CT Phipps – Exploring the Boundless Realms of Speculative Fiction

From Ashland to Otherworlds: A Literary Exploration

PHOTO: CT Phipps, the imaginative force behind captivating science fiction and fantasy worlds,
delves into his literary inspirations and latest creations.

CT Phipps is a prominent figure in the realms of science fiction and fantasy, hailing from Ashland, Kentucky. Immersed in a rich tapestry of influences ranging from comic books and Dungeons and Dragons to the eerie allure of Cthulhu and other esteemed genre fiction, Phipps has crafted a distinctive path in the literary world.

Armed with a Master’s degree in Literature, Phipps’ realization of the boundless possibilities within storytelling spurred the decision: “Hey, I can actually do this too.” This epiphany served as the catalyst for a journey into the creation of compelling narratives that blend elements of speculative fiction with captivating storytelling.

Phipps’ work resonates with a blend of diverse inspirations, weaving intricate tales that bridge the gap between the fantastical and the introspective, inviting readers into worlds both familiar and fantastical.

What’s your favorite book no one else has heard of?

The Titus Crow series by Brian Lumley. It was my favorite comfort read in college combining science fiction, fantasy, pulpy action, and the Cthulhu Mythos. I love genre blending writing and while Brian Lumley is no small name, it’s one of his lesser-known series.

Are there any classic novels that you only recently read for the first time?

Ringworld by Larry Niven is a recent read. Fantastic book.

Who are your favorite writers? Are there any who aren’t as widely known as they should be, whom you’d recommend in particular?

I am a huge fan of Troy Denning, Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood, Timothy Zhan, Michael Stackpole, Margaret Weis, and Tracy Hickman. People I grew up reading during my teenage years as a fan of both Dungeons of Dragons as well as Star Wars. I think people sometimes underestimate the value of books that just exist for fun.

What do you read when you’re working on a book? And what kind of reading do you avoid while writing?

Stephen King’s On Writing had the “Milk in the Fridge” rule when discussing writing. Basically, whatever you put your milk up against will taste like it. This was his metaphor for saying that you will write whatever you’re reading at the time. I try and surround myself in the genre of whatever I’m presently working on. If I’m writing cyberpunk, I watch The Matrix and play Deus Ex. If I’m writing the Supervillainy Saga, I watch a lot of superhero movies. If just works.

What genres do you especially enjoy reading?

I enjoy cyberpunk, high fantasy, detective fiction, and Weird Westerns.

Who is your favorite fictional hero or heroine?

A tie. Raistlin Majere of the Dragonlance Chronicles. Molly Millions from Neuromancer. Raistlin Majere is a character that reads very differently when you’re 14 and 40. When you’re 14 he’s one of the coolest characters ever, being a dark wizard who is going to show a world that scorned him that they were wrong to do so. When you’re 40, you realize that the vast majority of his problems are all of his own making. Molly is just cool, sexy, and full of spirit. She influenced me a lot in the kind of heroines I like to read and write.

What is your favorite work?

My favorite creation is probably a tie between The Supervillainy Saga, a parody of superhero comics and movies that is now on its 9th book, and Cthulhu Armageddon, which is a post-apocalypse dark fantasy. They’re as different as night and day but I feel like both show what I can do as a writer. The Supervillainy Saga is full of pop culture references, jokes, quips, and hilarious situations but a lot of heart. Cthulhu Armageddon by contrast is about perseverance in the face of an existential crisis. Very Stephen King’s Dark Tower meets Fallout.

Why do you write humorous fantasy and sci-fi?

For me, I feel like laughter is the best medicine and I absolutely love world play and fun. Even Cthulhu Armageddon, my most serious work, is something where all of the characters are wise guys. I’m just pathologically incapable of writing books without that bit of irony and self-awareness that just naturally leads to jokes.

What is your latest release?

Moon Cops on the Moon, which is sort of the sci-fi sibling to my Supervillainy Saga series. The premise is that the protagonist, Neal Gordon, has gotten himself reassigned to the galaxy’s worst precinct: the moon. Teamed up with a talking dog, an ex-TV star, and a host of other oddball characters, he’s got to figure a way to get himself out of Luna City before the city gets him killed. However, he might just do some good along the way.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on two books simultaneously. The first one is the final Supervillainy Saga book, The Rise of Supervillainy. The other is the final Cthulhu Armageddon book, Cthulhu’s Canyon.

Testimonials, Praise (if any):

“Tight, gripping action scenes underpinned by serious emotional themes.” – Grimdark Magazine on Cthulhu Armageddon

“I guess since I don’t consider myself a huge comic book, superhero, or fantasy nerd but reading through this book in a couple days tells me that maybe I am more than I thought.” – Brian’s Book Blog on The Rules of Supervillainy

Excerpt from the book:


Spotlight title idea for the interview (if any):

The Wizard of Weird

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