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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.
A thoroughly enjoyable book. Very playful. It left me wondering about what comes next, and how did i get here in the first place?Published 1 month ago by kaminokai
In the middle of this book. I believe the future will be something along this line of nature. Well written. Not edited well, but worth reading anyday. Not done. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jane
Not sure what to make of this one. A mix of sci-fi, mystery, philosophy. The idea of a mirror or parallel universe is not unique but he handles it in a relatively new way, the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Margaret Padilla
I like it. I started reading the book since the title piqued my curiosity, and when I found out that the Author had a science background and a PhD, I decided to give it a try... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Melvin J. Noe
The book was interesting in some places but sometimes it was hard to follow at the beginning. The concept was intriguing but I'm not sure if I would recommend it. Read morePublished 2 months ago by S. Edwards
Never Maslakovic is an eastern European writing in English, maybe that and the clean writing are the only reasons her book reminds me of Joseph Conrad, but maybe not. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Lakeside Listener