Lately it seems like every science fiction novel isn’t a self-contained story, but is instead part of a larger saga. But in trading emails with sci-fi writer Kameron Hurley about her novel The Stars Are Legion — which is newly available in paperback after already being in hardcover and on Kindle — she revealed that while it is a stand-alone tale, it was somewhat inspired by one of Hurley’s own larger sagas.
To start, what is The Stars Are Legion about?
Two families battling it out for control of a massive legion of living worldships.
Where did you get the original idea for The Stars Are Legion, and how different is the finished version of the book from that original idea?
I’ve been a fan of organic tech for a good long time. I came up with the idea for this one after finishing my God’s War trilogy [God’s War, Infidel, Rapture]. I heard often it was just “too weird.” Luckily, a couple years back, there was a big hunger in the industry for space opera. Kudos to my editor, Joe Monti, for convincing his boss this was exactly that.
Speaking of which, The Stars Are Legion is a science fiction novel. But is there a subgenre of sci-fi or combination of them that you feel describes it better?
Wombpunk. To find out why – gotta read the book.
I’ve never seen Rick & Morty, so I have no idea. But Farscape, yes. I’ve been mucking about with the idea of living ships for some time, and so far that’s the bit of media I’ve seen that’s done the best with it.
Are there any other TV shows — or maybe movies or video games — do you think had a big influence on The Stars Are Legion?
The science fiction movie Pandorum, for sure.
And what about more literary influences; what writers or specific books do you feel had a big impact on The Stars Are Legion?
I come out of the tradition of the New Weird, but I’ve heard The Stars Are Legion likened to a Golden Age sci-fi novel merged with New Wave ideas, and that works too. Like all the fun science fiction out there, it’s certainly a melding of many styles.
Now, a lot of sci-fi novels I’ve read lately have been part of a series, not stand-alone novels. What is The Stars Are Legion and why did you decide to make it whatever you made it?
There’d been some snark online from fans about the ubiquitous series novel, and how no one had time for series books anymore. It’s one reason I wrote this book to stand alone. Of course, as soon as I did that, people loved the book so much they keep asking for a sequel…
So it goes!
Along with The Stars Are Legion, you have another book, Apocalypse Nyx, coming out next year. July 17th, to be exact. What can you tell us about it?
Apocalypse Nyx is a collection of linked novellas featuring the ragtag band of misfit mercenaries from my God’s War trilogy. It’s the first in what I hope will be several collections of stories in that universe. Fans have been asking for more.
Do you think people who enjoy The Stars Are Legion will like Apocalypse Nyx, and thus the God’s War books, as well?
Yes. It’s got blood, bugs, and brutal women. What’s not to like?
So has there been any interest in making a movie, TV show, or video game out of The Stars Are Legion?
Oh, there’s always interest from various people about various projects. But there’s currently nothing in the works that’s official.
If The Stars Are Legion was to be made into a movie or TV show, who would you like to see them cast in the main roles? Or, in the case of a video game, what kind of game should it be and who should make it?
Finally, if someone enjoys The Stars Are Legion, which of your other books would you suggest they read next and why that one?
God’s War. If you love the gooey weirdness of The Stars Are Legion, you’ll love the buggy apocalypse of God’s War.