Introducing Volunteer Reader Leon

Updated: Jun 5

Utopia Science Fiction would like to extend a warm welcome to the latest member of our staff, Leon Perniciaro. Leon has joined Utopia Science Fiction as a volunteer reader. He will be helping to read through the submissions we receive and and contribute to deciding which stories we accept and which we must unfortunately, pass on for one reason or another.

I exchanged a quick e-mail interview where I got the chance to ask Leon about himself and his interest in science fiction. Here are his answers to some of the questions I asked.

1) Who are your favorite science fiction authors?

Lois McMaster Bujold, Neal Stephenson, Ann Leckie, Ursula Le Guin, Charlie Jane Anders (and so many more)

2) What was the first science fiction book you remember reading?

The first book I remember devouring was After the Bomb by Gloria D. Miklowitz, when I was 11 or 12. It's about the Soviets accidentally nuking Pasadena, and this young teen having to navigate a destroyed Los Angeles to find help for his family. 

3) What do you look for in a good story?

A good hook, clear prose, good pacing and characterizations, a satisfying ending.

4) Do you have any advice you'd like to give to writers of science fiction?

Science fiction has a long history and its fair share of cliches and tropes, so my biggest piece of advice is to avoid or subvert these. Ask yourself: What's unique about my take?


5) If you could ask one question of any dead author, who would you speak to and what question would you ask them?

I'd ask Mark Twain if he was secretly a space alien (Halley's comet was obviously his space ship).

6) What do you like most about the Science Fiction genre? That it is as much about our hopes for the future as it is about our fears of the present

More about Leon Perniciaro:

Leon is a writer and translator, and he worries about the Great Filter (link: Originally from New Orleans, and after spending much of his adult life abroad, he now lives in New Haven, where he has yet to acclimate to the pizza. He also produces short fiction, and he seldom wears hats.

Please join us in extending a warm welcome to the newest member of Utopia Science Fiction. If you're interested in further volunteer opportunities to join the staff, please look at positions available here.


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