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Tom Jolly

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Tom Jolly

Chasing Fireflies, Flash Fiction, Issue 40, September 2017




Tom Jolly is a retired astronautical/electrical engineer who now spends his time writing SF and fantasy, designing board games (such as Wiz-War, and Manhattan Project: Energy Empire), and creating obnoxious 3D puzzles. He lives with his wife Penny in Santa Maria, California, in a place where mountain lions and black bears still visit. You can find more of his stories at www.silcom.com/~tomjolly/tomjolly2.htm


 







Get to know Tom...

Birthday? April 8, 1954
 
When did you start writing? When I was around 18-ish, I started submitting stories to a few SF magazines, back when you had to do everything by mail. I have a lovely collection of rejection slips from that period.
 
When and what and where did you first get published? My first published story was “Surface” in 2011, which I sold to Daily Science Fiction. So, basically, it took me roughly 40 years to sell my first story. “Chasing Fireflies” will be my 17th published story, so apparently I figured out what I was doing wrong.
 
What themes do you like to write about? A lot of my stories seem to involve the end of the world in one fashion or another. Also, I tend to latch on to interesting science ideas and write stories around them. 
 
What books and/or stories have most resonated with you as an author? Why? How do these stories and their characters find expression in your work? "More Than Human," by Sturgeon, the “Jumper” series by Gould, "The Stars My Destination," by Bester. These stories all feature anti-gravity or teleportation in one form or another. A lot of my stories tend to have people flying around in them. I really enjoy the idea and release of unaided flight, so it’s a recurring facet of my stories and books. I also enjoy Christopher Moore, Steven Brust, and John Scalzi, all of whom use snarky wise-ass characters, a common feature in many of my stories. And there’s the science in Niven’s, Brin's and Iain M. Banks’ books which have influenced me to write some very heavy SF stories, and a background in astronautical engineering has helped me there.
 

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