Friday, March 23, 2012

Interview with T.C. McCarthy and Giveaway - March 23, 2012

Please welcome T.C. McCarthy to The Qwillery. Exogene, the second novel in T.C.'s Subterrene War series, was published earlier this month.

TQ:  Welcome back to The Qwillery!

TCM:  Great to be back! I love the new drapes and couch - kind of a David Letterman thing going on here.

TQ:  :-)  What do you wish you'd known when your first novel, Germline, came out that you know now?

TCM:  How important a hardcover is. I still would have signed with Orbit (and thank the Lord they gave me an offer in the first place), but hard covers are just so cool and I really, really want one! Plus, no matter how many great authors publish/published as paperback originals, some reviewers still won't look at them. Meee-yaaarrrrghhhh!!!!

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

TCM:  Writing genre fiction. Shocker, right? For some reason, literary fiction has always been easier for me, and my first pro sale wasn't to Asimov's, Analog, or even more literary-ish SFF outlets like Clarkesworld. It was to a lit mag, Per Contra; so was my second major sale, to Story Quarterly. Also, I just finished my first literary novel and my agent is shopping it around and I have to say it was the easiest book I've ever written - much easier than Germline or Exogene.

TQ:  Please tell us about Exogene, the second novel in your Subterrene War series.

TCM:  Wow. It's a trip, but not in the same way Germline was. I wanted to explore some of the ramifications of cloning human beings, and it needed to be done through the eyes of a female genetically-engineered soldier. So not only did I have to write from the POV of a woman, but a non-human, neither of which came naturally. Exogene takes a look at where we might be headed as a society. It's a worst-case-scenario, for sure, where limited nuclear exchanges have destroyed much of East Asia, and where humanity is willing to divest itself of major moral responsibilities in the creation of genetic horrors. A likely future? No. A possible one? I think so.

TQ:  Which character has surprised you the most in the Subterrene War series so far?

TCM:  Bridgette, from Germline. She's not a major character, but it was weird because I actually fell in love with her while writing and when she died it was awful.

TQ:  Which character in the series is most like you?

TCM:  I don't know. Seriously. I tried to answer this one and couldn't so here's a copout answer: I'm part Stan (from Chimera), part Catherine (from Exogene), and part Oscar (from Germline).

TQ:  The Subterrene War series is Military Science Fiction. Are there any other genres (or subgenres) in which you'd like to write?

TCM:  I want to write a space opera - and plan to in the future - but there are still tasks to be done on the Subterrene series and soon I hope to have news about my literary novel. So it will have to wait!

TQ:  What's next?

TCM:  A diet seven up and a handful of almonds for lunch, because I'm on a diet.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

TCM:  My pleasure.

About The Subterrene War

The Subterrene War 2
Oribt, March 1, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Exogene (n.): factor or agent (as a disease-producing organism) from outside the organism or system. Also: classified Russian program to merge proto-humanoids with powered armor systems (slang).

Catherine is a soldier. Fast, strong, lethal, she is the ultimate in military technology. She's a monster in the body of an eighteen year old girl. Bred by scientists, grown in vats, indoctrinated by the government, she and her sisters will win this war, no matter the cost.

And the costs are high. Their life span is short; as they age they become unstable and they undergo a process called the spoiling. On their eighteenth birthday they are discharged. Lined up and shot like cattle.

But the truth is, Catherine and her sisters may not be strictly human, but they're not animals. They can twist their genomes and indoctrinate them to follow the principles of Faith and Death, but they can't shut off the part of them that wants more than war. Catherine may have only known death, but she dreams of life and she will get it at any cost.

The Subterrene War 1
Orbit, August 1, 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Germline (n.) the genetic material contained in a cellular lineage which can be passed to the next generation. Also: secret military program to develop genetically engineered super-soldiers (slang).

War is Oscar Wendell's ticket to greatness. A reporter for The Stars and Stripes, he has the only one way pass to the front lines of a brutal war over natural resources buried underneath the icy, mineral rich mountains of Kazakhstan.

But war is nothing like he expected. Heavily armored soldiers battle genetically engineered troops hundreds of meters below the surface. The genetics-the germline soldiers-are the key to winning this war, but some inventions can't be un-done. Some technologies can't be put back in the box.

Kaz will change everything, not least Oscar himself. Hooked on a dangerous cocktail of adrenaline and drugs, Oscar doesn't find the war, the war finds him.

The Subterrene War 3
Orbit, July 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Escaped Germline soldiers need to be cleaned up, and Stan Resnick is the best man for the job. A job that takes him to every dark spot and every rat hole he can find.

Operatives from China and Unified Korea are gathering escaped or stolen Russian and American genetics, and there are reports of new biological nightmares: half-human things, bred to live their entire lives encased in powered armor suits.

Stan fights to keep himself alive and out of prison while he attempts to capture a genetic, one who will be able to tell them everything they need to know about this new threat, the one called "Project Sunshine."

Chimera is the third and final volume of The Subterrene War Trilogy which tells the story of a single war from the perspective of three different combatants. The first two volumes GERMLINE and EXOGENE are available now.

Orbit Short Fiction

A People's Army
Orbit, March 15, 2012

In the distant future, on an ice-bound world, Choi Chung Ho is a loyal soldier in the Dear Leader's army. Stuck in a damaged tank with the American advance quickly approaching, he must find a way to survive. Survive the Americans, the blindly patriotic members of his own crew, and, most dangerous of all, the shifting politics of the North Korean military.

The Legionnaires
Orbit, April 18, 2011
eBook, 63 pages

In this short story by T.C. McCarthy, one ordinary woman with nothing to lose joins the French Foreign Legion and finds herself, and her comrades, pinned down in a bunker surrounded by enemies. Thousands of the mantis-like creatures swarm towards them and with no communications and little ammo, survival is a desperate hope. She is a volunteer and a soldier, and to save herself, her squad, and the refugees they defend, she must remember the life she left behind.

About T.C. McCarthy

T.C. McCarthy has two dogs, a family, and a job.  His house smells funny - old. Sometimes the antenna on that Toyota works, sometimes it doesn't, and there's a problem with his hair (it keeps falling out).

T.C. has lived in lots of places (the SF Bay Area, Australia, and places he'd rather not mention) but he always seem to wind up back in the south because it's just like the third-world - except with good barbecue. his first novel, Germline, was published in August 2011; his second, Exogene, will be available in March 2012.

T.C.'s Links

Pharmacon (a blog)

The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will win a copy of Exogene (The Subterrene War 2) from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Favorite Military SciFi novel, movie, short story, or TV show?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)  Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)  Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)  Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. You must leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Friday, March 30, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


  1. Three of my favorite scifi series immediately popped to mind when I read the question... David Weber's Honor Harrington series. Orson Scott Card's Ender's series, and Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan series. Love lots more, but these are top three. (Other scifi authors I love include Elizabeth Moon Robert A Heinlein, Anne McCaffrey, Frank Herbert, etc. I could go on. And on!)

    (commenter, follower, serial-retweeter)

  2. My favorite sci-fi movie is The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. It is so campy and quirky but I love it!

    +1 comment
    +1 follower

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  3. Thanks for the great interview! This series looks fantastic! Definitely going over to look at Germline.

    I'd have to say that the only one(s) I can remember reading but really liked would be the Seafort Saga by David Feintuch. I read those in high school and loved them. It was the first military SF I had ever read. Gotta go look those up :)

  4. I want to have Exogene if only for that gorgeous cover!!!
    And can I pick a game? can I?
    Mass Effect!!!! All 3 games!
    (and if I can't: the Jax series by Ann Aguirre)

    +2 follower, comment


  5. I like the Rescue and Platoon. Please enter me in contest.

  6. Great post! I enjoy Lois Bujold McMaster's books.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  7. I saw ALIENS on television not long ago & it still entertains. Love the BUGS.

    I follow.


  8. My favorite novel was Tall, Dark and Dangerous series from Suzanne Brockmann.

    +1 comment
    +1 follower GFC as Filia Oktarina

    filiafantasy at gmail dot com

  9. Mmm...apart from Aliens I do not recall anything else!


    aliasgirl at libero dot it

  10. Stargate SG-1

    I follow the blog.

    Thanks for the giveaway.


  11. movies-loved Aliens and Soldier

    tiramisu392 (at)

  12. If you want military SciFi you can't go wrong with David Drake (especially Hammer's Slammers) or David Weber ( especially Honor Harrington series)but there are many other good writers out there as well...