The guiding principle of Six Ridiculous Questions is that life is filled with ridiculousness. And questions. That only by giving in to these truths may we hope to slip the surly bonds of reality and attain the higher consciousness we all crave. (Eh, not really, but it sounded good there for a minute.) It’s just. Who knows? The ridiculousness and question bits, I guess. Why six? Assonance, baby, assonance.
1. Tell me about your favorite book, film, painting, and/or album that doesn’t exist. You don’t have to be the (future, potential) creator though you could be.
That’s actually easy. I’d go for David Cronenberg’s unmade 80’s insect-themed comedy called Six Legs. The plot followed an entomologist who stumbles across addictive insect meat on a Caribbean Island. Apparently, it was to be a little bit like Ghostbusters – these strange guys running around in a van with a bug symbol on it. I’d pluck that out of the voidspace.
2. Those of us on the left (and, frankly also in the middle) are quite hacked off about the US Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision and what it implies for individual rights in America. What’s one right you’d like to take away from the sort of people who think Dobbs was a good idea, said people being everyone from Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Amy Coney Barrett to the average right-wing yokel dragging their knuckles through America’s ill-kept streets?
That’s easy, I’d take away their right to have kneecaps.
3. Say you’re a walrus, and you’re invited to an important dinner at your boss’ house, what would you wear? And what would you be telling yourself in the pre-dinner pep talk you would doubtless be giving yourself on your ice floe while waiting for your Lyft to show? Would there be specific rules you’d suggest be followed by yourself? (Yes, there would be rules…3 at least. Please be specific. In addition to the literal scores(!) of writers who intermittently peruse Six Ridiculous Questions, there are indeed many a walrii engaged in same.)
Well, that all depends. What’s my occupation? Is my boss also a walrus or am I part of some broader, more inclusive zoological conglomerate? But I suppose I’d go to any Arctic dinner in my best sweater vest, flipper-mittens, and tusk-warmers. I’d remind myself to simply follow the basic dinner etiquette that elevates all sentient professional walrii to the level of their human counterparts – eat slowly with my mouth closed, pass bread to the right, and avoid political discussion topics like the fucking plague.
4. You live in a grimdark version of our very reality. What would a day in your life look like? What percentage of your/our current reality would have to change to make this so?
I wouldn’t have to change a thing. My life is already as grimdark as the most outlandish amoral dystopia. The part of my reality I’d like to change would be my sleep schedule. I’d function better with a few extra hours. Unfortunately, my job and my 10-month-old baby will not permit it. Damned grimdark existence.
5. Obsidian toast: Please discuss.
Goes great with Abyssal Jelly and Void Soup.
6. “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things…”
When mayhem comes,
When chaos strikes,
When it’s clobbering time.
It’s time to call upon my favorite “things”-
-those “Things” that are real—sublime
Chris Kelso is a British Fantasy Award-nominated writer and editor. Aside from his 15 novels/novellas, 2 short story collections and 2 non-fiction books, his work has been published in – 3 AM magazine, Black Static, Interzone, Locus magazine, 3-Lobe Burning Eye, Daily Science Fiction, Antipodean-SF, SF Signal, Dark Discoveries, The Scottish Poetry Library, Invert/Extant, The Lovecraft e-zine, Sensitive Skin, Evergreen Review, Verbicide, and many others. He has been translated into French and is the two-time winner of the Ginger Nuts of Horror Novel of the Year.
Kurt Baumeister has written for Salon, Electric Literature, Guernica, and others. His debut novel, a satirical thriller entitled Pax Americana, was published by Stalking Horse Press. He is currently at work on a novel, The Book of Loki. Find him on Facebook, Twitter, or at www.kurtbaumeister.com.