Five Questions: Re:mote Voices
1. Why do you blog?
I started writing for the internet in 1997, I guess it was pretty much blogging even back then. Initially I put together a website as part of project for an IT post-grad, which I then looked into setting up properly after the project was done.
The reasons for keeping going are mixed. Partly I jokingly think of myself as a cultural explorer, blogging to document my discoveries – travels through familiar territories, creeping out all the time into books or films I’ve never encountered before. My enthusiasm is for the new, for the different, for something that gives me a buzz of excitement and the document is my attempt to share that feeling, to try and let other people know about what is out there.
Sometimes it is hard. So much to read, to see, to do, and so little time. So I always feel so much further behind than I really want to. And yet I still keep going. Driven regardless, to chuck in my tuppence as much as I can.
2. Which author and/or book has most influenced you?
Undoubtedly this is something which will vary. Though there are authors that have a persistence. Thinking about it, I guess they are the authors who had the most impact on what I read, how I think about writing, how I would like any fiction I wrote to feel.
Classically, and still strongly I would have to say William Gibson. His sprawl trilogy was pretty challenging when I first read it, and really changed the way I looked at science fiction. More recently I’m influenced by a certain degree of magic realism, what I think of as a kind of peripheral fiction – something that has a strong element of the real, which is just knocked that edge off kilter by something weird, magical or absurd. For that it would be a toss up between Haruki Murakami and Russell Hoban, with Hoban’s easier to relate to London novels, and quicker turn around feeding the hunger probably edging him in front a notch.
3. Which three blogs do you most visit?
There are so many blogs. I try and have feeds for as many as possible so I can keep up with them but its hard.
The first is easy – William Gibson‘s blog at: http://www.williamgibsonbooks.com/blog/archive.asp and perhaps more importantly the discussion board that comes with it http://www.williamgibsonboard.com/, since between the two they create one of the best senses of community I’ve come across online.
Second would have to be Warren Ellis, the comic writer. Though he has so many strands, lists and blog that all pop into my mail box or feeds. Primarily I read his mail blog Bad Signal, which he posts direct as email, secondarily is his website at: http://www.warrenellis.com which I read as a feed, together they create his big picture.
Third? Probably Ian McDonald at: http://ianmcdonald.livejournal.com/, though he doesn’t blog enough. So i guess really its more often Mick Farren at: http://doc40.blogspot.com/
4. Why do you read fiction?
The obvious answer is escapism. To get away from the grind of the day job and all that kind of thing. But its also because i enjoy it so much. There are so many options, so much variety, so many genres. With fiction there is always the anticipation, what are you going to read next, how is it going to go, are you going to come out the other side disappointed or loving it, or even transformed by the experience? One of the biggest joys is finding something that you would want to read again, or even give to someone else and say – read this, i think you’ll like it!
5. What makes you laugh?
Not necessarily what makes other people laugh, not necessarily what I should laugh at. Something ironic. Something weird. Something clever and inspired. Something absurd and wonderful.
Peter Morrison blogs at Re:mote Voices, which can be found here: http://remotevoices.blogspot.com