What Does Editing Sci-Fi and Fantasy Have To Do With Writing Mystery?

What Does Editing Sci-Fi and Fantasy Have To Do With Writing Mystery?

Although my background in editing has taken me primarily into the realms of science-fiction and fantasy, within those genres I’ve worked with authors in every sub-genre from horror to romance to mystery.

Two of my favorite books that I edited were Free Fall by William H. Keith and The Sign of Glaaki by Steven Savile and Steve Lockley.

Free Fall is a noir detective mystery set in a futuristic time of androids. The main character is Detective Rick Harrison (want to guess the reference? 😉 ) and I absolutely loved working with Bill on a story that met the game designers’ (of the game Android by Fantasy Flight Games) requirements within their IP (intellectual property) but also ticked all the boxes for fans of mystery and dystopian futures. I adored all the references he managed to hide within the book to well-known movies (like Blade Runner) and books (from Isaac Asimov to Neal Stephenson).

The Sign of Glaaki (want to guess the reference?) is fun for similar reasons, even though the occult side of things (it is set in the Arkham Horror universe after all) was much too dark for my personal preferences. Even so, the Steves managed to concoct a marvelously fun mystery with Houdini and Dennis Wheatley as the detectives, and I loved that we learn in this book where this real-life author’s fascination with Cthulhu “comes from.”

Have you noticed what these two books have in common? They have references! I absolutely love a good book with a little mystery for those readers who love reading and catching the little nods the best authors manage to hide within their story. I’m the same way with films and TV Shows—think Pixar “Easter eggs” and Doctor Who winks at history, literary figures, and all things nerdy. I’ll need a whole ’nother post to talk about my love of Murdoch Mysteries and Castle.

To that end, readers of my books will always be able to find literary references (and more ;)) within (and between) the lines of my stories.

I can’t wait to share more about this with you in the future once my books have publishers. Thank you for following at the beginning of this journey!

3 Replies to “What Does Editing Sci-Fi and Fantasy Have To Do With Writing Mystery?”

  1. Pretty sure I read Free Fall and liked it a lot! Not sure what the references are in either one — are you willing to give clues?

    1. Android the board game is heavy in its homages to Blade Runner, especially the 1982 film adaptation. Rick Harrison’s name is an amalgam of the lead character in Blade Runner, Rick Deckard, who was played by Harrison Ford. The Sign of Glaaki is a reference to the second Sherlock Holmes novel, The Sign of Four. 🙂

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