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Crafting the Fantastic: A Conversation With Bruce McAllister


Science fiction and fantasy writer Bruce McAllister is known primarily for his short fiction. Over the years his short stories have appeared in the major fantasy and science fiction magazines, theme anthologies, college readers and “year’s best” anthologies, including Best American Short Stories 2007, guest-edited by Stephen King.

McAllister’s first story, “The Faces Outside,” was published to acclaim when he was 16, earning him the label “science fiction prodigy.” His other books include Kin, Dream Baby and The Village Sang to the Sea: A Memoir of Magic. When he isn’t writing fiction and poetry, he serves as a writing coach to new and established writers of all kinds of fiction, nonfiction and screenwriting, and as a publishing consultant.

His new book is in many ways a culmination of his five decades of publishing. Stealing God and Other Stories, plunges readers into a mosaic of 18 tales that evoke human emotions and speak to the human experience — with some decidedly nonhuman twists. The book combines the best of McAllister’s science fiction, fantasy and horror stories from the new millennium, with an introduction by novelist and critic Paul di Filippo, cover art by award-winning illustrator Dominic Harman and endorsements by luminaries in the field.

In this week's episode of Watching America, McAllister talks with host Dr. Alan Campbell about his work, the craft of writing, and what it means to be truly human in an age of AI.

Listen to the interview.