interviews Andy Remic, author
of the upcoming military science fiction novel BIOHELL.
MilSciFi: "Welcome. What was your inspiration for your
Remic: "BIOHELL began life with two discrete threads.
The first was my distaste at Microsoftís operating system monopoly and its
comedy pricing system; the second was the horror at so many people undergoing
vanity surgery, and the subsequent comedy outcomes. This led to the creation of
NANOTEK, a massive Quad-Galaxy hardware and software conglomerate, and its
market-dominating creation, the Biomod Human Upgrade, a series of nano-robots
which can alter the effect of the end-user and improve the product to create
Beautiful People. In the novel, this system is then abused to a massive degree
by a beauty-junkie population high on the effects of perceived self
improvement. Blending the two ideas, I thought it would be fun to explore what
happened when this dominating technology went seriously wrong."
MilSciFi: "Do you have any future plans for
stories set in the same universe?"
Remic: "Yes, the first book WAR MACHINE was set in the
same universe, and the next novel, HARDCORE shares many characters, but
all three books Ė whilst exploring a massive story arc of war and
archaeological degradation Ė can be read independently. The next novel,
HARDCORE, follows the theme of medical deviation, and the first draft is
practically finished. Which means Iím not letting go of Combat K just yet!
After HARDCORE, Iím starting a new cycle of high-action kick-ass SF novels, but
will keep returning to the Combat K universe to add, expand and explore these
superb and deviated mix of maniac characters Iíve created."
MilSciFi: "What would your ideal project be
if you could plan your own anthology?"
Remic: "Definitely an anthology of short stories by my
favourite writers, all linked by a common theme Ė for example, a future SF
society where future SF has been outlawed, under punishment of organ removal.
So weíd have Iain Banks, Ken MacLeod, James Lovegrove, Eric Brown, Ian Watson,
Terry Pratchett (itís been way too long since heís done SF), William Gibson,
Charles Stross, Piers Anthony, Tony Ballantyne, Grant Naylor, Ian Graham,
Jeffrey Thomas, Scott SiglerÖ God, I could go on all evening!! It would be
great fun co-ordinating and maybe collaborating with all these cool writers."
MilSciFi: "What other upcoming works are on
the horizon for you?"
Remic: "Iím working on a hardcore visceral fantasy with a
touch of machine vampirism, soon to be announced in the press. It will be a
faster, more vicious and hard-hitting fantasy than ever before penned! (or so
the marketing blurb goes). Honest!!"
MilSciFi: "How would you describe your
experience working on the book?"
Remic: "Exhausting! BIOHELL is the longest book Iíve
ever written, and I think I put down about 200,000 words, then cut it back to
165,000. And to keep so much energy and action rising towards a satisfying
climax was a true feat of endurance. Iím going to climb Everest next, itíll be
a damn sight easier!! However, thatís not to say the process wasnít immense
fun. There isnít much in life that can beat writing the climax of your new
novel (although a couple of things do pop into mind) and itís just awesome to
finally see it in print. So, overall, an exciting, if tiring, writing marathon."
MilSciFi: "If you had a chance to write one
story just because you wanted to, and didn't have to worry about if it would
sell or not, what would it be about?"
Remic: "To be honest, I write the stories I want to. I always
have. Itís some kind of weird miracle that several editors have thought my
books were marketable! If I didnít write exactly what I wanted, I wouldnít be
able to put my total undiluted enthusiasm, heart and soul into a project. And
without that, my work would be shit. And itís not, itís exciting, fast-paced,
kick-ass, and I try my damned hardest to provide as much entertainment per $ as
is humanly possible. After all, I write to entertain. Unfortunately, when
writers start performing like monkeys in a circus freakshow (it happens), their
work ends up diluted and devoid of passion. Whether you like it or not, my
books have passion by the truckload!"
MilSciFi: "What is your favorite story you
have ever written and why?"
Remic: "My latest novel BIOHELL is without a shadow of
a doubt the best thing Iíve ever written, and my overall favourite storyline of
all time. I think itís a distillation of many ideas which have been gestating
for two decades, and then married to a kick-ass combat squad with many touches
of black humour. For example, in what other novel does a lead character drag
his eight-foot transmogrified and mutated girlfriend around the war-torn
landscape on a lead?"
MilSciFi: "Give us the details on your
upcoming author appearances."
Remic: "Iím a bit quiet until next year, when Iím doing some
book signings and attending Eastercon in the UK. After that, Iíll just have to wait and
see who invites me"
MilSciFi: "What advice would you give the
aspiring military science fiction writer?"
Remic: "Be completely anal about every sentence you write, make
sure you get it right, work harder than hard and be as persistent as a terrier
on a leg. Stephen King gives excellent advice in his On Writing, and
what I like about Kingís book is that itís totally down to earth, realistic,
lacking in bullshit. The best piece of advice good old Kingy gives is ďomit
needless wordsĒ, so I shall say the same. Omit needless words. Trim the trash.
Cut the crap. Make your sentences sparkle!"
MilSciFi: "Who is your single-most influence
in science fiction and what impact have they had on your own work?"
Remic: "Iain Banks. He is SF God. I love his books, but do
not in any way emulate them. Iím a lot more visceral and horror-based than
Banks, whereas his wide-spanning Space Opera and invention of the Culture is
just superb. So, although heís one reason I write science fiction, and thus has
influenced me to write in this fabulous arena, his words do not directly
influence my writing. I write like Remic. And thereís only one (thank
MilSciFi: "What is the one thing you find
most difficult about writing military science fiction?"
Remic: "There isnít anything. Itís all just brilliant."
MilSciFi: "Do you have any awards you would
like to share with us?"
Remic: "I won a couple of Hugos back in 1967Ö no, thatís a
lie. Hmm. Awards. Iíve never considered them, and it would appear they donít
consider me. Haha. I donít write for awards, I write to entertain Ė myself, and
my audience. Thatís what interests me, if I can provoke emotions, make a reader
laugh or cry, or grip the edge of their seat with excitement and excrement Ė
then my job is done and Iím a happy bunny."
MilSciFi: "Do you have a website where our
readers can go to fine more information about your work?"
Remic: "Yep. Itís www.andyremic.com and I have a drivel-filled
blog where I drivel on pointlessly, at andyremic.blogspot.com. You can also check out
my publishers at www.solarisbooks.com.
Can I also mention some recent podcasting Iíve ďperformedĒ, that of my first
novel SPIRAL and my recent military SF novel, WAR MACHINE, both available
totally free from www.podiobooks.com."
MilSciFi: "Do you write under any other
Remic: "No. I like my name. Itís kind of furry and squidgy at
the same time, and gives me considerable joy and comfortÖ like a pipe of fine
old tobacco, and a friendly *vagina*."
MilSciFi: "Is military science fiction the
only thing you write, or is there something else out there we should be looking
Remic: "I consider myself a writer, and over the years in my
vast learning curve to the point of publication, have written in most genre
fields. Horror, fantasy, SF, and even some inky squidgy little childrenís
books. I think, though, with SF, and action-fuelled SF in particular, I have
found a particular forte in which I shine, although Iím also very enthusiastic
about the hardcore fantasy stuff Iím working on. I intend to be a pioneer
writing in the field of psycho fantasy, providing an impure distillation of J.
R. R. Tolkien, Sam Raimi and Arnold Schwarzenegger."
Comedy Zombie, Halloween 2008.
*Censorship Notation* This word has been reviewed by MilSciFi.com's Political Officer(s), and deemed acceptable for viewing by most (but not all) individuals over the ago of 18; no one under 16; and some adults over 40."