Buy F&SF • Read F&SF • Contact F&SF • Advertise In F&SF • Blog • Forum • RSS

Interview: Elizabeth Bear on “Hacksilver”

Elizabeth BearTell us a bit about “Hacksilver.”

“Hacksilver” is a story about a man coming back to his family home from going viking, discovering that his brother has been charged with a horrific murder and that the blood-debt has fallen upon him.

Fortunately, he’s a very clever man…


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

I like stories about tricksters, and I like Nordic-inspired stories. This particular one takes place in a corner of the Eternal Sky world that we haven’t visited before, and once I had the character and the setting, the rest just sort of flowed.


Can you tell us about any of the research you may have done for this story?

Well, I’ve been researching and writing Nordic-inspired fantasy for close to thirty years, so I suppose the best answer is, “a lot.” I think it’s important to read primary sources to get the flavor of the culture and the way people engaged with their world.

Also, Magni (the horse in the story) is based on a real Icelandic Horse owned by a friend of mine.


Why do you write?

I’m forbidden from talking about the geas.


Who do you consider to be your influences?

Oh, it changes every time I think about it. James White, Roger Zelazny, Fritz Leiber, Octavia Butler, Anne McCaffery, Joanna Russ, C. J. Cherryh, Diane Duane, Barbara Hambly, Kurt Vonnegut…

…ask me tomorrow and get a different list. :D


What are you working on now?

Currently, I am trying to write a very slippery book three to the Lotus Kingdoms trilogy, the structure of which keeps slithering out of my grasp. The first book is called THE STONE IN THE SKULL and that one, thankfully, is finished and published. As is book two!

Coincidentally, that’s set in another part of the same world as Hacksilver!


“Hacksilver” appears in the March/April 2020 issue of F&SF.

You can buy a paper copy of the issue here:

You can buy an electronic copy of the issue here:

You can subscribe to the print edition of F&SF here:

You can subscribe to the electronic edition of F&SF at the following links:

Weightless Books (all formats):

Amazon US (Kindle edition):

Amazon UK (Kindle edition):

Elizabeth Bear’s website:

Photo by Kyle Cassidy.


Leave a Reply

If this is your first time leaving a comment, your comment may enter the moderation queue. If it doesn't appear right away, don't panic; it should show up once site administrators verify you're not a spambot. After you successfully post a comment, future comments will no longer be moderated.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Copyright © 2006–2020 The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction • All Rights Reserved Worldwide
Powered by WordPress • Theme based on Whitespace theme by Brian Gardner
If you find any errors, typos or anything else worth mentioning, please send it to

Designed by Rodger Turner and Hosted by:
SF Site spot art