’s Book Of Spine Tinglers. But he put his writing career on hold to pursue a career in editing. His first job in editing was a summer internship with Bluejay Books, and he later went on to work for twelve years as an editor at St. Martin’s Press. Since becoming editor of F&SF, Gordon has also edited several anthologies including One Lamp, In Lands That Never Were, and Fourth Planet From the Sun.

As for me (John Joseph Adams), I’m the assistant editor of F&SF. I’m also the editor of the anthologies Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse (Night Shade Books), Seeds of Change (Prime Books, Summer 2008), and The Living Dead (Night Shade Books, Fall 2008). On top of that, I’m a freelance writer. My work has appeared in Amazing Stories, Locus Magazine, Science Fiction Weekly, Strange Horizons, Writer’s Digest, and elsewhere. I’ve also written reviews for Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, and am currently the print news correspondent for SCI FI Wire (the news service of the SCI FI Channel). For more about me, visit my personal website.

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