One Word Interview – Imagine

What would humanity be without our ability to imagine? To imagine is to look beyond the borders of our own personal here-and-now, allowing us to see new possibilities and new potential that has yet to be tapped. This month’s One Word Interview asks writers to respond to the word IMAGINE in 50 words or fewer – not an easy task because there is so much to say, so much that can be said. However, these authors brought their imaginations to the task and came up with terrific responses.


IMAGINE, (v), transitive. To open your eyes to what if and maybe and wow. To conjure up other people, other beings, other times. To take the impossible and, by sleight of prose, by twist of thought, give it the breath of life. To walk between worlds. Example, I can imagine…everything.
Beth Bernobich


When I saw “One Word Interview” I imagined something different. Like you’d ask questions and I’d answer them with one word. “What’s your favorite writing tool?” “Paragraphs.” “What are your sources of inspiration?” “Everything.” “What were the causes of the English Civil War?” “Bananas.” But this is cool too.
Charles Coleman Finlay


When I imagine Imagine, I imagine a blue winter afternoon with puffy white clouds sailing by and me laid out on the living room couch, staring out the window at the sky and snow covered bushes swaying erratically in the wind. Sweets, the calico, perches on my stomach imagining lunch.
Jeffrey Ford


Imagine there’s no humans.
It’s easy if you try.
No wizards questing.
Above us only sky.
Imagine all the goblins
Living through today.

Imagine no more slaughters.
It isn’t hard to do.
No fellowships to slay us
as they’re passing through.
Imagine all the goblins
Living life in peace.

You might say I’m–

-By Thark the Goblin Bard, who was killed in mid-verse by a band of dwarves searching for an enchanted toe ring.

Jim C. Hines

I imagine monsters and lurking things in the dark, that steal my children while I watch on the baby monitor. I imagine a future of collapse. I write to release these things from my mind, and perhaps, to force the doers in the world into action.
Sarah Langan


The word rushes me back to that dark day in 1980. I’d gotten a copy of “Double Fantasy” for my 11th birthday just a month and a half before and was already on my way to wearing it out, and suddenly, my idol was gone. “Imagine” was his eulogy.
Jennifer Pelland


Imagine is the power behind all fiction. The writer and reader together engage in that thrilling dare: to imagine. Perhaps all writing, art, music, or any expression or form of communication asks you to imagine. Imagine you have the power to change. Imagine you have the power to help.
Paul Tremblay


Imagine, to me, means a full and complicated kind of dreaming, the central work of making a book. It’s a combination of lucid dreaming, puzzle solving, spell casting, and actively modeling a whole spectacular /thing/ inside one’s mind. It is much harder than it seems, but that holding of a modeled object, story, world, is a highwire act that is a great pleasure and a great challenge to perform. We practice it all our lives, but the moments when we are best at it usually come with no warning but great surprise and joy.
Catherynne M. Valente

A look into windows of infinite worlds. Some worlds are good, some are not, but they all reflect the soul’s potential. If one imagines another’s imagining, it still creates soul-windows of self. And every window leads into a room, and in every room there are more windows.
Trent Zelazny

About Erin Underwood

BIO: Erin Underwood is the senior event content producer for MIT Technology Review’s emerging technology events. On the side, she reads, writes, and edits SF.
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3 Responses to One Word Interview – Imagine

  1. Pingback: March 23, 2011 Links and Plugs : Hobbies and Rides

  2. guyhasson says:

    This post reminds me of an article I wrote recently about the perils of an SF author’s overactive imagination:

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