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Timons Esaias

A Fire on Ganymede, poem, Issue 28, September 1, 2014

Timons Esaias is a satirist, poet and writer of short fiction, living in Pittsburgh.  His works have appeared in sixteen languages.  He has been a finalist for the British Science Fiction Award, and won the 2005 Asimov's Readers Award for poetry. His work appeared this last year in Asimov's and Analog. He teaches in Seton Hill's Writing Popular Fiction MFA Program.

Get to know Timons...

Birthdate? There is the claim that it was in the days just preceding Patty Hearst's birth, in February of 1954, in Santa Monica, CA. Many scholars doubt the whole assertion of a birth, at any time, in any place.

When did you start writing? When and what and where did you first get published? My first real publications came in 8th grade. My Language Arts teacher, Peggy Usher (still a friend), assigned me a poem to write, later told me to enter it in a contest, and when it won, suggested I put it in the mail, and it was published in a national church-related magazine. She also put me on the school paper, where I not only got published, but also got in no end of trouble.

What themes do you like to write about? I'm a satirist, so frustration with the status quo is my natural territory. Also, I repeatedly touch on the care and attention that "maintenance" requires, if we are not to abandon the dreams we've already fulfilled. 

What books and/or stories have most resonated with you as an author? Why? I cut my teeth on Charles Dickens, and his basic story is people (often children) overwhelmed by circumstance, and the people who try to help (or don't). One of my favorite scenes in all of literature is the final breaking up of Dotheboys Hall. There's a fondness for that story line, whether it's "The Erne from the Coast" (where the aid comes after the event), or Wilde's "The Selfish Giant" or the works of Ray Bradbury, Connie Willis, Iain Banks or J.R.R. Tolkein. Raymond Chandler feasted on that theme continually. I think it's the key point of the human condition, frankly; and it pretty much always gets me. (Even though my tastes are fundamentally more "literary" and "intellectual" than that story seems to be.)

How do these stories and their characters find expression in your work? On my good days, I try to bring that theme to life, in a new way.

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