Author siblings Dani and Eytan Kollin’s debut novel, 'The Unincorporated Man' was designated a SciFi Essential and went on to win the 2010 Prometheus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel of the year. Their second and third novels, 'The Unincorporated War' and 'The Unincorporated Woman' were also nominated for the same award.
For what age audience do you write?
We write mainly for adult audiences and are primarily known in the genre of hard science fiction (which is to say, science that can actually work). We’ve written one novella in dark fantasy (Day by Day) and two in alt history (as yet, unpublished). We currently have a young adult novel called, 'Chemistry, Chaos and Steam – A Magistery of Dunces', sitting at Tor.
Henry: I can't wait for your YA sequel, 'United States Congress – A Magistery of Dunces'.
Tell us about your latest book.
Our latest book is called 'The Unincorporated Future', and wraps up the Unincorporated universe series. In it, we finally answer the question that ran as a thread through all four books – What price freedom?
What do you hope readers will get from reading that book?
That Freedom is a far greater gift than we can possibly imagine, and that giving it away, even if only in increments (as was the case in 'The Unincorporated Man'), can have a devastating impact on society.
What aspect of writing do you find most challenging?
The writing part. Imagining is quite easy and fun to do. Eytan and I can talk for hours about world building and what-if scenarios, but when it gets down to the brass tacks of writing, it becomes much harder – if only because it demands so much concentration and becomes so emotionally enervating.
Henry: The writing part really is at the crux of, er, writing.
What is a powerful lesson you've learned from being a writer?
That words are powerful magic, indeed. What starts out as a fun endeavor between two brothers becomes quite serious when, as was the case with us, we once received an email from an Afghan War veteran suffering from PTSD. He let us know that until our series of books came out, he could not pick up a book to read but had somehow managed to gobble up our series whole. Of all the emails I’ve gotten over the years, that one has had the most profound impact. It reminded me that even when I’m down on myself for not being productive enough, Eytan and my words managed to help a man we did not know who’d put his life on the line fighting for the very values that are the bedrock of our entire series.
Henry: I've heard David Brin say the same thing – that little black marks on white paper telling a story in your head is magic.
Read the rest of the interview at Henry Herz's blog on fantasy and science fiction books for kids.