Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Press and media

Interviews and Profiles

“Biolog: Alec Nevala-Lee.” Analog Science Fiction and Fact. March 2012. Profile by Richard A. Lovett.

“Oak Parker’s Mystery Thriller Emerges From Art.” Oak Park-River Forest Patch. March 28, 2012. Profile by Casey Cora.

“Author Interview: Alec Nevala-Lee, author of The Icon Thief.” Writer’s Digest. April 14, 2012. Interview with Chuck Sambuchino.

WGN Radio. May 19, 2012. Interview with Bill Moller.

“Alec Nevala-Lee thrills readers with conspiracy and intrigue.” WBEZ Chicago Public Radio. July 16, 2012. Interview with Steve Edwards of The Afternoon Shift.

“Culture Shock 1913.” The Fishko Files. WNYC National Public Radio. December 6, 2012. I speak a bit about Duchamp at the 10:45 mark.

“Interview with Alec Nevala-Lee.” Let’s Interview Authors. March 22, 2013. Interview with Brittany Madera.

“Alec Nevala-Lee.” Chicago Tribune. June 1, 2013. Q&A for the Printers Row Lit Fest.

“Cobbling together a living as an author.” WBEZ Chicago Public Radio. June 7, 2013. Interview with Niala Boodhoo of The Afternoon Shift.

“Alec Nevala-Lee.” Nineteen Questions. August 5, 2013. Interview with Zöe Gulliver.

“Alec Nevala-Lee ’02.” Harvardwood. October 2013. Interview with Dona Le.

“Author Alec Nevala-Lee on Writing and Blogging Every Day.” Discover at WordPress. December 21, 2015. Interview with Cheri Lucas Rowlands.

“The Springboard: Alumni in the Arts Recall Studies at Harvard.” The Harvard Crimson. April 25, 2016. I discuss how my writing was influenced by the college courses I took in Latin and Greek.

“Author Spotlight.” Lightspeed. September 2016. Interview with Robyn Lupo about my short story “Ernesto.”

“The Science Fiction of Scientology.” The Dan Riendeau Show. February 17, 2017. I talk about the writing career of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of dianetics and Scientology, and his place in the history of science fiction.

“Alec Nevala-Lee and ‘The Proving Ground.'” Dive Into Worldbuilding. September 27, 2017. I discuss my novella in a video interview with science fiction writer Juliette Wade.

“Alec Nevala-Lee, Andy Duncan, and the Astounding Legacy.” September 29, 2018. The Coode Street Podcast. I discuss John W. Campbell and the other subjects of Astounding with Andy Duncan, Jonathan Strahan, and Gary K. Wolfe.

“For sci-fi, an ‘astounding’ yet tarnished golden age.” Christian Science Monitor. October 2, 2018. Interview with Randy Dotinga about Astounding.

“Deep Dish Reading Series.” October 11, 2018. Video of my reading from Astounding at Volumes Book Cafe in Chicago.

“An Unsung Hero, Scientology, and Isaac Asimov’s Harassment: Alec Nevala-Lee Reveals Sci-Fi’s ‘Astounding’ Origins.” Syfy Wire. October 19, 2018. Interview with Jacob Oller about Astounding.

“A new Kickstarter project will publish an undiscovered novel that inspired The Thing.” The Verge. October 21, 2018. I’m interviewed by Andrew Liptak about the rediscovery of the manuscript for Frozen Hell.

Astounding Chronicles 4 Titans of Science Fiction’s Golden Age (Warts and All).” October 23, 2018. Interview with Sarah Lewin about Astounding.

“How Science Fiction Magazines (And Their Payment Rates) Shaped the Genre.” October 25, 2018. I’m interviewed for an article by Adam Rowe.

“What Happened to All the Women in Science Fiction?” Chicago Tribune, October 31, 2018. Article by Christopher Borrelli on Astounding and Lisa Yaszek’s The Future is Female.

“How the Giants of Science Fiction Helped America’s World War II Effort.” November 5, 2018. Article by James Barber, including an excerpt from Astounding.

“BWW Interview: Alec Nevala-Lee.” November 7, 2018. Interview with Neil Shurley about Astounding.

“Science Fiction’s Influence on Pop Culture.” Living Lab Radio. WCAI Public Radio. November 12, 2018. Interview with Heather Goldstone about Astounding.

“PulpFicLitPod 5: Alec Nevala-Lee.” PulpFicLitPod. November 19, 2018. Interview with Matt Wall about Astounding.

“Alec Nevala-Lee.” New Books Network. November 29, 2018. Interview with Rob Wolf about Astounding.

“Chicago Writer Alec Nevala-Lee.” The 21st. Illinois Public Radio. December 20, 2018. Interview with Niala Boodhoo about Astounding.

Astounding.” BookTV. C-SPAN2. February 23, 2019. Video of my presentation at the Savannah Book Festival.

“Alec Nevala-Lee.” The RTSF Podcast. February 24, 2019. Interview with Dr. Robin Murphy on Astounding, robots, and science fiction.

“Alec Nevala-Lee: Astounding.” Inquiry. WICN. April 4, 2019. Interview with Mark Lynch on Astounding, the Futurians, the Three Laws of Robotics, and more.

“Interview: The Juicy Details and Dirty Secrets of Science Fiction’s Youth.” Third Coast Review. April 26, 2019. Interview with Terry Galvan on the subjects of Astounding and the process behind the book.

“Hong Kong winner of John W. Campbell sci-fi award stands by ‘fascist’ comments as new name for accolade is considered.” South China Morning Post. August 27, 2019. I’m interviewed by Rachel Cheung about the controversy over the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

“John W. Campbell Award Is Renamed After Winner Criticizes Him.” New York Times. August 28, 2019. I’m interviewed by Peter Libbey about the renaming of the Campbell Award.

“Shoji Sadao, Quiet Hand Behind Two Visionaries, Dies at 92.” New York Times. November 13, 2019. I offer a few thoughts on the career of Sadao, the longtime collaborator of Buckminster Fuller and Isamu Noguchi.

“Rumored The Thing Remake Based On ‘Frozen Hell’: A Lost Manuscript May Change Horror History.” Newsweek. January 29, 2020. I speak to reporter Andrew Whalen on my discovery of the original draft of John W. Campbell’s “Who Goes There?” and its potential remake from Blumhouse Productions.

“Sci-Fi Scholars in Quarantine.” DickHeads Podcast. April 21, 2020. Roundtable with Seth Healey, and Gary K. Wolfe, Lisa Yaszek.

“Worldcon 2020.” The SFFaudio Podcast. August 3, 2020. Panel discussion on the aftermath of CoNZealand.

“Ten Minutes with Alec Nevala-Lee.” The Coode Street Podcast. August 13, 2020. Interview with Gary K. Wolfe on my current reading.

“We’re Officially Done with Lovecraft and Campbell.” Our Opinions Are Correct. August 27, 2020. Interview with Charlie Jane Anders on the legacy of John W. Campbell.

“Optimism in Dystopian Futures.” October 14, 2020. I participate in a group discussion sponsored by the Ray Bradbury Experience Museum with Dominic Loise, Jake Casella, Keisha Howard, and Marissa K. Lingen.

“Alec Nevala-Lee.” 42 Minutes. November 8, 2020. Interview with Douglas Bolles on The Tunnel by William H. Gass, the writers of Astounding, and more.

“Future Talks: Capitalism and Workers’ Rights on Science Fiction.” December 19, 2020. I participate in a discussion at FutureCon SF with Alexey Dodsworth, Fabio Fernandes, Jorge Baradit, Marie Vibbert, and Olav Rokne.

“An Afternoon of Asimov.” January 13, 2021. In a joint presentation sponsored by the Jewish Museum of Maryland and the Enoch Pratt Free Library, I discuss the legacy of Isaac Asimov. My segment begins at 41:55.

Astounding by Alec Nevala-Lee and the Golden Age of SF.” Exploring Tomorrow. June 1, 2021. Interview with Mikel J. Wisler on Astounding and my short story collection Syndromes.

“Alec Nevala-Lee interviews science fiction author Barry N. Malzberg.” June 23, 2021. I talk with Malzberg about such subjects as the Scott Meredith Literary Agency, his encounter with John W. Campbell, and the “bad karma” of his novel Beyond Apollo.

As It Happens. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. July 4, 2022. Interview on my Slate article on Robert Heft and the 50-star flag.

“Exploring the Life of Buckminster Fuller.” Ozarks at Large. KUAF. July 19, 2022. Interview with Kyle Kellams about Inventor of the Future.

“Author Interview: Alec Nevala-Lee.” The 21st. Illinois Public Radio. August 3, 2022. Interview with Brian Mackey about Inventor of the Future.

“Non-Fiction Spotlight: Inventor of the Future.” Interview with Cora Buhlert about Inventor of the Future.

Articles and Essays

“Marcel Duchamp’s Turning Point.” Los Angeles Times. March 18, 2012. Essay on the hundredth anniversary of Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2.

“Simon Says: It’s Not About You!” The Daily Beast. April 14, 2012. Essay on The Wire’s David Simon and fabulists Mike Daisey and Greg Mortenson.

New Yorker Profile? No, Thanks.” Salon. May 12, 2012. Essay on the New Yorker feature curse.

The Secret for Smart People.” The Daily Beast. June 5, 2012. Essay on recent books on creativity and the power of thought.

The Tools is Slick and Savvy—Like a Hollywood Remake.” The Daily Beast. June 13, 2012. Review of The Tools by Barry Michels and Phil Stutz.

“The Lehrer Affair.” The Rumpus. July 11, 2012. Essay on Jonah Lehrer and the ethics of “self-plagiarism.”

“Will McAvoy, You’re So Smart!” Salon. July 23, 2012. Essay on the use of historical irony in The Newsroom and other works of fiction.

“Karl Rove’s Labyrinth.” The Daily Beast. November 20, 2012. Essay on Karl Rove’s surprising love of the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges.

“Reply All.” The New York Times Magazine. March 31, 2013. A short excerpt from my blog post on the poet Anne Carson.

“Lessons from The X-Files.” Salon. September 17, 2013. The twentieth anniversary of The X-Files and its lessons for modern television.

Dictionary of the Khazars (Male Edition).” The Syllabus. London: Verbivoracious Press. 2015. A short essay on Milorad Pavić’s remarkable novel.

“Xenu’s Paradox: The Fiction of L. Ron Hubbard and the Making of Scientology.” Longreads. February 1, 2017. An overview of the science fiction and fantasy stories of the controversial founder of dianetics and the Church of Scientology. Featured on The A.V. Club on March 12, 2017.

Astounding Stories.” The Astounding/Analog Companion. March 27, 2018. Essay on the background reading I conducted for Astounding.

“The Rest is Noise.” The Astounding/Analog Companion. June 28, 2018. Essay on Raymond F. Jones’s science fiction story “Noise Level.”

“The Campbell Machine.” Analog Science Fiction and Fact, July/August 2018, 125-133. An expanded excerpt from the book Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction, exploring the death of Campbell’s stepson and his ensuing fixation on psionic machines.

“Dawn of Dianetics: L. Ron Hubbard, John W. Campbell, and the Origins of Scientology.” Longreads. October 23, 2018. Excerpt from Astounding on Campbell’s influence on Hubbard’s ideas during the development of dianetics. Featured on Boing Boing on October 29, 2018.

“What Isaac Asimov Taught Us About Predicting the Future.” New York Times. October 31, 2018. Essay on Campbell, Asimov, and the origins of psychohistory.

“The Man Who Made Science Fiction What It Is Today.” Lithub. November 7, 2018. Excerpt from Astounding on the legacy of John W. Campbell.

“How Astounding Saw the Future.” New York Times. January 10, 2019. Visual essay on the art of Astounding and Unknown.

“The Most Powerful Force.” Uncanny Magazine. January/February 2019. Essay on John W. Campbell and the evolving market for short science fiction.

“Rising Seas, Migrants, War: A Timely Novel From John Lanchester.” New York Times. March 5, 2019. Review of John Lanchester’s dystopian novel The Wall.

“Preface.” Frozen Hell. April 1, 2019. Introductory essay to the first publication of the original draft of the novella “Who Goes There?”, which I rediscovered in John W. Campbell’s papers at Harvard.

“Analogous Ideas.” The Astounding/Analog Companion. April 23, 2019. Discussion with the author Frank Wu on our Analog stories “At the Fall” and “In the Absence of Instructions to the Contrary.”

“A 1995 Novel Predicted Trump’s America.” New York Times. July 14, 2019. Essay on The Tunnel by William H. Gass and its resonance with contemporary politics.

“Making Waves: The Inventions of John W. Campbell.” Analog Science Fiction and Fact, January/February 2020, 44-50. Essay cowritten with Edward M. Wysocki, Jr. on John W. Campbell’s inventions and patent for a waveform generator.

“Asimov’s Empire, Asimov’s Wall.” Public Books. January 7, 2020. Essay on Isaac Asimov’s history of groping and other forms of unwanted touching of women across multiple decades and its impact on the science fiction community.

“The Art of Noise.” Analog Science Fiction and Fact, March/April 2020, 4-7. Guest editorial on the story “Noise Level” by Raymond F. Jones.

“Tales From the Script.” The Astounding/Analog Companion. July 7, 2020. Essay on the writing of my short story “Retention.”

“The Slow Arrival of Dawn.” The Tunnel at 25 Symposium. September 7, 2020. Essay on the writing of my New York Times piece on The Tunnel.

“A Climate-Crisis Novel Offers True-to-Life Snapshots of Survival.” New York Times. November 17, 2020. Review of Cynan Jones’s dystopian novel Stillicide.

“Alone on a Spaceship, Trying to Save the World.” New York Times. May 4, 2021. Review of the novel Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir.

“False Flag.” Slate. June 30, 2022. An investigative article on Bob Heft, the man who claimed to have designed the 50-star United States flag. This was the first piece to definitively disprove Heft’s story, which was cited as fact by numerous otherwise reputable sources. 

“The Dramatic Failure of Buckminster Fuller’s ‘Car of the Future.'” Slate. August 2, 2022. Excerpt from Chapter 5 of Inventor of the Future.

“What Steve Jobs learned from Buckminster Fuller during their only meeting.” Fast Company. August 2, 2002. Excerpt from the prologue of Inventor of the Future

“A Futurist’s Last Act Was to Transform Chemistry—After Death.” The Daily Beast. August 6, 2022. Excerpt from the epilogue of Inventor of the Future

“Inside the 20th Century’s Weirdest Architectural Breakthrough.” Gizmodo. October 17, 2022. Excerpt from Chapter 7 of Inventor of the Future.

Written by nevalalee

November 13, 2012 at 4:16 pm

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