Victor Gischler’s Gestapo Mars just came out this month from Titan Books, and he answered a few questions about it, and more. Also, courtesy of Titan, we’ve got one copy to give away to one lucky US reader, so be sure to fill out the widget at the bottom of the post!
Gestapo Mars sounds like a ton of fun! Will you tell us a little about it and what inspired you to write it?
I’m a huge Kurt Vonnegut fan and was always fascinated by his “alter ego” Kilgore Trout, so I invented an old school dime novel author of pulp sci-fi named Emerson LaSalle. My ambition had been to write a series of over the top, pulp sci-fi novels under the LaSalle name, but there just was never the time to develop the idea fully. But one novel Gestapo Mars kept nagging at me like it really wanted to be written. So eventually I did write it but under my own name rather than LaSalle’s.
Why do you think Carter Sloan is a compelling character? Why do you think readers will root for him?
I think he is compelling because there is so much in his makeup that’s familiar. He’s part James Bond, part Buck Rogers, and Part Mike Hammer. Those readers who “get it” won’t have any trouble rooting for him.
Will you tell us more about the “world” of Gestapo Mars?
I guess technically it’s “alternate history.” Or maybe the future of an alternate history. It’s a universe in which the Nazi’s won the war, but several hundred years into the future.
What kind of research did you do for the book?
Not one bit that I can think of.
You’ve worn many hats in your work, but what do you enjoy most about writing speculative fiction?
There really are no limits. At least no limits that got in my way while writing Gestapo Mars. I did just exactly what I wanted to whenever I felt like it. My primary mission was to amuse myself. I mean, yes, naturally I hope readers like the book also, but it can be very dangerous trying to picture the ideal reader and imagine what this reader might want. That way lies madness. So it was freeing to just go for it and let the book be as ridiculous as it wanted to be.
Have you always wanted to write? Will you tell us more about yourself and your background?
I’ve always wanted to tell stories in one form or another. I’m a huge movie fan too. I stayed with my grandparents for a while as a kid, and they had cable TV. Back then, that meant 14 stations instead of the usual 3. It seemed like there was always an old movie on – a western or a gangster film or s creature feature or something. I got my first lessons in genre from cable TV as a child. In high school, I wrote goofy stories with my friends as characters.
What’s one of the first things you can remember writing?
A story in first grade about a detective who chased down dwarves who stole some doughnuts. It was ridiculously violent. Today, a social worker would surely be dispatched to “help” me.
What authors have influenced you the most?
Kurt Vonnegut, Philp K. Dick, Tolkien, Mike Resnick, John D. MacDonald.
If you could read one book again for the first time, which one would it be?
Maybe … Lucifer’s Hammer?
What are you currently reading?
Blood Song by Anthony Ryan
What’s next for you?
The third book in my fantasy trilogy A Fire Beneath the Skin hits this December. I’m also working on a cool creator-owned future noir project called Terminal Town for Titan Comics, but that’s just getting started. Always got at least a few things in the works.
Keep up with Victor: Website
About Gestapo Mars:
Carter Sloan is a trained assassin—the best there is, pulled out of cryogenic sleep whenever an assignment demands his skills. So when he’s kept in the deep freeze for 258 years, he’s seriously pissed off.
Yet his government needs him, to hunt down the enemy known as the Daughter of the Brass Dragon. The future of the galaxy-spanning Reich depends on it, so Sloan is off—screwing, swearing, and shooting his way across interstellar space.
lt’s action, adventure, and disgusting gelatinous aliens as only Victor Gischler can create them.