Tag Archives: And the Last Trump Shall Sound

Interview with Author Cat Rambo

 1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

My family always assumed I would be a writer for two reasons. One is that I was an early and extremely avid reader. My babysitter Bernadette started reading The Hobbit to me when I was in second grade and I got so caught up in Bilbo’s adventures that I started sneaking chapters in between babysitting visits — and then got my grandmother to buy me the trilogy. She was always happy to buy me books, because of the second reason my family thought I’d become a writer: she was a writer herself, and wrote a number of young adults sports novels as well as a mystery. She often brought me books that had been signed to me by the author, because she’d met them at book conferences. One of those books, which was a kid’s book about creative writing called Turn Not Pale, Beloved Snail by Jacqueline Jackson, I read over and over. It had a suggested reading list at the back that I devoted myself to reading every item on as well. I’ve still got the book on my shelf.

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

With this book, it was because Harry came and asked if I would come play. Good collaborations are always a joy, challenge, and learning experience — hopefully to a somewhat similar degree — and this was certainly one.

It was particularly challenging because I was writing with two amazingly talented co-writers! Not only that, but they gave me wildly dissimilar acts one and two for me to write a third act from. I had to spend a week or so just thinking about how I wanted to handle it.

At the same time, this project came with yet another challenge, which was to write a book that (hopefully) helps people see how much danger America is in if we don’t vote in this election — not just at the national but the local level — and continue to push back when the forces that have weaponized hatred, racism, misogyny, and other fear-based drives to put themselves in power try to extend their hold even farther. I can’t overstate this. While I don’t think the events we’ve portrayed will happen, I fear less entertaining ones will, and that they will kill America as we know it in the process. Actually, they’re trying to kill it right now.

Wow, that started lighthearted and skewed serious fast. But these are serious times.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I’ve been talking about this a lot lately, and I’m going to take the liberty of quoting something I said in my most recent newsletter: As we come into these final days before the election, you will see unprecedented efforts to spread mistruths, to distract and confuse, and to divide us. Stay strong and focused. Maintain your own health and take a breather when you need to. Factcheck before you spread information. Encourage and enable those on the front lines of this fight.

And be kind. Be loving. Be generous and honest and open in your vulnerabilities, because in these days, that is a rebellious act. Be gentle when you can and fierce when you need to be. Know that you are loved. Know that we are all in this together.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I have always loved escaping into other worlds! Not just Middle Earth but later Narnia and Pern, Perelandra and Barsoom. In high school I started playing games at a local book and game store and wallowed happily in fantasy and science fiction from there as well as from my local library. That was the 70s, and so I read a lot of New Wave as well as the classics. Lots of Michael Moorcock, Andre Norton, Fritz Leiber… so much great stuff! I also babysat for a family that happened to have The Science Fiction Hall of Fame on their bookshelf and so I read that a number of times.

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

I’d ask Natalie why they followed their friend into the heart of darkness, Kansas City, because I think there’s another story lurking there.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

I enjoy Twitter and I’ve made a lot of connections through it, but social media is certainly a double-edged sword for writers in that it provides a pretty alluring form of procrastination! I actually wrote a book on writers and online presence a few years back (it’s due for an update) and so I try new platforms when they come out, and have a presence on most of them. I would say writers should find one that they enjoy using and go with that. If you’re having a good time, it shows through. If you’re tweeting out of a sense of duty and not having fun, that also shows through.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Don’t get discouraged. Butt in chair and writing is the best thing you can do. I sometimes suggest that people look at writers who are where they would like to be in 3-5 years and see how they got there. But the most important thing is the writing. Unless you’re doing that, you have nothing to sell.

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

So much stuff! I just turned in Exiles of Tabat,  the third volume of my fantasy series, the Tabat Quartet, and am about to start the last book of that, . I’ve also got a space opera, You Sexy Thing, coming out with Tor Macmillan next year that is the start of a series that I am super stoked about and I’m finishing up book 2 of that, which is tentatively entitled Devil’s Gun.. I’m also editing a science fiction anthology, The Reinvented Heart, which will come out next summer, and continuing to produce serial fiction through my Patreon. So lots of new stuff, all the time. 🙂

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About the Author

Cat Rambo is a prolific science fiction and fantasy writer of short stories. Her two hundred plus stories have appeared in many anthologies and magazines including Asimov’sClarkesworld, and Tor.com.

She has been nominated for the Nebula and the World Fantasy Award, and been a finalist for the Million Writers and the Compton Crook Awards, as well as been on the Locus Recommended Reading List.

Cat was the co-editor of Fantasy Magazine from 2007 to 2011 and is a past President (two terms) of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She lives and teaches in the Pacific Northwest.

And the Last Trump Shall Sound by Harry Turtledove, James Morrow and Cat Rambo Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Three authors share a very relevant collection of short stories that showcase the horrors that await the United States if division continues to take hold in the novel “And the Last Trump Shall Sound”. 

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The Synopsis

Set in the near future, And the Last Trump Shall Sound is prophetic warning about where we, as a nation, may be headed. A politically torn nation watches as the Republicans solidify their hold over the US with a series of electoral victories and judicial appointments. Mike Pence leads the country, succeeding Donald Trump as the flag-bearer of an increasingly dogmatic movement.

There are parts of the country, however, that cannot abide by what they view as a betrayal of the nation’s founding principles. At what point do these communities break down and the unthinkable suddenly becomes the only possible solution…the end of the Union.

Harry Turtledove, James Morrow, and Cat Rambo give us three novellas, each following the other, describing the frightening possible consequences of our increased polarization–a dire warning to all of us about where we may be headed unless we can learn to come together again.

The Review

This was a marvelous, eye-opening, and engaging mixture of historical fiction/dystopian future novels with a “what if…” twist. The narratives each author brought to life capture the raw emotion and power that this world’s division has created in recent years, and showcases how the world and in particular the United States could look like if events continue to unfold the way they are. 

From a future that sees the West Coast states seceding from the Union to the leader of the free world turning portions of the United States into a religious-run state and the “resurrection” of the man who started it all, these author present ideas and futures which could prove to be our future. The way the authors write captures the emotion of our nation as it stands now: confusion, frustration, anger, and sadness all extend over us all right now. 

The Verdict

Fast-paced, engaging, and detail-oriented in its delivery, the authors give readers a marvelous yet haunting look into what the United States could become. In the face of racial tension, immigration horrors, pandemics and so much more, the American Empire as it stands could look drastically different in just a couple of decades. Utilizing real political and historical figures into a well-developed fictional political satire, these authors have delivered a memorable novel that cannot be missed. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Authors

James Morrow

“Watch out for James Morrow: He’s magic” is how The Washington Post’s Ron Charles describes the author.

Janet Maslin of The New York Times call him “a novelist of intellect, bravado and wildly phantasmagorical imagination.”

James Morrow’s fiction always presents an original (frequently outrageous and eccentric) take on any subject he tackles, often using satire to bring his point home. Much of his work has received high praise, not only from within the science fiction community but from the mainstream literary world as well.

Russian translations of his novel, Only Begotten Daughter, and collection, Bible Stories for Adults, led to him being invited to participate in the Fifteenth International Tolstoy Conference.

James Morrow calls State College, Pennsylvania, his home, where he resides with his wife, his son, and an enigmatic sheepdog and a loopy beagle.



Harry Turtledove

Dubbed as “The Master of Alternate History” by Publishers Weekly, Harry Turtledove has written a number of classic bestsellers in the subgenre, including How Few RemainThe Guns of the South and The Man with the Iron Heart.

He uses his study of history (with a Ph.D in Byzantine history) to create alternate worlds in intricate detail; crafting enthralling adventures that have garnered him high critical praise as well as making him one of the most successful bestselling authors in alternate history.

Turtledove has won, or been nominated, for nearly every major award in science fiction (multiple times, for many) including the Hugo, Nebula, Sidewise (alternate history), Homer (short stories), The John Esten Cooke Award for Southern Fiction and the Prometheus Award.

Many consider him to be one of the most distinguished authors of alternate history to have ever written in that sub-genre―he is certainly one of the most critically acclaimed.

Harry Turtledove is married to novelist Laura Frankos. They have three daughters, Alison, Rachel and Rebecca.

http://www.sfsite.com/~silverag/turtledove.html



Cat Rambo

Cat Rambo is a prolific science fiction and fantasy writer of short stories. Her two hundred plus stories have appeared in many anthologies and magazines including Asimov’sClarkesworld, and Tor.com.

She has been nominated for the Nebula and the World Fantasy Award, and been a finalist for the Million Writers and the Compton Crook Awards, as well as been on the Locus Recommended Reading List.

Cat was the co-editor of Fantasy Magazine from 2007 to 2011 and is a past President (two terms) of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She lives and teaches in the Pacific Northwest.