ESP Spotlight:The Spawning

Tim Curran lives in Michigan and has been hard at work for the last several years building an impressive body of work.  He is a down-to-earth, hardworking man who has been gaining a faithful following thanks to the  the many short stories and novels he’s been belting out for a variety of publishers.  Here’s a quick interview with the author discussing, among other things, his newly released novel The Spawning.

ESP) Hive, the first novel of this series,  is based on Lovecraft’s At The Mountains of Madness. Can you describe it a bit? Wasn’t spinning this Lovecraftian work a bit of a gamble?

Curran)Actually, the Hive series is inspired by At the Mountains of Madness, rather than being a direct sequel to it.  The novel’s setting is an Antarctic research station where a group of scientists discover the ruins of an ancient alien city, a sprawling subterranean network.  When a NASA team drills down to a lake that has been locked beneath the ice sheet for 40 million years, what’s down there, coupled with the dead aliens’ psychic energy, initiates an apocalyptic event.

The actual discovery of warm-water lakes beneath the Antarctic glaciers and NASA’s plans to drill down to them using cryobot technology ( the same technology which will be used to penetrate the poles of Mars and the ice sheets of Jupiter’s moons Europe and Callisto) was what got me really going on Hive.

I saw all kinds of possibilities.

Was it a gamble? I don’t know. I just do whatever I feel like doing and this was what I wanted to do at the time. I had fun with it. I stand by the results 100%. As I said,  I wasn’t trying to do a direct sequel to Lovecraft’s novella.  I wanted to take advantage of things that were going on down in the Antarctic and spin the whole thing in that direction—a science-fiction horror thriller with realistic, contemporary characters,  as opposed to a Lovecraftian pastiche with its usual assortment of dusty scholars and melodramatics.
ESP) How is the new novel connected to Hive? Is it a stand alone piece?

Curran) The Spawning is book two of the  Hive series. It takes place five years after the first book. The events in Hive were a trial run for the ancient aliens, but now they’re attacking on a global scale.   Lots of military/espionage conspiracy angles going on in this one, alien abductions, the frozen dead, weird parasites. It’s a grim reading.

ESP)If someone were to describe Tim Curran’s work, what would they say? What makes your writing or approach unique?

Curran) Tough question. I guess they’d say Tim Curran writes pulp horror in the tradition of James Herbert and the like, and he’s proud of where he comes from. I can’t say if there’s anything unique about me. I just see the story and I go after it.

ESP) Are you making an appearance at any upcoming conventions? What other projects are you working on? Coals in the fire?

Curran) I’ll be at the Conclave in October,  sitting on a few panels, doing a reading. I have a short story collection, Bone Marrow Stew, which will be out this winter from Tasmaniac Publications of Australia. They’ll be doing it in a lettered, hardcover edition with a wraparound cover and 10 internal illustrations by Keith Minnion. Simon Clark is doing the introduction. There’ll be two new stories in the book and 15 reprints from anthologies and small press magazines.  I also just finished a collection of zombie stories for Severed Press called Zombie Pulp. Some published, some new.

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