Interview with Dan Koboldt

February 2015

1. Can you tell us a little what your story, "Going Viral," is about?

My story is a near-future science fiction about two researchers who discover the universal cure for cancer, their struggle to prove it, and how they deal with the fame it brings them.

2. How did you come up with the idea?

I happen to work in the field of genetics, and this story is a mashup of two of my favorite things: cancer research and virology. I like the idea that a small group of dedicated researchers can make world-altering discoveries. The team that discovered the double helix structure of DNA is one great example. Rosalind Franklin, a member of that team, was an inspiration for how the story ends.

3. What is your inspiration for writing as a whole?

I enjoy playing with words, as many writers do. What inspires me the most is when I read an outstanding story or book by someone else. I love the fact that writing is a craft, something that takes some natural ability but mostly hard work over the course of years. It's a challenge, in that sense, and I love a good challenge.

4. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and have lived there most of my life. By day, I work as a genetics researcher for the Genome Institute at Washington University, one of the laboratories that took part in the Human Genome Project. On the fiction side, I write what I love, which is adult science fiction and fantasy. I'm represented by Jennie Goloboy of Red Sofa Literary Agency. She and I are seeking publication for my first novel, about a Vegas stage magician who takes his high-tech illusions of magic into a medieval world where they have the real thing.

5. Where can listeners find more of your work?

The best place is my author web site,

6. Any new work we should keep an eye out for?

I host a weekly blog series called "Science in Sci-fi, Fact in Fantasy" in which we discuss some of the common elements in SFF with help from an expert in the field. So far, we have about 25 articles from scientists, engineers, medical professionals, historians, horse ranchers, you name it. You can find all of the articles here:

7. (And just for Juli's curiosity: What are you reading now?)

I just finished a Joe Abercrombie standalone, BEST SERVED COLD, and now I'm reading Pat Rothfuss's THE NAME OF THE WIND.

Editor's Note: If you enjoyed this story, you might be interested in reading the whole anthology, "The Time It Happened," with many more great stories. It's available on Amazon and Smashwords.

Copyright Third Flatiron Publishing 2014