Nathan Tavares was born and grew up in southeastern Massachusetts, bounced around New England for a while, and currently live in Boston. He started writing as a kid on an old Apple IIe desktop that, at the end of its life, made clanking noises when he turned it on, until he released it on a farm to roam free with other ancient devices. He went to college and majored in English. Got a job. Went to grad school. Etc., etc. (He also says etc., etc., a lot).
First job: Ice cream scooper
Bionic enhancements: Cerebral shunt
Favorite punctuation mark: The em dash—
Vice: Coffee. Lots of coffee.
I write fiction. Sometimes things I write about include benevolent frauds, young immortals, the terrible and/or wonderful things people do for/to each other, and time travel. I don’t get too hung up on categorizing things: speculative fiction/fantasy/literary fiction/etc. I like: video games (the Final Fantasy series and the Assassin’s Creed series are among my favorites), SciFi/fantasy-ish movies and TV shows (Buffy, Black Mirror, Battlestar Galactica…), traveling (but I hate flying), photography (especially of abandoned places/buildings), myths, and, if this bio is any proof, parenthetical explanations.
Eckleburg: What captures your interest most in your work, now, as a reader of your work?
Nathan Tavares: Flawed characters who do and say things that punch you in the gut.
Eckleburg: What are you working on now?
Nathan Tavares: I’m working on a batch of new short stories and in the early stages of novel-writing while I try to get my book, Welcome to Forever published. In the near future setting of the book, the main character, Simon Fox, has the life he’s always wanted. The love of his fiancée, Claire. A cushy job as a golden-boy memory editor at the tech giant responsible for technological immortality. When he learns of Claire’s accidental death, he journeys through crumbling memoryscapes and constructed paradises to bring back the love of his (indefinitely long) life. It’s kind of journey through the underworld wrapped in a speculative fiction candy coating.
Eckleburg: Who and what are your artistic influences?
Nathan Tavares: Kurt Vonnegut, George Saunders, and Margaret Atwood are my holy trinity. Whenever I’m in a creative rut I’ll go back to them for a knock on the head of: BAM! This is how fiction makes you feel! It’s hard for me to pick one work by each of them that influenced me the most, but probably Cat’s Cradle by Vonnegut, “The Semplica Girl Diaries” by Saunders, and Oryx and Crake by Atwood.
Also, anything by Neil Gaiman, Flannery O’Connor, and Ray Bradbury.
Most of what I write has some scifi or magical realism bent, so I’m really influenced by introspective scifi films like Interstellar, Inception, Her, and Contact.
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