AJ Sikes writes noir urban fantasy and alternate history. He co-edited and wrote stories for the steampunk anthologies Twelve Hours Later, Thirty Days Later, and Some Time Later. AJ is the author of the alternate history novels Gods of Chicago and Gods of New Orleans. AJ is also a member of the 501st Legion and troops with the California Central Garrison.

Q: What got you into Steampunk?

AJS: In late 2011, I ran across a webzine called Doctor Fantastique’s Show of Wonders – sadly now extinct. I started off as a contributing writer to the site and soon after became the Managing Editor The gig lasted for all of 2012 and put me in touch with steampunks from around the world—writers, artists, readers and reviewers, costumers, the whole circus!

Some Time LaterQ: So, these anthologies, what’s the story behind these collections of stories?

AJS: Beginning with Twelve Hours Later, the anthologies have been an effort at showcasing the authors who attend Clockwork Alchemy each year. We wanted to have a way of introducing the whole crew to new readers in one swoop, and we also wanted to give back to the community that attends the event. The charity component has seen over $400 donated to the San Jose Public Library system in the past two years, all of which is intended for literacy programs. We’ve been really pleased with the reception of both Twelve Hours Later and Thirty Days Later. This year’s anthology Some Time Later will round out the trilogy, and we think it’s the best one yet.

AJ SikesQ: What’s new with you? Any surprises?

AJS: I’ve begun branching out, moving away from steampunk (forgive me) and the dieselpunk noir I started with. My latest projects are set in an editing client’s story world, the Extinction Cycle by Nicholas Sansbury Smith. Nick has opened his story setting and characters to the writing public through Amazon Kindle Worlds, and I was lucky enough to be approached as a seed author when the project launched last October. My first novel in Nick’s world is titled Emergence, and sees a New York City firefighter named Meg Pratt, and a somewhat hapless young man named Jed Welch, fighting against a catastrophic plague that turns people into monsters. Good old fashioned guns, guts, and action. It’s been received quite well so far. My second novel in the setting, titled Penance, should be out this summer.

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