Jason M. Hough on His New Books, Plus an Exclusive Cover Reveal!


Cover Detail: Escape Velocity by Jason m. Hough/Penguin Random House ©

photo-jasonmhoughJason M. Hough, author of the Dire Earth Cycle, has a new duology coming out in 2017. Injection Burn and Escape Velocity are set in the Dire Earth universe. Hough spoke with his editor, Michael Braff, about the upcoming books. Enjoy the interview, and scroll down for an exclusive cover reveal!

Michael Braff: Jason, for those unfamiliar with your work, what can a first time reader expect from one of your novels?

Jason M. Hough: Action-packed, accessible science fiction with colorful casts.

MB: Without too many spoilers, what’s the story with your new duology, Injection Burn and Escape Velocity?

JMH: As the titles hint at, the two books deal with the harrowing arrival, and subsequent attempt at departure, from an alien world under siege. These books pick up right where The Plague Forge left off, continuing the adventures of Skyler and his crew, however they’ve been written so that a reader could start here, if they wish.

MB: Your new duology is both a continuation of an existing series and an entry point for new readers; was it a challenge to strike this balance?

JMH: Stylistically, I really wanted to avoid the “previously on…” kind of prologue. Which was tough, not gonna lie. On one hand you don’t want to keep telling existing readers what they already know, but you also don’t want to make casual references to prior events without the context they need to have meaning for new readers. I think I found the right balance, plus a few clever tricks. For example, when bringing up events from the earlier books, if I relay that from a point-of-view not seen before, it’s possible to accomplish both at the same time. Information for new readers, perspective for old!

MB: You spent years writing video games. How big of an influence were those years on your novel writing career?

JMH: As a game designer, the writing I did was for an audience of programmers and artists, who would use my words to go off and make a game. I think that taught to write clearly, and also taught me the value of planning ahead.

MB: What kinds of sci-fi stories get you most excited to read? What are you reading now?

JMH: What excites me most is when others–fans, friends, booksellers–share a new favorite with me. If I only read what interested me personally, I’d probably be stuck in a serious rut and I think that’s unhealthy for an author (or anyone, really). As such, I try to avoid the notoriously huge “to-be-read” pile. When I finish reading something, only then do I look for what’s next. At the moment I’m reading The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, which is fantastic! Picked this one up after a friend told me it was great, plus I met Becky at Phoenix Comicon last year and she’s awesome.