“I’m Done With Fiction”: A Conversation with Chris Kelso

Chris Kelso

We can only hope that it is a posture of frustration and new growth into so many other areas that led Scottish writer of science fiction and horror, Chris Kelso, to utter such a fatalist statement in the title at the age of thirty-two years old. Kelso is also a filmmaker, illustrator, and musician and by day a [*gasp*] high school English teacher. Since publishing his first short story at twenty-two in Evergreen Review, Kelso has been responsible for twenty-five books (nineteen books of his own—fifteen novels, three story collections, one non-fiction work—and six anthologies he edited or co-edited). He’s been nominated for a British Fantasy Award and some of his work has been translated into Spanish, French, and Sweden. The books cover a wild, weird range of topics, styles, and even quality, but the world would certainly suffer to be deprived of more Kelso works of fiction. Luckily, we have three recent volumes of his fiction to enjoy—his best works, he claims—before his first foray into non-fiction is published next year. This forthcoming book brings together two topics very close to Kelso’s heart, the writer William S. Burroughs and Kelso’s home, Scotland. The book involves Burroughs’ time in Scotland, mostly in pursuit of his Scientology fix, and is simply titled Burroughs and Scotland, but with the subtitle: Dethroning the Ancients: the commitment of exile (Beatdom Books, 2021). In the Appendix, Kelso provides his first published short story, “Naked Punch (redux),” which illustrates his debt to Burroughs.

Continue Reading