MythOS Launch Interview

We’re talking today with Kelly McCullough about MythOS, his new book in the Ravirn Series that’s out today.

Q: New book?

A: Yes indeed.

Q: What and why?

A: Cyber-fantasy with hacking as sorcery…again. It is book IV. And, because they pay me of course. No, that’s not really it. Well not all of it, though it helps. I write because I love it and because I can’t not.

Q: Can’t not write?

A: It’s an addiction. I tend to turn my books in early so that I have a few free months between contract obligations. Then I write spec books to reward myself for turning in early.

Q: Huh. This is starting to sound too much like an interview. Can’t have that. So, quick: The eternal urban fantasy dilemma: vampires or werewolves? Which and why?

A: Neither, geeks and Greeks—computer geeks and Greek gods, that is. Well, and honestly, the gods in this particular book are mostly Norse. Also, goblins and trolls and giant wolves. But if forced to choose between vampires and werewolves, I’ll go with vampires because they’re sexier and they don’t shed on the couch.

Q: Have you got something against shedding?

A: I’ve got five cats who help me write and keep all my electronics warm by producing little fuzzy blankets for them. What do you think?

Q: I think I’m the one who’s supposed to be asking the questions, though if you’ve got no vampires or werewolves, I’m not sure I should even be talking to you. At least tell me you’ve got leather jackets and firearms.

A: Of course. What do you take me for, a cretin? Don’t answer that. I’ve also got a plausible reason for swords and a hot redhead. Literally, she’s on fire.

Q: Norse gods…fire giant?

A: Nope. The Fury, Tisiphone. I love my job.

Q: And she’s on fire. Doesn’t that make it hard for her to find clothes that fit and survive?

A: She’s not that into clothes. Either figuratively or literally, being a spirit of naked vengeance. Again, figuratively or literally is dealer’s choice.

Q: That’s an interesting character choice. Why’d you go that way?

A: Originally, because she was a minor side character in Book I, back when it was going to be Book Only. But as the sequels followed she kept demanding more and more screen time, and the naked thing was already established.

Q: Speaking of sequels, how many of these are there going to be? Do you know when to stop?

A: I certainly hope so. Currently there are five books planned and the last one is already on my editor’s desk.

Q: Does that mean that you’re closing the door on this world and these characters forever and ever after book V?

A: Well, I’m not going to pull a Conan Doyle and kill off Ravirn at Reichenbach Falls, because I might want to revisit Ravirn and co. some day, but I am tying up all the major threads of the story. More than that I’m not going to say. Spoilers.

Q: So, back to this book. Why “MythOS?”

It’s a pun, Mythological Operating System.

Q: A pun? I thought this was gritty urban fantasy.

A: Really? Weird. Have you read the first four books? I admit it’s certainly closer to Urban Fantasy than it is to a lot of other genres, but it’s also got a strong thread of sarcastic humor running through it. Think Glen Cook’s Garret meets Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden and….

Q: You trailed off there. What was that about?

Imagining for a moment that my sales figures looked like Cook plus Butcher. I’m not doing bad, but that’d be something to see. I’ve always wanted a Ferrari.

Q: Now I know you’re writing fantasy. So Ravirn is Garret plus Dresden? Is he a royal prince too?

A: Not anymore. He’s been cast out of his family.

Q: So he could become a prince. Sounds a little Mary-Sue.

A: Nope. Not going to happen. The casting out was permanent. Besides, if I map onto anyone in the books it’s the goblin sidekick.

Q: The bald one with the bad attitude. I can see that.

A: I’m noting that wasn’t a question.

Q: Nope. I’ve met you. But back to the main thread. You’ve done three books in a row in the Greek milieu, why go Norse with this book?

A: More beer, less wine. Okay, that’s not true, but let me pretend to make an analogy of it by talking about changing dynamics. I wanted to keep things interesting and I think one of the big problems with series fiction is that the protagonist often becomes too powerful as they accumulate skills and allies over the course of multiple books. I wanted to take Ravirn off his home ground and reduce his options and powers. Force him to shift his habits from wine to beer.

Q: Interesting. Silly, but interesting. Any last words?

A: Ragnarok.

Q: I guess words don’t get much more last than that. Thanks, I hope your book launch goes well…I guess that really was the last word from Kelly McCullough.

The first chapter of MythOS can be sampled online: Chapter 1. Or if you want to buy the book now it’s available both on paper and electronically: Kindle, Mobipocket,, Barnes and Noble, Borders, Amazon

Kelly’s website. He also blogs along with several other f&sf authors from his writers group at Wyrdsmiths.

Kelly is an award winning short story writer and novelist. His first book, WebMage, was released by Ace in 2006 to considerable critical praise. WebMage was followed by Cybermancy, CodeSpell, and now MythOS, with SpellCrash forthcoming 2010. His short fiction has appeared in numerous venues including Weird Tales, Writers of the Future, and Tales of the Unanticipated. His illustrated short story collection, The Chronicles of the Wandering Star, is part of a National Science Foundation-funded middle school science curriculum, Interactions in Physical Science.

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There are 8 comments. Get the RSS feed for comments on this entry.

  1. 1. Stephanie Z

    A Ferrari?!?

  2. 2. Lydia Sharp

    I loved this interview. Just plain excellent. :)

    And for the record, I also choose vampires. But there is a certain coolness factor to werewolves that can’t be denied, so I would, at the very least, keep one as a pet.

  3. 3. Kelly McCullough

    Steph, in the I’ve always wanted a unicorn sense.

    Lydia, glad you liked the interview, thanks.

  4. 4. Kelly McCullough

    BTW, though the WebMage series will probably wind down with the next book, I’ve got six other series out under submission at the moment, so there’s likely to be something else following.


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Author Information

Kelly McCullough

Kelly McCullough is a fantasy and science fiction author. He lives in Wisconsin with his physics professor wife and a small herd of cats. His novels include the WebMage and Fallen Blade series—Penguin/ACE. His short fiction has appeared in numerous venues including Writers of the Future and Weird Tales. He also dabbles in science fiction as science education with The Chronicles of the Wandering Star—part of an NSF-funded science curriculum—and the science comic Hanny & the Mystery of the Voorwerp, which he co-authored and co-edited—funding provided by NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope. Visit site.



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