Michael has been writing for longer than he’d like to admit. His newest novel, The Link Boy (EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy), has just débuted. It’s a sequel to his last novel – The Milkman (also from EDGE), a murder mystery set in a world with no governments. It won a gold medal from the Independent Publisher Book Awards and was a finalist in the Eric Hoffer awards, given for outstanding writing from small presses. A previous novel, Cinco de Mayo, was a finalist for an Alberta Reader’s Choice Award. Michael has written for DC Comics, several magazines (fiction and non-fiction) the Urban Green Man anthology and two urban fantasy novels for young readers. He has a degree in English and Economics, but has worked in advertising for several years. He lives with his wife and two children on Grand Island, NY.
In Milkman and your newest book Linkboy, you posit a world without governments. Tell our listeners a little about this concept and how you imagine such a world would function.
The Free World in my books functions like the mining companies of the early 20th century, but on a global scale. The company provides everything. It expects everything in return. The big difference that emerged the more I played with the idea is what economists call ‘externalities’, costs to you off-load to someone else. Like water pollution. If you own the whole world, there are no externalities and all the pollution is yours. That changes things.
It’s like the laundry, right? No one else is going to do it. I don’t see John Grisham out there warning about the dangers of the singularity. Seriously, though, I think it’s our job not to predict but to speculate. If we play with this variable, what changes? What if there were no governments? I’m not convinced it would happen, but looking at the extreme informs what’s happening in the world right now.
Your writing often deals with those at the edges or in the cracks of society. What about these stories attracts you?
What an awesome question. I never realized it until you asked. The cracks are where the stress is, where the faults in society are showing up first. That’s what needs attention.
As with my children, I have no favorites. It’s not a cop-out. Really. The difference between the two is not all that great. A writer should always adjust word choice to the story. If it’s military fiction, you’re allowed to use this set. If it’s pre-teen, you’ve got another. If you’re not enjoying the story you’re writing – if it’s not your favorite book while you’re doing it – write something else.
Science Fiction can be a bit trope-tastic. This is part of its charm but sometimes causes outsiders to be dismissive. Is there any particular Sci-Fi trope you have embraced or would wish to embrace in your writing?
I tried really hard not to use any tropes in my novels. It makes it easier for general audience, but that’s not the reason. I wanted to change the political and economic structure of the world, so I didn’t want to mess with other stuff too. No distractions. I miss the jetpacks, though. I love me some jetpacks. And rayguns. I have got one of those books bubbling inside me.
What is your favorite (read) book and why?
I hate to sound pretentious, but Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment is my favorite book. It is so perfect and timeless
What is the book you dream of writing and haven’t yet?
I dream of the Holy Grail. The science fiction book that catches the Nobel Committee’s attention. The one that makes them say ‘Hey, we can’t just keep giving these things to geniuses all the time. We’re not brain bigots. Let’s throw one to Micheal and prove it.’
The Link Boy : A Free World Novel is available on
Find out more about Michael Martineck
Author web pages: michaelmartineck.blogspot.com
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