|Pablo Diablo and his Burro of Doom--later named Pepito. Just admit, you know this looks awesome.|
The Inconvenience of Being Dead It had been an off kind of day up until this point, but to be fair, Oscar had never planned on waking up dead.The Inconvenience of Being Dead by Tigerach
Up till now, Oscar’s day had been mediocre at best and disastrous at worst. He had missed his alarm this morning and had to rush out the door to get to work. On his way there, he had almost hit two separate cats. Two separate cats. Almost hitting one cat was enough, but two? In retrospect, this should have been his first sign that something was amiss.
Once he got to work, his boss chewed him out for being late, in the usual, condescending way, where he never actually said anything negative to Oscar, but strongly implied that he was the closest thing to a horrible failure the company had ever seen.
A few questions I’ve received that are a little more specific than the FAQs, though I admit there is some overlap. I just wanted to address this.
Q: What is the purpose of Savannah as a character? She doesn’t seem to achieve much and she’s a bit two-dimensional.
A: Savannah isn’t so much a character as she is a plot device; her purpose is primarily to accentuate Nina’s removal from society. Where Nina is solitary and bookish, Savannah is social and vapid; I admit, I also played the teen pregnancy card, which was cheap, but it served a double purpose. Not only did it give the impression that Savannah lived for fun (and screw the consequences), but it allowed for the idea of this world to balloon out a little more; obviously Savannah is well-liked, so this didn’t inhibit her social image at all, and I think that speaks volumes for the Biopunk universe. Mind you, this wasn’t meant to peg her as a bad person, just as one that conforms perfectly to societal norms. I think something also needs to be said about how when I chose her name, I was sure to pick one that sounded the worst without being stereotypical of the rich blond girl.
Q: You’ve been hinting at darker sides for both Samson and Chris; what are they, and why didn’t they make a more prominent appearance in the book?
A: The dark sides of Samson and Chris are utterly different animals, so I’ll tackle them each separately.
First, we’ll talk about Samson. On the surface, he’s very likeable (a fast favorite, really). He’s gentle, morally sustainable, considerate, and just awkward and solitary enough to make him “adorkable.” While you could definitely argue that his inability to speak without stammering or his tendency to work himself into the ground count as flaws, they fall a little short of the stubborn, bitter attitude we see in Nina or the bottomless guilt we see in Chris (but more on that later). Of course, like most people, there are some bits of his past he’d rather keep buried; namely, his history as an alcoholic. A few years back, Samson legitimately had an alcohol problem that he managed to pull out of with willpower, his sister, and a lot of coffee. During Biopunk, he’s something like two years sober, and a lot more timid for it.
Q: Out of all the implications of biotechnological abuse, you chose one of the most cliche--organ theft. Why?
A: Because it’s cool? No, no, I do have a better reason than that. Admittedly part of it has to do with my tendency to prefer the grotesque--the squickier the better, in my opinion--but it’s also part of an appeal to ethos, a little challenge. There are few things that society truly and wholeheartedly proclaims as disgusting, but a physical violation of privacy is one of them. Would you consider a sex offender a sympathetic character? Of course not. That kind of thing goes way beyond the acceptable. So in what way would be an organ thief--someone who literally cuts you open and takes your insides--be any better? That goes beyond a violation of privacy; that’s just sick. Urban legends aside, there’s a real, global black market for human organs, and it’s a problem that tends to stay on the back burner of the news for whatever reason. (My theory is that it squicks people out! But that still doesn’t make sense, because fear sells. Ah, I digress.)
My point is, creating a character who does something so vile, so horrific, and somehow managing to bring the readers around to his perspective to pity him, is a challenge I gladly accepted. It challenges moral compasses, it causes insomnia. I love it.
...That and if there’s one thing I know about it’s human anatomy, all right?
Q: Speaking of insomnia, it seems to be a pretty common theme in Biopunk that your characters have trouble sleeping. Is this a stylistic decision, or a theme, or something else entirely?
A: In short, a lot of my characters have insomnia because I do. I often have a hard time sleeping at night--sometimes I have nightmares, sometimes I’m just a derp for whatever reason--regardless, the problem exists. I realize this may be a bit of unnecessary author appeal, but it’s just easier for me to imagine the type of character who gets in bed and stares at the ceiling for three hours than it is for me to imagine the type of character whose head hits the pillow and falls asleep instantly. I’ll admit that there’s a lot of me in Samson--I have a tendency to drink a lot of coffee and put off bedtime in favour of more writing, more art, more research. So basically, no, insomnia isn’t a theme, just a means to achieve my end.
Q: Animals are a common source of controversy when exploring bioethics and biotechnology--genetic engineering, breeding, chemical testing--with all these subjects, why is it never addressed?
A: For one, I never addressed it because it’s very easy to step on people’s toes with a subject like animal rights, and I didn’t particularly want to deal with all the specific controversies. For another, I considered it somewhat boring. Why handle animals when you can handle people? As controversial as animal rights are, there will always be that group of people who likes steak with its steak and doesn’t really give a hoot. When the subject is people, though, it’s a lot harder to brush off the topics as irrelevant. Again, a good deal of my work is primarily to make people squirm, so the more extreme, the better.
|Hi there, you can call me Tigerach. Or Tiger, or Rach, or Goggles, or Captain. I am a Christian first and foremost, however I am also a science fiction writer, an aspiring cartoonist, a weird-as-all-get-out artist and a Defective Detective. I like things that are spooky and ghoulish just because that's the way I am. I see dead people and I like it. Caffeine addict.|