Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Jim C. Hines Interview - Terminal Uprising

Photo Content from Jim C. Hines

Jim C. Hines first novel was Goblin Quest, the tale of a nearsighted goblin runt and his pet fire-spider. Actor and author Wil Wheaton described the book as “too f***ing cool for words,” which is pretty much the Best Blurb Ever. After completing the goblin trilogy, Jim went on to write the princess series, four books often described as a blend of Grimm’s Fairy Tales with Charlie’s Angels. He’s also the author of the Magic ex Librisbooks, which follow the adventures of a magic-wielding librarian from northern Michigan, as well as the Fable: Legends tie-in Blood of Heroes. He’s currently writing his first science fiction trilogy, the humorous Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse.

Jim has written more than fifty published short stories. His first professional story sale was the award-winning “Blade of the Bunny,” published way back in 1999.

Jim is an active blogger about topics ranging from sexism and harassment to zombie-themed Christmas carols, and won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer in 2012.

He has an undergraduate degree in psychology and a Masters in English. He lives with his wife and two children, who have always shown remarkable tolerance for his bizarre and obsessive writing habits. (The cats, on the other hand, have no tolerance whatsoever, and routinely walk across his desk when he’s trying to work.)


What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?
I’m pretty open about myself and my life on my blog and social media. Maybe that I grew up with a brain-damaged squirrel who liked to ride in the hood of my mother’s hoodies?

When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
Back in 1995, I was an undergrad psych major at Michigan State University. I started writing about my Dungeons and Dragons character in my free time. (Yes, I have been, and always shall be, a geek.) Well, by the end of the semester, I was still struggling to find the motivation to write my ten page term papers, but I’d done almost 50,000 words about Nakor the Purple.

I actually self-published an annotated version of that (terrible!!!) first book a few years back. It’s called RISE OF THE SPIDER GODDESS.

The book might have been bad, but it showed me what I really wanted to do.

Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that writing was not just a hobby?
I wanted to be a “real” writer, whatever the heck that means, pretty much from the start. But getting my book GOBLIN QUEST published by a major New York publisher in 2006 is when it first really felt like I’d begin to level up from writing as a hobby.

If you could be a character in any novel you’ve ever read, who would you be and why?
This is probably cheating, but I’d love to have the powers (and the car) of Isaac Vainio from my LIBRIOMANCER books. Isaac has the ability to pull objects from books, and I would so love to be able to do that. There’s so much potential, so many problems I could solve… Plus it would be cool to have things like my own working lightsaber, you know?

Did you learn anything from writing TERMINAL UPRISING and what was it?
I learned that chihuahuas will probably not survive after the humans all die out in the zombie apocalypse. I had included some in an early draft of the book, and happened to mention them to my mother, who used to work for a vet. She pointed out that chihuahuas are prone to birthing complications. So now you get dachshunds instead.

Which character have you enjoyed getting to know the most over the course of writing the Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse series?
It was a lot of fun getting deeper into Wolf’s character in book two. She starts out as a frustrated misfit with a lot of anger. In the first book, Mops even threatens to send Wolf to Earth if she didn’t straighten out. Ironically, it’s going to Earth and everything Wolf finds and faces there that help her to better understand her place, who and what she wants to be.

What part of Mops did you enjoy writing the most?
Her relationship with Doc, her personal AI. With most people, Mops has to be the commanding officer. With Doc, they can be snarky and sarcastic with each other. But it’s also clear how much they both care about one another.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I corresponded a fair amount with Janet Kagan, the Hugo-award winning author of HELLSPARK and UHURA’S SONG (two excellent books). She offered support and advice and encouragement, and provided a blurb for my first published fantasy novel. One of my regrets is that I never got the chance to meet and thank her in person.

Who has had the most influence in your life?
Snoopy. His struggles with and commentary on writing have changed my life. Because of him, I only write on my rooftop, and I’ve learned the importance of biting critics on the leg.

Where did you go on your first airplane ride?
The first one I remember was a high school class trip to Paris with my French class. Lots of fun, and very eye opening about the larger world. At the end, our French teacher was asking everyone to tuck a bottle or two of wine into our suitcases for him...

What is your most treasured possession?
Right this minute? My warm, comfy bed. I’m very sleepy...

Where can readers find you?

Online just about everywhere, but jimchines.com is a good starting point, with links to my Twitter, Facebook, and other social media. In person, I think the next thing on the schedule is a Toastmaster gig at ICON in Iowa later this year.

It’s been four months since Marion “Mops” Adamopoulos learned the truth. Four months since she and her team of hygiene and sanitation specialists stole the EMCS Pufferfish and stopped a bioterrorism attack against the Krakau homeworld. Four months since she set out to find proof of what really happened on Earth all those years ago.

Between trying to protect their secrets and fighting the xenocidal Prodryans, who’ve been escalating their war against everyone who isn’t Prodryan, the Krakau have their tentacles full.

Mops’ mission changes when she learns of a secret Krakau laboratory on Earth. A small group under command of Fleet Admiral Belle-Bonne Sage is working to create a new weapon, one that could bring victory over the Prodryans … or drown the galaxy in chaos.

To discover the truth, Mops and her rogue cleaning crew will have to do the one thing she fears most: return to Earth, a world overrun by feral apes, wild dogs, savage humans, and worse. (After all, the planet hasn’t been cleaned in a century and a half!) What Mops finds in the filthy ruins of humanity could change everything, assuming she survives long enough to share it.

Perhaps humanity isn’t as dead as the galaxy thought.


"The book is damn hilarious. It's less Tanya Huff and more Phule's Company in the best possible way. It's witty and sharp, it sneaks in some social commentary, and it skates just on the right side of the line between clever absurdity and complete chaos." —Ilona Andrews, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"A high-stakes romp full of interstellar hi-jinks and pulse-pounding action. Jim Hines's space janitors are the unlikeliest crew of heroes ever to save a galaxy." —Lisa Shearin, New York Times-bestselling author of the Raine Benares novels

"It's like Guardians of the Galaxy meets MacGyver, with zombies." —Howard Tayler, Hugo-winning author of Schlock Mercenary

“Jim Hines is one of the funniest, and most fun, writers in our genre! Terminal Alliance skewers science fiction tropes and takes on a wild romp through an original universe.” —Tobias S. Buckell, author of the Xenowealth series

“Terminal Alliance was a really fun read. Mops is a great POV character, and I enjoyed the way that the maintenance crew got to be the heroes—but also they didn't just pick up the controls of the ship and fly around as though it were super easy.” —Ann Leckie, Nebula- and Hugo-winning author of Ancillary Justice

“I enjoyed Terminal Alliance very much. It’s a spunky, irreverent interstellar romp with most unlikely heroes and frequent laugh-out-loud moments. I look forward to more adventures featuring this delightful cast of galactic janitors.” —Marko Kloos, author of the Frontlines series

“Like the slightly demented love child of Douglas Adams and Elizabeth Moon, Terminal Alliance is clever, silly, full of surprises, and unfailingly entertaining. Apparently Jim C. Hines is capable of being funny in every genre.” —Deborah Blake, author of the Baba Yaga series

“Hines (Libriomancer) delivers a fantastic space opera that doesn’t skimp on the action and excitement but pairs it with a hefty dose of slightly scatological humor. The author is especially clever in having Mops and her team leverage cleaning tools and a knowledge of spaceship plumbing to fight their enemies.” —Library Journal (starred)

"[Terminal Alliance] is also good science fiction: a solid premise, an expansive universe, a compelling history, a strong and varied cast of characters, pulse-pounding action, and a galactic crisis with high stakes. The fact that it’s funny is icing on a rich and delicious cake. Clever, and should appeal to fans of Douglas Adams and John Scalzi." —Booklist

You can purchase Terminal Uprising at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you JIM C. HINES for making this giveaway possible.
Winner will receive a Copy of Terminal Uprising by Jim C. Hines. 


  1. "Do you remember your dreams?" A bit, but I wish I could remember more--they're wild!

  2. Sometimes I remember my dreams but it seems I am dreaming more often than I use to.