I had not considered doing an interview before getting an email from Andy Remic saying that he was looking to advertise his new book Theme Planet. I initially dismissed the idea due to having no idea what questions I should ask, bug then I stopped being a cissy and decided to ask the questions I would like answered. So this is a completely selfish act. If you’ve read my end of year post then you know that Serial Killers Incorporated was my favourite book this year so I’m rather chuffed to be able to bring you this interview.
Tony: What question would you most like to be asked in an interview, and what would your answer be?
Andy Remic: How about: “Is you new magazine, ULTIMATE ADVENTURE MAGAZINE, a mad and global success?” – and the answer – “oh yeah, baby!!” Visit www.uamag.co.uk to check it out, it’s FREE and has with lots of reviews and features, plus an interview with horror legend GUY N. SMITH, ultra-marathon runner Dr Andrew Murray (John O’Groats to the Sahara Desert!) and incredible SFF artist Vincent Chong.
Tony: When I think of your books I always think of main protagonists that are really horrible and yet compelling. Is this deliberate or is it just how your mind works? Is there another one of these in Theme Planet?
Andy Remic: I don’t want to write about flower arrangers – unless they have an uzi in their bouquet. I think, deep down, even my horrible characters have a streak of goodness; of humanity. That interests me greatly, the bad person who is forced to be good, or chooses to be good, or perhaps has taken the wrong path in life and is seeking redemption. I love the inner turmoil that creates within a character; within a person. The worst and most psychopathic character I created, I think, was Callaghan in SERIAL KILLERS INCORPORATED, a womanising drug-snorting hedonist who gets sucked into a world of gun-runners and serial killers. It’s insane, but he still has a streak of humanity… and the book concerns his ultimate search for his good side. SERIAL KILLERS is currently on special offer at Amazon for £0.99p. Bargain!! 😉
With regards Theme Planet specifically, this is a good man, a London cop who is pushed way way beyond the edge of reason and normality when his wife and kids go missing on the alien-run Theme Planet. He’s forced to make a lot of moral choices, and ultimately, analyse his own soul and humanity.
Tony: In your email you said that you think Theme Planet is your best work yet. What makes it better?
Andy Remic: Err. It just is. It’s not only the culmination of 15 years planning (in my head- I had the idea back in about ’95 or ’96), but I suppose it’s a distillation of everything I’ve learned as a writer so far. And I just damn well enjoyed writing it so much. It’s a fun adrenaline rush with lots of goodness. Like a vast alien rollercoaster ride, I suppose 😉
Tony: Is there one line of dialogue that you are particularly proud of?
Andy Remic: There’s an insane rant…. here, let me give it to you (although over 18 warning coming up – kiddies should cover their ears/eyes, because it’s not nice:
“You think you were a f****** good husband, well I’ve got something to tell you, mister, I hated every f****** second of it, hated your smiles and jokes and the slaps on my arse, I hated our walks in the park, hated our fancy meals in posh restaurants with so-called educated c**** looking down their noses at us, I hated our cosy evenings in with bottles of wine and movies, hated cuddling up to you on the sofa, resting my head on your chest as you pawed my breasts and fumbled between my legs like some high school virgin…” She released the pressure for a moment, and Dex gurgled, froth at his lips, and she got herself a better grip and yanked tight again with a grunt of effort. “…but the worst thing of all, you miserable little bastard, was the sex, feeling you squirming inside me like a f****** maggot in a pot of honey, thrusting and humping me like a side of sick beef – well I want you to know, Dexter, before you die, I faked every f****** sigh of pleasure, every tiny murmur of contentment, every moan of enjoyment, every squirm of fun, I faked every screaming, bed-thumping orgasm, I faked every bite and suck and f***, because you were the worst, Dex, the worst I ever had – and to top it all, I gave you two kids, two screaming, parasitic little f****** whom I should have strangled at birth. So think on that as you crawl your way down into that pit of Hell. Think on that, Dexter, my love, my life, as I strangle the last atom of oxygen from your dying, worthless, pointless f****** carcass!”
So, it’s a flowery poetry piece then. 🙂
In my Combat K SF novels, there’s a bit where Franco Haggis, after just sleeping with an alien, says, “Damn that alien VD”. My publishers wanted t-shirts printing with that immortal legend on.
Tony: Given the amazing array of sub-genre categorization these days how would you define Theme Planet to ensure it is on exactly the correct shelf?
Andy Remic: SF thriller. No black comedy this time. Sorry to fans of Franco Haggis, but this is a straight and nasty work, very much in the mould of my first novel SPIRAL. It’s deadly serious. Here, let me give you the blurb:
“The novel follows Dexter Colls, a dirty grizzled Earth policeman on his trip to the Theme Planet with his family; the entire theme planet is an alien theme world with wild wild rides! However, when his wife and children disappear, and the entire planet seem to turn against Dexter, he realises the Theme Planet has some terrible secrets…”
“It’s better than sex! It’s better than drugs! If you haven’t been sick yet, you soon will be… Welcome to Theme Planet, an entire alien world dedicated to insane rides, excessive hedonism and dangerous adventure. Operated by the Monolith Corporation, Theme Planet is the No. 1 destination for fun-seeking human holidaymakers Galaxy-Wide! Amba Miskalov is an Anarchy Android, an assassin/torture model fitted with a Quantell Systems v4.7 KillChip. She is beautiful, merciless and deadly, and blends perfectly with her human superiors. Sent to Theme Planet on a dangerous assassination mission, Amba stumbles upon a plot to undermine and destroy Earth’s all-powerful Oblivion Government and its Ministers of Joy. But Amba is twisted, damaged and decadent and this rebellion poses Amba a problem: to remain loyal to her creators and tormentors, to support the enemy or annihilate them all.”
Tony: In the blurb for Theme Planet the Assassin droid is called an “Anarchy Android”. Is this paying homage to your new publishing enterprise? Or am I reading too much into it?
Andy Remic: The novel Theme Planet came first, and I was well into writing it before the publishing idea – as I said, TP was planned a loooooooong time ago. When I was casting around for a name for the publishing enterprise, it just went click. It fit. It reminded me of the Sex Pistols and The Clash. It was cool. 🙂
Tony: Talking of Anarchy Books (see what I did there?) I know I for one am hoping it doesn’t affect your writing output. How is your publishing venture going?
Andy Remic: It’s good. It’s settled down now and I’ve found my little niche. It was incredibly mentally busy to begin with, and I have a massive new-found respect for editors and publishers alike. I used to look at editors and think, “What a cushy little number you’ve got, pootling away over an MS with your red pen, sipping wine and making the occasional correction”… [that’s a joke, by the way, heh]. No, there’s a lot more work involved than you (or indeed, I) at first thought. But it’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s thrilling goddamit! However, just like Benny, the taxi driver in Total Recall: “You make me wish I had three hands”.
Tony: I know it isn’t related to your latest book, but what preparations have you made for a Zombie Apocalypse?
Andy Remic: I recently bought a very large house with out-buildings and a gatehouse (the big ol’ place is 250 years old). I am going to convert the gatehouse into a bunker with a tunnel to the house, with lots of tins of beans and bottles of whiskey. When the Apocalypse comes, I will drink and flatulate my way to kickass zombie-chainsaw-massacre glory!!
And on that bombshell, a Merry Zombie Christmas!!