This is the fourth episode of Story Behind the Story, a monthly interview series featuring conversations with authors about their creative process. In it, host Clara Sherley-Appel talks to science fiction and fantasy writer Charlie Jane Anders about her novel The City in the Middle of the Night, which was published by Tor earlier this year.
The City in the Middle of the Night takes place on January, a tidally locked planet where humans settled after leaving Earth. It follows the story of Sophie, who develops a relationship with the January’s indigenous inhabitants after she is banished into the dark side of the planet, and of Mouth, a brash and somewhat reckless smuggler who Sophie encounters in the course of her travels.
In our conversation, we hit on the influence of Ursula K. Leguin, approaches to world-building and metaphor, and the complex relationship between personal and historical trauma, which is a central theme of The City in the Middle of the Night. I hope you enjoy listening.