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The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Kelly Link


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The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Kelly Link


Published on September 8, 2014

Welcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!

Today we’re joined by short fiction author Kelly Link, whose collections include Stranger Things Happen, Magic for Beginners, and Pretty Monsters. Together with Gavin Grant, Kelly co-edited the acclaimed anthology Steampunk! as well as The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror for five years. Kelly and Gavin also run the independent publishing house Small Beer Press.

The pair’s newest anthology,Gideon Smith amazon buy link Monstrous Affections, is available September 9th from Candlewick Press. Get a better look at Yuko Shimizu’s cover art for the anthology as well as the full table of contents here on And keep track of all our Monstrous Affections content, including Pop Quizzes from editors and authors, here!

Please relate one fact about yourself that has never appeared anywhere else in print or on the Internet.

When I was a teenager, I briefly did both synchronized swimming and drill team (mounted, synchronized horseback riding). I also taught horseback riding for one summer.

If you regenerated as a new Doctor, what would your signature outfit/accessory be?

A fruit bat.

Do you have a favorite unknown author?

So many! Joyce Ballou Gregorian, Robert Aickman, Kathryn Davis.

Strangest thing you’ve learned while researching a book?

One of my favorite possessions when I was a kid was the Reader’s Digest book Strange Stories, Amazing Facts. But more recently, how about taureaux piscine, which is a sport involving bulls and swimming pools?

Name your favorite monster from fiction, film, TV, or any other pop culture source.

I’m extremely fond of Caroline Forbes on The Vampire Diaries. (I love all of the vampires on The Vampire Diaries.) But the first monster to make a really big impression on me was Shelob.

Monstrous AffectionsIf you had to choose one band or artist to provide the official soundtrack to your new book, who would it be?

Magnetic Fields

What’s the best Halloween costume you’ve ever worn?

I dressed up as Spock when I was in second or third grade. Plastic Leonard Nimoy mask. I also slept with the mask for about a week, I loved it so much.

What was your gateway to SF/Fantasy, as a child or young adult?

Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Joan Aiken, Diana Wynne Jones, Margaret Storey, T. H. White, Ray Bradbury. Anthologies of fairy tales and ghost stories.

What would your Patronus/familiar be?

An octopus.

What is your ideal pet (real or fictional)?

I’d like a very small wyvern, please.

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