I was thrown up into this wicked world some years ago, and have used my time unwisely in the interim. I studied English Literature at Kent, followed by a MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies, accolades achieved diis hominibusque plaudentibus. Verbose, cacophonous, endlessly and unapologetically self-amused. Fond of bawdy humour and grotesquerie; favourite authors include Chaucer, Shakespeare, Rabelais, Gogol, Poe, Angela Carter, Chester Himes, and Roland Topor. Twitter: @TewkesburyChort; GoodReads: goodreads.com/thecowsuckingbag. Do let me know if you need a dogmatic and/or crude opinion on something within my bailiwick.
What inspired you to write ‘Le Shorte-on-Imagination d’Arthur: One’s Ambivalence and Worsening Irritation Regarding Tidhar’s By Force Alone (2020), and What The Book Seems To Emblematise’ (Issue 4)?
The prospect of wittering on about inconsequential matters is always an appealing one, but specifically I suppose that I’m rather well-equipped to talk about the tropes and twaddle of contemporary fantasy, and I figured it a fun exercise to put some thoughts to paper when I had a text that handily emblematised said tropes, and what’s more completely blindsided me with them. The very fact that any platform would willingly elect to exhibit my particular brand of witless babel is enough to make one convulse with ugly laughter.
Could you give us an insight into your writing process?
I refuse to start any piece of writing until I have raised a glass of Rhenish to my oil portrait of Titian, swapped my shoes on to the opposite feet, and listened to Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition very loudly, in its entirety or until the bottle of Rhenish is empty, whichever comes first. I only write to the symphonies of Stravinsky and only read to the operas of Shostakovich. If I am lost, I arbitrarily select a page from my New Oxford Shakespeare and divine the way forward via the first quote my eye falls upon that seems vaguely applicable. When I am found, I celebrate with a grotty pork pie. My only companions in my hours of writing are the devil at my shoulder directing my pen, the image caught through clouds of memory of my lost love Perdita, and the beautifully bound book of erotic French lithographs that I keep to honour her memory. I do no writing on Thursdays, nor when the moon is waning.
What do you consider to be the most enjoyable or important aspect of science fiction or fantasy, and why?
Once upon a yonder I’d have wanted something novel. Now I principally want something good.
I like my sci-fi deceptively clever and housed in stupid ideas, or based on absurd ideas taken as far as one can take them, and I like all genre fiction that sticks resolutely and impenitently to its whack concepts. Detailed character descriptions of disgusting goblin men, or the sort of characters that only genre fiction can produce, is also much appreciated; none of this glossing by characters with nary a thought for how they look save their social status clothing or the colour of their hair. Belabour every wart and wrinkle, and descant on every sordid sin.