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Neve Maslakovic: When I first tried my hand at writing fiction, I found that the process is a close cousin of scientific research--you come up with an idea, sit down at your desk (or in your lab), work at it, spend time thinking, backtrack, try a different approach... neither one happens neatly and both are very creative endeavors. Science is guided by observation and deduction, of course, while in writing Regarding Ducks and Universes my aim was to make the novel a fun read and a bit thought-provoking at the same time. Ultimately, though, you're just tinkering with ideas until you hit upon something that works and feels right. I don't feel I've moved wholly away from science; on the contrary--scientists and academic settings inhabit my stories.
Question: You were born in communist Yugoslavia and have lived all over the world. How did your travels impact the creation of Universe A and Universe B in Regarding Ducks and Universes?
Neve Maslakovic: I love to travel, both in person and virtually, by reading about real places or by writing about imagined ones. Sometimes a place that's only a little different than what we're used to can be more disconcerting than a place that's hugely different. To that end, I wanted Universe A and Universe B to be "next-door" kind of universes to ours and to each other; the laws of physics are the same and people don't have five arms, but in Universe B ordinary things like paper books and Ferris wheels seem out of place to A-dweller Felix Sayers, who's come from a more technologically and environmentally oriented society. So he's a little baffled by San Francisco B, especially as it seems that someone is trying to kill him.
Question: What made you decide to set Regarding Ducks and Universes in San Francisco?
Neve Maslakovic: I think writers, even ones of speculative fiction, always end up writing about their lives and the places they've been, even if only in some extended sense. I was in California for 12 years, and, like all the places I've lived, it's become a part of me. And San Francisco, in particular, is such a unique and interesting city, a city of innovation, a literary city. A perfect setting for basement-lab experiments with universes and for an encounter with a paper book for the first time.
Question: What can we expect to see next from you? More science fiction? Or maybe something travel-related?
Neve Maslakovic: As a matter of fact, the novel I'm currently working on is going to be both science fiction and travel-related. I don't want to say too much at this early stage, but let's just say that this time there are no ducks, but there is an Australian didgeridoo. And Fibonacci numbers. And cheese, lots of cheese. And time travel.
The characters were well developed and the story was interesting.
The book just seems to go round and round and even in the end when you find out what caused the doubling, it doesn't really matter, you're just thankful it's over.
I highly recommend this intriguing fantasy to anyone looking for a light read.
Captivating and fun to read. YA or adult will like this. Detective, mystery, and for me local scenery in California. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Marsha
Ok as a change of pace. Good premise. A little pedantic in delivery.Published 7 days ago by Kitchen Queen
This was great fun in a screwball vein where everything is amusingly askew. Somehow, it all worked!
The characters (and their alters) were enjoyable. Read more
If you are into alternate universes, you may enjoy this novel more than I did. At the 58 percent Mark I seriously considered abandoning the book, and the only reason I didn't is... Read morePublished 12 days ago by Sophia Martin
I tried so hard to like this book, but I had to give up at the 69% mark. The idea of a parallel universe isn't new, and I appreciate the author trying to give this story a go. Read morePublished 13 days ago by k.trawick
It's an ok book. I wish it had more action or intrigue. The story just seemed to fizzle at the end, no big finish.Published 18 days ago by Russ H.
Five stars. Well written, moves along well, good science. Surprises and subplots. Adventure and romance. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Terry L. Taylor
The premise of the story, the universe suddenly bifurcated 35 years ago, is intriguing. I enjoyed the exploration of how the two evolved in the intervening years. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kyla Welch