Conversations with science fiction and fantasy authors about their creative process
FUNDED: a Kickstarter to create an anthology of fiction from first-year guests of The Worldshapers!
A Kickstarter campaign to fund Shapers of Worlds, an anthology of short stories from some of the authors who were guests on The Worldshapers podcast in its first year, was a great success, raising $15,700 CDN, well above the $13,500 goal.
The anthology, coming this summer from Shadowpaw Press, will feature new fiction from Seanan McGuire, Tanya Huff, David Weber, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., D.J. Butler, Christopher Ruocchio, John C. Wright, Shelley Adina, and yours truly; plus reprints from John Scalzi, Joe Haldeman, Julie Czerneda, Fonda Lee, Gareth L. Powell, Derek Kunsken, Dr. Charles E. Gannon, and Thoraiya Dyer.
Welcome to the home of The Worldshapers, a podcast featuring interviews with with science fiction and fantasy authors about their creative process, hosted by award-winning science fiction and fantasy author Edward Willett, and winner of the 2019 Aurora Award for Best Fan Related Work.
FIVE STARS – “Great podcast! Incredible resource for writers and readers alike. Interesting and inspiring conversations about the science fiction and fantasy genres, the writing process and creative acts. My to-read list grows with every interview. Please keep going!” – E.L. Thomas, iTunes Store
All writers, when they set pen to paper or post pixel to page, are shaping a world: their own private world, created from their own thoughts and imagination, joys and sorrows, hopes and heartbreaks, triumphs and fears. It may mimic the real world, or it may be as different from the real world as, say, the world of Middle Earth is from the world of Blade Runner, but it is still a shaped world–a sub-creation, to use J.R.R. Tolkien’s formulation. It is not a real world, it does not have the depth or complexity of a real world, it is but an illusion…and yet, these fictional worlds, these illusions, though shaped by humans, not gods, can sometimes touch our minds and expand our spirits in ways nothing else can.
It is a kind of miracle, and very writer performs it in his or her own way. In The Worldshapers, Edward Willett, himself an award-winning writer of science fiction and fantasy, delves into the creative process with science fiction and fantasy writers of every kind, seeking to better understand this magical, mystical skill…the skill of worldshaping.
Above: Guest host E.C. Blake interviews Edward Willett in a special episode of The Worldshapers
Edward Willett is the award-winning author of more than sixty books of fantasy, science fiction, and non-fiction for all ages. A former newspaper reporter, editor, and radio and television host, he’s interviewed dozens of fascinating people over the years, from authors to actors to artists to musicians to scientists to politicians, including celebrities running the gamut from Weird Al Yankovic to Atom Egoyan.
The Worldshapers podcast gets its name from Worldshapers, the new book series by the host, Edward Willett.
The series takes place in the Labyrinth, an extra-dimensional space in which there are multiple worlds, each shaped by an individual from our world to be whatever he or she wishes it to be…much like the worlds shaped by the authors who are the focus of the podcast.
“This rollicking secondary-world contemporary fantasy opens with a bang…(the characters) grapple with the ethics of changing the world, the question of what makes people ‘real’ when the worldshapers can change everything about them with nothing more than a thought, and the need to save the universe. Willett…meticulously includes small details that make the constantly changing scenery feel solid and real…This novel sets up a fascinating, fluctuating universe with plenty of room for growth for the main characters, and readers will eagerly join their journey.”
“Willett’s series starter is fun, quirky, and highly enjoyable, nicely laying the groundwork for future volumes.”
From an Aurora Award-winning author comes the first book in a new portal fantasy series in which one woman’s powers open the way to a labyrinth of new dimensions.
For Shawna Keys, the world is almost perfect. She’s just opened a pottery studio in a beautiful city. She’s in love with a wonderful man. She has good friends.
But one shattering moment of violence changes everything. Mysterious attackers kill her best friend. They’re about to kill Shawna. She can’t believe it’s happening–and just like that, it isn’t. It hasn’t. No one else remembers the attack, or her friend. To everyone else, Shawna’s friend never existed…
Everyone, that is, except the mysterious stranger who shows up in Shawna’s shop. He claims her world has been perfect because she Shaped it to be perfect; that it is only one of uncounted Shaped worlds in a great Labyrinth; and that all those worlds are under threat from the Adversary who has now invaded hers. She cannot save her world, he says, but she might be able to save others–if she will follow him from world to world, learning their secrets and carrying them to Ygrair, the mysterious Lady at the Labyrinth’s heart.
Frightened and hounded, Shawna sets off on a desperate journey, uncertain whom she can trust, how to use her newfound power, and what awaits her in the myriad worlds beyond her own.
Book 2 of the Worldshapers series, Master of the World, comes out in September from DAW Books in trade paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats. Worldshaper, Book 1 in the series, will be reissued in mass-market paperback the month before.
“This lively, action-packed follow-up sees (Shawna Keys) trapped in a world inspired by the works of Jules Verne…
“Willett takes full advantage of the fanciful premise to deliver a fun setting populated by fantastic vehicles, mysterious islands, and heroic and villainous characters, all drawn from classic literature. In this larger-than-life arena, Shawna is often out of her depth, a heroine slowly coming into her power and responsibilities who struggles with the weight and consequences of her actions…returning fans will find it contains thrills aplenty.”
“Watching Shawna navigate and understand the Verne world is highly amusing and fun for readers familiar with his oeuvre. The Verne references are not the only fun, geeky element of the book: Shawna is comfortable making numerous nods to fandom of all kinds, and the specificity of the humor will delight those who share her interests. Plus, watching Shawna and her friend and teacher, Karl, fight against the Adversary for the better of the Labyrinth—the means by which all of the worlds connect together—is great. This series is for fans of any piece or part of geek culture. With the infinite possible worlds in the Labyrinth, every book should be a new, enjoyable adventure. “
From an Aurora Award-winning author comes the second book in a gripping portal fantasy series in which one woman’s powers open the way to a labyrinth of new dimensions.
Shawna Keys has fled the world she only recently discovered she Shaped, narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Adversary who seized control of it…and losing her only guide, Karl Yatsar, in the process.
Now she finds herself alone in some other Shaper’s world, where, in her first two hours, she’s rescued from a disintegrating island by an improbable flying machine she recognizes from Jules Verne’s Robur the Conqueror, then seized from it by raiders flying tiny personal helicopters, and finally taken to a submarine that bears a strong resemblance to Captain Nemo’s Nautilus. Oh, and accused of being both a spy and a witch.
Shawna expects–hopes!–Karl Yatsar will eventually follow her into this new steampunky realm, but exactly where and when he’ll show up, she hasn’t a clue.
In the meantime, she has to navigate a world where two factions fanatically devoted to their respective leaders are locked in perpetual combat, figure out who the Shaper of the world is, find him or her, and obtain the secret knowledge of this world’s Shaping. Then she has to somehow reconnect with Karl Yatsar, and escape to the next Shaped world in the Labyrinth…through a Portal she has no idea how to open.
Book 3: The Moonlit World
(Coming September 2020 from DAW Books)
Fresh from their adventures in a world inspired by Jules Verne, Shawna Keys and Karl Yatsar find themselves in a world that mirrors much darker tales. Beneath a full moon that hangs motionless in the sky, they’re forced to flee terrifying creatures that can only be vampires…only to run straight into a pack of werewolves.
As the lycanthropes and undead battle, Karl is spirited away to the castle of the vampire queen. Meanwhile, Shawna finds short-lived refuge in a fortified village, where she learns that something has gone horribly wrong with the world in which she finds herself. Once, werewolves, vampires, and humans lived there harmoniously. Now every group is set against every other, and entire villages are being mysteriously emptied of people.
Somehow, Karl and Shawna must reunite, discover the mysteries of the Shaping of this strange world, and escape it for the next, without being sucked dry, devoured, or—worst of all—themselves turned into creatures of the night.
Beneath the frozen, gibbous moon, allies, enemies, surprises, adventures, and unsettling revelations await.
Interested in being a guest on The Worldshapers or advertising on the podcast, or just want to know more?