1. How do you get past the annoying Issues when writing?
My only annoying Issue is my own dedication, or lack of it. I still have massive lapses, so I’d say that’s one that’s not yet dealt with at all 🙂

2.Would you have liked to attend Clarion as a student?
Not Clarion South- most of the tutors who have taught there I consider peers, rather than mentors. One of the US Clarions, or Odyssey, maybe, but I’m never going to have the money so it’s all a bit moot.

3.What is your superpower?
The power of failure.

4.What is your biggest issue with your own writing?
How long is a piece of string? I hate every single aspect of my writing. I’m not good enough, successful enough, famous enough, talented enough, skilled enough, whatever enough. I keep plugging away in the hope that one day, maybe, I’ll craft something worthy of being remembered. But frankly, most days I think I’m slipping farther from that goal the harder I try.

5. Who’s writing *always* provides you with pleasure, and you’d be happy to read their shopping list?
Nobody. Even writers I’m big fans off, like Jonathon Lethem and Chuck Palahniuk, have had at least one stinker, which means I approach each book with a slight veing of caution. Of course, I’m still approaching their books, so perhaps that’s a sign that I retain faith in their ability to satisfy me.


1. What is, ultimately, your dream writing gig?
Full time, on my own cognizance, choosing whichever project interests me as I go. My writing fantasies revolve not so much around any particular ‘dream project’, although there are certain media tie-ins that would be fun, but around the fantasy of independence, answering to nobody but myself. Yup, I’m destined to die disappointed 🙂

2. Why did you choose to get married at a Swancon?
All but a few people we would have invited were going to be there anyway, we’d already paid for the venue by booking a membership and room, and the idea of combining something traditional and non-traditional suited our attitudes at the time.

3. Zombies have been big lately, but I personally think they’ve peaked again and the impetus has died off. What’s the next big trend in horror?
Penguins. You heard it here first.

4. Who plays you in the film of your life?
Hmm. I’d like some great heroic actor of the age– a Burt Lancaster or Laurence Olivier. I’d be more likely to get Dom Deluise or Cheetah.

5. Tell me – as briefly as you like – a treasured childhood memory.
I don’t really have any treasured childhood memories: mostly, even the good times were tempered by bullying, or isolation, or upheaval. Perhaps– evenings during school holidays in my late teens, wandering along the seafront by my home, alone or with one or two friends, eating a hotdog, standing outside both the darkness of the beach and the lighted strip of shops, feeling like the world existed without me and all I had to do was observe as I wished. How’s that?


Okay, I bit, over at Grant’s and Callisto’s LJs, so by the rules of the game I have to pass it on. So:

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me!”
2. I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will post the answers to the questions (and the questions themselves) on your blog or journal.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions. And thus the endless cycle of the meme goes on and on and on and on…

Gwan then.


Two iconical television SF actors died during the week: you can take your pick as to whether Ricardo Montalban was best known to SF fans for his role as Mr Roarke in the fantasy sitcom Fantasy Island or his turn as Khan in the TV and film versions of Star Trek. I never watched Fantasy Island, and am no fan of Star Trek, so his impact on my own fandom was nil, but it can’t be denied that both shows have large and attentive fan bases, so his passing will be noted by many.

Of greater significance to my own, personal, karass was the death of Patrick McGoohan, who played the titular character in the groundbreaking series The Prisoner, amongst other things. I first discovered The Prisoner a few years ago through friends John and Sarah Parker, and became an instant devotee, immersing myself in the twists and turns of the show to the extent that Lyn and I were able to deliver a presentation at a recent convention asserting that the show itself represents a psychological journey on the part of Number Six, and that the various Number Twos represent the varieties of ‘adult’ personality he must choose between before he makes his return to the world of responsibility.

Like all other fans of the show I’ve talked with, I’ve been waiting for McGoohan to reveal the true narrative of the show, and validate all my wild theories and second guesses. Enigmatic to the end, he revealed nothing, and we are left only with his assertion that the clues are all there, to be pieced together as we may. Forty years after screening it is, to me, still the most complex, intriguing, and bedeviling piece of television ever made. It is slightly saddening that McGoohan never again reached such heights—two Emmys (for Columbo, of all things) and a brilliant star turn as Edward I in Braveheart seem scant reward for such an iconic personality. But I am a fan, fascinated as much by the man himself as his works, and I shall miss the hope that, even at 80, there may have been some great project still to come.