Juggling Reality: An interview with Keith Brooke

Paul Raven @ 16-06-2010

[ This interview was done for Futurismic by Mike Revell, and sent in literally about three months ago; thanks to the chaotic events of my personal life around that time, it never got added to the publication schedule when it should have been. I present it now with my thanks – and profound apologies – to Mike, and to Keith as well. Thanks for your patience, gents. ]

Thirteen months ago, in a creative writing seminar at the University of Essex, Keith Brooke walked into the room dressed in jeans and a faded shirt, and sat behind his desk at the head of the class. The murmur of idle student chatter fizzled and faded at a brief smile, a ruffling of notes.

He didn’t look the sort of man to have invented a time machine. But now, one year and two novels later, it would certainly explain a lot if he had done.

As well as teaching at the university, Keith runs their website, too; he created, and for many years maintained and edited infinity plus, a vast online home for speculative fiction that has since spawned a number of printed anthologies; and he has written a plethora of short stories and novels. His most recent book, The Accord, was published in March last year and received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, while the eagerly anticipated The Unlikely World of Faraway Frankie is due out was published in April.

I caught up with him last week and talked the internet, storytelling, and managing a myriad of different realities. Continue reading “Juggling Reality: An interview with Keith Brooke”


INTERVIEW: BRUCE STERLING on Caryatids, Viridian and the death of print

Paul Raven @ 11-02-2009

Bruce SterlingNovelist, pundit, design theorist and iconoclast – Bruce Sterling is all of these and more, and is one of the people that the Futurismic project has always looked to for inspiration.

Sterling has a new novel called Caryatids out at the end of February, the writing of which has somehow been shoehorned in between him bouncing around Europe, lecturing on design theory and keeping an eye on the maelstrom of global multimedia culture and politics.

He was good enough to cave into the pestering of this irredeemable fanboy and answer some questions about the new novel, the closing of the Viridian Green project and the relentless demise of science fiction print media. Continue reading “INTERVIEW: BRUCE STERLING on Caryatids, Viridian and the death of print”


ESSAY: JAMES MORROW on why he wrote Shambling Towards Hiroshima

Paul Raven @ 05-02-2009

James Morrow - Shambling Toward HiroshimaJames Morrow is a novelist with a reputation for satirising organised religion, but his new book Shambling Towards Hiroshima mashes up the original Godzilla movies with the nuclear attacks on Japan which ended the Second World War.

Given the opportunity to ask the man some questions, the first thing that leapt to my mind was to enquire as to why Morrow had decided to write about the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, and why he’d choose to mix in monster movies as a subtheme – despite the potential risk of being accused of irreverence or outright frivolity, or of resurrecting dead issues. It is Futurismic‘s very great privilege to play post to his response.

How I Shambled Towards Hiroshima

by James Morrow

Saint Thomas Aquinas famously remarked, “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” The same principle applies to classic American and Japanese monster movies. To one who loves this sort of cinema, no explanation is necessary. To one who does not, no explanation is possible.

As a school-age kid living in a sterile Philadelphia suburb in the late fifties, the culture of old horror films spoke to me in much the same way that God speaks to the theistically inclined. Thanks to my parents’ crummy little black-and-white television, plus my subscription to Forrest J Ackerman’s Famous Monsters of Filmland, I routinely enjoyed revelations from that wondrous and exotic celluloid realm. To see a chopped-up, truncated print of King Kong revived on late-afternoon TV was an authentically religious experience for me, and any broadcast of the 1956 Godzilla wasn’t far behind. Continue reading “ESSAY: JAMES MORROW on why he wrote Shambling Towards Hiroshima”


Why Nancy Kress has gone to the Dogs

Paul Raven @ 03-07-2008

Nancy Kress - DogsWhile probably best known for her seminal sf story “Beggars In Spain” and the novel it grew into, Nancy Kress has authored twenty-three books (including thirteen sf novels), and won at least one of every short fiction award worth having in the science fiction field.

Her newest novel – a technothriller entitled Dogs – is about to hit bookstores everywhere in the middle of this month. Futurismic was proud to be offered the chance to ask Nancy some questions about Dogs, her writing in general, and – as it’s a subject that plays a strong part in much of her fictional output – genetic engineering and biotechnology.

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PGR: You’ve been writing about genetic engineering and its consequences in your novels for quite some time now. What was it about the field that initially sparked your interest?

Nancy Kress: What interests me is that this – unlike, say, FTL – is the future happening right now. Food crops are already being massively engineered (despite all the political problems with this); so are animals. Even humans have taken the first step by genescanning in vitro embryos in fertility clinics and choosing among them for implantation in the womb. Continue reading “Why Nancy Kress has gone to the Dogs”