Sam Kay

Head shot of Sam KayWhat do you write?
I write science fiction for children. I particularly enjoy mixing rocketpunk with a little cyberpunk. I like to set my stories on real planets rather than made up ones. I was captivated when I heard that it rains methane on Titan. No imaginary world could ever match up to something like that.

Pen & paper or computer & printer?
Hah! If only I could read my own handwriting!

Where do you write?  Where would you like to write?
In my room. But if I could write in space, or on Mars or Titan, I would.

Which do you enjoy more – researching, writing or editing?
I’m a compulsive researcher by nature. Most of my stories are based on something I’ve discovered in my research, and I particularly enjoy writing about the reality of space travel.

Does your Litmus entry have a soundtrack?
Not specifically, but I often listen to soundtracks while I write. I find the best ones are often from films I don’t especially like — probably because I don’t associate the music too closely with the film. I couldn’t write to the soundtrack to Star Wars, for example.

Favourite author or poet – can you manage just one?
Ray Bradbury showed me how beautiful science fiction writing can be. Phillip K. Dick is just amazing, as is Dan Simmons. William Gibson deserves an honourable mention for introducing me to cyberpunk. And I am eternally in awe of Phillip Reeve’s Mortal Engines books.

First book or poem you fell in love with?
The Lord of the Rings. But when I started getting interested in science fiction, I read Hyperion (Dan Simmons) and Flowers for Algernon (Daniel Keyes) in quick succession, and I was blown away by both.

Cat, dog, budgie, bunny or goldfish?
Are any of the above robots? Because I could go for a robotic lemur. I stress robotic — keeping real lemurs as pets is cruel.

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