AISFP 290 — Ferrett Steinmetz, Flex

Ferrett Steinmetz -- FlexFerrett Steinmetz joins us to discuss his debut novel Flex from Angry Robot Books. It’s pitched as a novel where Breaking Bad meets Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files.

Ken Liu offers the following advance praise: “Featuring one of the most original magic systems ever devised and a pair of likable, layered protagonists, Flex is a fast-paced, imaginative, and emotionally engaging adventure. The developing friendships and rapport among the characters are portrayed with sensitivity and avoids cliches, and the magical battle sequences are rigorous and filled with ingenious touches that will make gamers and tax lawyers alike grin with joy.”

During the interview, we explore the touted the magic system and the various “mancers” that are born out of their own obsession — whether it be bureacracy, video games or Fight Club.

Ferrett Steinmetz also shares his opinions on the Sad Puppies effort. We discuss their brand and the controversial decision to include Vox Day.  This is one of several interviews where we’ll talk with others in the genre community about the Sad Puppies topic: We expect we’ll receive a variety of opinions and perspectives.


Dirge Magazine will host a Twitter read-a-long. You can follow on Twitter — #DirgeRAWK. Or, you can read the full transcript once completed.


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  1. Love the new format. Or is it a format, or just something you will do from time to time. The two of you chatting fascinatingly at the start was great. Gaming – yes, big thumbs up to that. I am a…cough…mature gamer, and I agree about Mass Effect, it’s tremendous storytelling as well as a great game. My claim to fame is that the actor who performs Zaheed in Mass Effect 3 is the narrator of my first two audiobooks (Robin Sachs…so sad to learn that he had died at the young age of 61). The recent Tomb Raider, with young Lara is amazing, with great characters and dialogue and probably the best interactive storyline I’ve seen. I also highly recommend Dishonored. Great to hear Ferrett has broken through at 45 (I’m still trying at 60, even though I have commercial audiobooks out, just no agent or book deals) – he’s an inspiration. Excellent interview as ever, Brent. Those magic systems sound so witty and interesting. Can I add couchomancy – the magic system for sitting down and reading books for hours on end.

  2. Thanks for following up the Sad Puppies discussion – think it’s interesting to look at the novel ballot the year before Sad Puppies to see a mix of novels including space opera, zombie and popular and not a ballot dominated by High Bow / Literary genre books
    Among Others, Jo Walton (Tor)
    Embassytown, China Miéville (Macmillan / Del Rey)
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey (Orbit)
    Deadline, Mira Grant (Orbit)
    A Dance With Dragons, George R. R. Martin (Bantam Spectra)
    (Ready Player One missed the ballot by 5 nominations)

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