Sunday, 16 December 2012

Mark Brandon Allen, author of ifs Imagine Fantasy Science Fiction

ifs Imagine Fantasy Science Fiction by Mark Brandon Allen is available from Amazon:
US: ifs Imagine Fantasy Science Fiction by Mark Brandon Allen
UK: ifs Imagine Fantasy Science Fiction by Mark Brandon Allen

ifs Imagine Fantasy Science Fiction
by Mark Brandon Allen
An introduction to Mark Brandon Allen…

A. L. Gengler creates poetry and writes short stories under the byline Mark Brandon Allen. He began writing Science Fiction and Fantasy purely for the amusement of his friends, children and grandchildren. His extended family includes eight children, eleven grandchildren, two great grandchildren and one vicious three pound Yorkshire terrier who holds both he and his wife hostage in Valparaiso Indiana.

His work has been published in print, on the pages of Demon Minds Anthology, Bull Spec, The Last Man Anthology, Sounds Of The Night, Indiana Science Fiction, Polluto, WordPlay -The Story Behind The Story and Christmas Angles Anthology. Online, e-zines including The 5th D, Pedestal Magazine, Everyday Weirdness, Underneath The Juniper Tree and Matters Most Extraordinary have showcased his work. Podcasts of his work have been read on Sciphi Journal, Cast Macabre, Anthro Dreams and Cast of Wonders.

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Author Quiz interviews Mark Brandon Allen...

If you had to sum up your book,"ifs Imagine Fantasy Science Fiction," in three words, what would they be?
Short Stories, Poetry.

What are you working on now and what projects and ideas do you have lined up next?
In a departure from working on several short science fiction stories that are in development, I am working on a novel titled "On The River Dark."

Where did the inspiration for your latest collection, "ifs Imagine Fantasy Science Fiction," come from?
The cover image of the paperback is an homage to one of my favorite Golden Age of Sci-Fi publications "IF Worlds of Science Fiction." The actual title itself describes the sum of the books contents, fantasy and science fiction.

What is it about your usual genre that appeals to you most as a writer?
Actually it is a combination to two similar but distinctly different genres. Both offer an author the freedom to experiment with plot ideas that are outside of the norm of everyday existence but may well be just around the corner of reality.

What came first, the idea for your first book or the decision to write a book?
The book was an afterthought of writing. It was suggested by several friends who felt a collection of various stories would make a good read for those who enjoy both poetry and short fiction.

If you could choose someone famous to record your book in audiobook format, who would you choose as the voice and why?
Hands down it would be Australian voice over announcer Graeme Dunlop. Not only does Graeme have a smooth vocal delivery, his annunciation is impeccable. (Listen to him at www.

Are any of your characters based heavily on people you know or have met from real life and if so, would they regard it as a compliment or an insult to discover they were the inspiration for the character in question?
Actually I have done this several times. In the short story "Christmas on Guedes" the main characters were base upon a next door neighbor, John Shearer, and his dog, Taffy. John's wife loved the story. In "The Tesla Bars" I used the three neighborhood friends of my younger brother as models -  two of them were tickled pink with the representations and the other one reminded me that he was not an Italian, as portrayed.

Alibris (UK)When deciding on your book title what influences you most; potential sales or artistic integrity?
Perhaps it was a combination of both - after all the cover work was an homage to "IF." However, the integrity of the title leaves little doubt what the potential reader will find within the pages of the paperback book.

Are there any good book blogs or websites you would recommend, both for discovering new books and authors, and also for promoting your own work?
The coverage by is exceptional and is updated on a regular basis as new reviews are published.

How do you see the publishing industry changing over the next few years?
It is pretty obvious that Indy publishing will continue to grow. More authors will use this tactic to bring out works that are written for a specific market segment rather than the general public.

Do you foresee more and more authors making a living from their writing?
The publishing houses that specialize in Fantasy and Science Fiction are becoming more and more selective. That means fewer authors will be able to make a living writing in these two genres.

Do you have a favorite review or has anyone expressed a particularly nice compliment about your writing which stands out as your most memorable piece of praise?
This one especially made my day: "Although I do not normally read science fiction, I must admit that I really enjoyed the selection of stories and poems in this collection."

Can you remember the moment when you logged into your author account and discovered you had made your first sale?
Even though I had never thought about gathering a selection of poems and short stories into a collection, I had a instant thrill of accomplishment when the first sales of "ifs" were posted.

Would you rather sell 1000 books at $10/£10 each or 2000 books at $1/£1, i.e. what gives you the greater sense of satisfaction; overall earnings or overall sales?
Many Fantasy and Science Fiction authors spend many hours writing and then submitting their short stories to place them in non paying publications, so it is quite natural to get a real sense satisfaction seeing actual sales that show the distribution of ones work.

Apart from yourself, which other indie author would you recommend to readers and why?
Read Jace Daniel's "Under Angles." It is a unique combination of thriller, horror and fantasy. Jace's novel is a spellbinder based upon a little known segment of Los Angles security during World War Two. And it is written from the unusual perspective of the protagonist dog.

Which book more than any other have you read and thought, 'I wish I'd written this book'?
This answer shows my age of course. Although it was published more than fifty years ago "A Canticle for Leibowitz" by Walter Miller Jr. come to mind. Not only is it considered a classic novel, it is an example of what a short story can become.

Why should people buy your book, "ifs Imagine Fantasy Science Fiction"?
For the pure enjoyment of being able to read the the stories in just a few minutes.

What would you say is your biggest strength as a writer?
Perhaps versatility in subject matter and the type of composition.

What target audience would you recommend your book, "ifs Imagine Fantasy Science Fiction" to?
Although several of the entries have adult themes the collection is meant for a general audience that includes the YA reader.

Can you list a few other books which you feel would appeal to a similar audience as your own book, "ifs Imagine Fantasy Science Fiction"?
Nicholas Ahlhelm's Metahuman Press delivers great Sci-Fi in the "Pulp Empire" short story anthologies.

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Thanks for your comments, Mark, and good luck with your writing.

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A short sample of Mark Brandon Allen’s writing:

Is fate absolute or can it be altered? I wasn’t there, but I had heard a rebroadcast of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s last speech given at the Harrison Mason Temple Church in Memphis in 1968. It always troubled me. There were several lines near the end of that speech that seemed to me to indicate that Martin knew exactly what was going to happen and what the future would hold for the Civil Rights Movement and why.

Here’s the excerpt:

Life must be understood backwards; but… it must be lived forward. - Soren Kierkegaard


On this bitterly cold Tuesday in January the dark complexioned young man stood across from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on the west front patio of the capitol building.  He placed his hand on an antique Bible extended to him by his wife.

“… do solemnly swear… that I will execute… the office of President of the United States faithfully… and will to the best of my ability… preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States…” he repeated after Roberts.


Paterman was mining the Council’s postdiction imaging links for potential shifts when his  reader hooked the disparate event. He patched the tachyon link’s merb reading to the reductive control node on Jim St. Clair’s imaging portal.

“Did you get that?” Paterman asked.

St. Clair, the Council’s history handler nodded, yes!  He flicked at switches and moved adjustment disks to refine the tachyon scanner’s core processor. The processor moved huge petaflops of memory to redirect his imaging search readings to January 2009, and the anomaly that could change the Council’s selected now of 2325.
“God damn! St. Clare shouted.  “That’s not supposed to be happening.

Vaticinium Ex Eventu appeared in print on the pages of Indiana Science Fiction Anthology 2011 and  now appears in ifs IMAGINE FANTASY SCIENCE FICTION.

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Mark Brandon Allen, author of
ifs Imagine Fantasy Science Fiction
You can discover more about Mark Brandon Allen and find samples of his work at:

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ifs Imagine Fantasy Science Fiction by Mark Brandon Allen is available from Amazon:
US: ifs Imagine Fantasy Science Fiction by Mark Brandon Allen
UK: ifs Imagine Fantasy Science Fiction by Mark Brandon Allen

It's also available from Lulu, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords:
ifs Imagine Fantasy Science Fiction on
ifs Imagine Fantasy Science Fiction on Barnes & Noble
ifs Imagine Fantasy Science Fiction on Smashwords

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