Interview with Hal Friesen

Here is StarkLight Press’  interview with “AstroHal” Hal Friesen, author of The Afterscience. His remarkable short story won StarkLight Press Short Story Contest

#2 and is published in our new compendium, due to hit shelves the last week of July. Congratulations to Hal!


Interview With Hal Friesen regarding ‘The Afterscience‘.

  1. Do you have any sources of inspiration for your work?

I always try to focus on the interesting and intimate ways scientific progress reacts with human psychology, and to that end new scientific discoveries and ideas provide great source material.

  1. What do you love most about writing?

The sense of freedom and exploration on the page, and the wonder when a beautiful, coherent but complex image emerges from nothing.

  1. Who are your favourite writers? Why are they your favourites?

Robert J. Sawyer for his ability to combine the intimately human with the grandly cosmic. Philip K. Dick for his complex mosaic of language laced into every sentence. Robert Heinlein for exciting my great interest in the genre with adventure and wit.

  1. What is the most unique aspect of your story?

I think the connection between big and small – both in social status as well as scale. A Japanese teenager plays an important role in the outcome on a space shuttle. I like telling stories where I try to bridge big gulfs, and I think it’s something you don’t see very often.

  1. What fictional universe speaks most to you?

Star Wars was one of my first SF loves, then Dune made my eyes wide for a continuous month after reading it. Lynda Williams’s Okal Rel Universe grew on me gradually, and as I’ve immersed myself in it in order to contribute I’ve grown to love the rich complexity more and more. Firefly is another one—but who doesn’t love Firefly? A recent more obscure one that I fell in love with was Jasper Forde’s Shades of Grey, because it was such clever satire that gradually revealed itself to be very rich and deep.

  1. What do you think people will most enjoy about your story?

The connection between the two plotlines.

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I write speculative fiction, play science, and study cello. I wore an astronaut costume for 167 days in a contest to go to space. I grew up in Prince George, BC, and hold a BSc in Chemistry and Physics, and MSc in Electrical Engineering. Now I’m working as a Research Scientist in laser gas detection, I spend my working hours making and breaking new concepts, before going home to unleash my imagination writing on a homemade treadmill desk. I live in Edmonton with a gnome painted like Super Mario.

  1. Any words of advice for struggling writers?

Keep writing. You get better with every story you write, even if it doesn’t seem that way. And try to be patient.

Thanks, Hal, for your interview- we will be posting a video interview with Hal and our other winners on our YouTube page later in August.

– Tony Stark, P and CEO.

StarkLight Volume 2 Winners

An official congratulations to the winners of our StarkLight Volume 2 short story contest!


(Graphic courtesy Marquiss Productions 2014)



The lucky authors will be featured in the second volume of our compendium of speculative fiction, science fiction and fantasy


available later this week in ebook version, and in fine bookstores across Western Canada later in July.


Our winners are:

E.L. Caine

Hal J. Friesen (check out Half Riesen on facebook)

Cathy Illes ( and check out her blog at

Robert Marquiss (his remarkable resume is at

Jeren Nethers (

Will Norton (

Rufus Seafjord

Nicholas Vincenzi


Many congratulations to our winners!


-Tony Stark, Publisher and CEO.


Status Update on StarkLight Volume 2

Following an unforseen copyright issue regarding one of our short stories, we are pleased to announce that StarkLight Press is able to release its second short story compendium on July 15!

StarkLight Volume 2, featuring stories by Will Norton, Virginia Carraway, Robert Marquiss, Hal Friesen and more will be available on ebook and in print within the next two weeks.

Thanks to all of our pre-order customers and StarkLight fans for waiting so patiently for our publication.

Check out our short story contest, open over the summer, for your chance to be included in StarkLight Voume 3, set to be released in Autumn 2014.

Also, be sure to keep an eye on for upcoming interviews with our authors.

-Tony Stark, Publisher.

StarkLight’s Third Short Story Contest Rules

Well, here it is- StarkLight Short Story Contest #3!


Congratulations to Will Norton, a perennial StarkLight favorite, Hal Friesen of AstroHal fame, Robert Marquiss and all the rest of our second contest winners!

Here are our standard rules- and let it be known that previous winners may indeed submit fresh stories for submission.


Submission Length: 8000 words maximum, flash fiction accepted.

Submission Content:
Any subject matter of a speculative, science fiction or fantasy nature involving either original characters or characters published under the StarkLight Press imprint (ie: GAFF, Dor’iann, I’snian Characters or worldsets). Sadly, though we would love to hear your top notch fan fiction, we can’t accept any wider re-characterizations. Thinly veiled alterations of a truly original nature will be run past our legal department however, and will be considered for publication through our not-for-profit webpages.

Graphic novels, illustrated short stories consisting of grayscale (sorry, no color images) will also be accepted. Again, see content guidelines as above. We aren’t MAD magazine, so we can’t risk the litigation of a good caricature, even though we do enjoy them.

Submission Format: ODT, RTF, PDF formats. Images in JPEG only please, either embedded in file or tagged separately

Other requirements: Please include a five hundred word maximum bio that describes a bit about you and your writing career.

Also include a five hundred word maximum overview of the worldscape from which your story springs.

Include email address, webpages, facebook sites etc. Also include your phone number if so desired.

All submissions meeting the requirements will be considered, and all submitters will be contacted by July 26, 2014.

StarkLight Volume 3 will be published in September 2014.

Each winning contributor will receive:
a copy of Starklight Vol. 3
a Prize Packet of promotional materials including posters for the compendium, GAFF poster grab bag and a StarkLight t-shirt, hat, magic writer’s pen and mug.
Thorough, nay exhaustive publicity for the winner and their websites through StarkLight Media, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, web coverage
an interview to be posted on the StarkLight Industries and Carraway Productions YouTube channel.



StarkLight Volume One Enters Reprint- Volume Two on its Way

We are pleased to announce that our first volume of StarkLight Short Stories has sold its entire 100 copy run!  Featuring the winners of our first short story contest back in 2013, StarkLight Volume One has ten stories of chilling mystery, science fiction and fantasy.

StarkLight Volume One, second printing, will be available the third week of June, 2014. Place your orders at for both volumes of our short story compendiums.

StarkLight Volume Two, featuring stories by Will Norton, Hal Friesen, Robert Marquiss and more, hits shelves in June- order your copy today, before you have to wait for the second run!

– Tony Stark, publisher.