Notes from New Sodom

... rantings, ravings and ramblings of strange fiction writer, THE.... Sodomite Hal Duncan!!

Thursday, September 02, 2004

"So Are You A Big Fan Of Star Trek, Then?"

Cue snarling, frothing at the mouth and mutterings of phrases like "soulless, ball-less, spineless, corporate wank... ya fucker".

Had me first ever interview yesterday afternoon, a by-product of the impending launch of fellow Glasgow Science Fiction Writer's Circle member
Gary Gibson's first novel, Angel Stations. Glasgow's main daily tabloid, the Evening Times, seems to have taken a shine to the idea of this little group of scribblers that's been working away for 15+ years, with one member or t'other now cracking through into novel deals, Year's Best anthologies and other such successes. And ye know - thank fuck - the question I've used as headline above didn't come up at all. Not once. Jesus and the Sodding Gerbils! I thought that was a requirement of membership in the NUJ. At the end of the day, I suppose, we do kinda have to wait and see how the story gets played by the sub-editor and suchlike (assuming it does actually make the paper), but I feel quite optimistic. And Gary, Mike Cobley of Shadowstuff fame (being yet another one-time GSFWC'er) and meself did at least have the nous to:

a) pick a smart venue - Stravaigan, the cocktail and cuisine capital of Glasgow's bohemian West End;
b) turn up without an anorak between us (one plastic bag, though. Damn it, Cobley, have ye no sense, man?);
c) not speak in those pointless sub-Pratchett circumlocutions burned into the brains of media geeks who've watched too many Red Dwarf reruns;
d) not crack bad jokes based on an in-depth understanding of the geography of Tolkien's Middle-England (sorry, Middle-Earth);
e) actually make sure the conversation was about fucking BOOKS!

Given a shitty article on WorldCon 2005 that came out in Glasgow's broadsheet, The Herald, recently, do I really expect anything other than an appalling pun headline and a few references to sad geek boys all clearly suffering from the delusion that their cretinous techno-wank might be considered "literature"? Could it be? Is it possible that for once a Glasgow newspaper might represent the medium as something other than the domain of sweaty-palmed adolescent computer-nerds? Well, one reassuring thing is that they actually want a photograph outside the Glasgow Science Museum as opposed to, say, the big blue Dr Fucking Who police box on Buchanan Street. No deelyboppers. No lightsabres. No fucking gazing up into the fucking sky at fucking UFO's.

So maybe, just maybe, somewhere in the hour and a half of us trying to pound the reality - the New Wave and the New Weird, the cyberpunk and the Sumerian myth, etc., etc., etc. - into the poor journalist's skull, maybe she's found just enough sound-bites and ideas to splice together into a wee story about this bunch of writers all plugging away for a decade or more and, one by one, starting to hit paydirt. Writers with wide-ranging interests, mule-headed determination and - shock, horror, stop the press! - the actual fucking social skills required to deal with other human beings... if you exclude my potty mouth and chain-smoking. It's possible. It's just bloody possible. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I bet they still call us Sci-Fi writers though.



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