An Interview with Brian Niemeier

Nethereal - Brian Niemeier

I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by author Russell Newquist. Russell will be publishing the interview in three parts over at his blog.

The first part is up now. In it I discuss the SF and other works that influenced my Soul Cycle series of novels.

Here's an excerpt from my conversation with Russell:

Where did the inspiration for The Soul Cycle come from?
My influences don’t overlap much with other authors in my genre. I drew inspiration from some classic SF books and films, but the rest is mostly 90s anime, JRPGs, and tabletop RPGs. I’d also be remiss not to credit my otaku and gamer friends for helping me refine my ideas and giving me several new ones (see my books’ acknowledgments).
Which works and authors would you say influenced the series?
In terms of classic SFF: Frank Herbert’s Dune and H.P. Lovecraft’s Dream Cycle. Also Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”.
A partial list of other influences includes: Star Wars, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Dante’s Divine Comedy, Ghost in the Shell, Akira, The Sandman by Neil Gaiman—especially Season of Mists. Folks have pointed out similarities between Nethereal and Outlaw Star, but I already had the story sketched out before I watched the series.
What was your favorite moment of the series to write?
My series highlight moment is a sequence one-third of the way into Souldancer. Unfortunately, it doesn’t lend itself to spoiler-free description. I’ll just say that it’s a confrontation between the dual protagonists, when both characters lay all their cards on the table.
Read the rest of Part 1 here. Parts 2 and 3 to follow soon.

Thank you, Russell, for asking me the sorts of questions that authors love to answer but are seldom asked.

For you readers, the first book in the Soul Cycle, Nethereal, is available on Amazon.

As is its highly acclaimed sequel, Souldancer.

If you like what you read, please follow me on Twitter.

UPDATE: Part 2 is now available here. In this installment, I discuss the genesis of Souldancer.

Souldancer - Brian Niemeier

UPDATE 2: The third and final part of the interview is up. Check it out!
charmander iron man


  1. Very nice interview. The rest should be pretty interesting.

    Though I am surprised that you wrote it before seeing Outlaw Star. Not for any similarities but for the tone. That's not an easy mood to set.

    1. Glad you're enjoying it. Russell came up with questions well worth pondering.

      Re Outlaw Star: imagine how surprised I was when I finally watched the series!

      I shouldn't boast, though. I had seen all of Outlaw Star well before writing the final draft. There was plenty of time for it to sink in.

      You're right about the mood. The only other property I've seen nail it is Firefly--which I also didn't see until after Nethereal's plot was pretty much in place.

      Must've tapped into some kind of zeitgeist...

    2. Hey, I just asked what I wanted to know. Especially all the stuff in part 2 about "what's actually working for you to sell books!" ;)

    3. This bodes well. You're asking the right questions :)