Interview with Albert Aykler, Author of Praeceps
08 Jun 2023
What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Praeceps?
I was down for the count with a bad belly and watching the weather out of a hotel window in Hué, Vietnam. I started daydreaming about a world where it never stops raining and that time between the computer minds of today and those of some super future Iain Banks future. I wanted to explore my version of the awkward in between time in an awkward place.
If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Praeceps, what would they be?
Panza’s is definitely “Monkey Chant” by drummer Glenn Kotche. Rubii’s would be “My Machines” by the band Battles.
For Precips City, a character in its own right, something like “Gravity Drops” by Chemical Brothers would fit.
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
The last seven or eight years it’s what people call Science Fiction. But I make plenty of room for literary stuff that dips into that genre as well as more surreal literature. And non-fiction is the stuff that feeds my imagination. But I’ll read just about anything.
What books are on your TBR pile right now?
Children of Ruin, the third in the Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Children of Time series. A Brief History of Equality by Thomas Piketty. And basically all of Marlon James’ stuff – I’ve dipped in enough to know I could burn some days in it.
What scene in your book was your favorite to write?
I enjoyed everything with Scipio. He wasn’t in the original outline and, much as he appears in the book, kind of wangled his way into the middle of everything with a good wit and high level ass-kickery.
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)
Nope. None. I type my first drafts blindfolded while chewing chili peppers and crying like everyone else.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
Live by? Maybe not. But I keep this one on my desk, “Where it is the duty to worship the sun, it is pretty sure to be a crime to examine the laws of heat.” John Morley said that.
I don’t know much about him except that quote and that he was against the eight hour day, which qualifies him as a bit of a turd. Just goes to show that wisdom and foolishness mingle more freely than we like to imagine.
If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?
All of us conscious beings are in this together and that’s probably the point.
Albert Aykler is the author of the new book Praeceps
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