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Interview: Rich Larson on “The Nostalgia Calculator”

Tell us a bit about “The Nostalgia Calculator.”

“The Nostalgia Calculator” is a story I wrote in 2013 trying to win the Dell Award for Undergraduate Science Fiction. It’s a tongue-in-cheek look at consumerism and apocalypse.


What was the inspiration for this story, or what prompted you to write it?

I wrote it as a tribute to M.T. Anderson’s feed, which was a very influential book for me as a kid. feed touched on the concept of nostalgia regression, but only as a brief aside in a much more complicated and brilliant story than this one.


Was this story personal to you in any way?  If so, how?

Because of my upbringing I had a very difficult re-entry into North American consumer culture. This story pokes fun at it, but also acknowledges the allure that’s worn me down over the years to the point where I buy brand new clothes every once in a while.


What are you working on now?  Any other stories coming out soon?

I’m finishing a novelette for an upcoming fantasy adventure anthology. I think I’ll have new stories out this month in Clarkesworld, Shimmer, and possibly Interzone. I’m also seeking representation for a YA novel that’s sort of a Half-Life 2 / Animorphs / The Thief Lord mash-up set in a city post alien invasion. Lots of big action set pieces and some fun characters. It’s good.


“The Nostalgia Calculator” appears in the May/June 2016 issue of F&SF.

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Want to find out more about Rich Larson?  This is his website:


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