Siân: Today I’ve set up a challenging environment for the fantastical C.S. Boyack, aka Craig, author of the hoopiest, twistiest speculative micro and macro-fiction on the planet, in a far-flung orbit of creativity! You saw what I did there, huh?
Craig’s a pioneering type and waxed long and eccentric when I asked about his preferred, year-long, castaway requirements. So, as I’m currently working on something in the furthest flung of galaxies, I’ve cherry-picked a rather spiffy desert planetoid that isn’t infested with giant semi-sentient worms, for him to go play in the biiiig sandpit…
Craig: Wait, a year? I thought this was a trip to a recreation planet! I’m calling that travel agency. I like deserts, and grew up in one, but at my age maybe one with a hot spring and a bar or two. I mean, I’m sure it’s nice and all, but–
Siân: Yes, well… sounds like a case of ‘be careful what you wish for’ with the hot springs, Craig!! At least you’ve got guaranteed sunshine…
Anyhoo, let’s get right down to your desert planet paraphernalia manifest! We can have a bevvy or three while we’re looking that over – you can have any known drink around the Universe, including a Pan Galactic Gargle-blaster… Oops! I spoke too soon – looks like we’re very low on rum again.
Craig: Why is the rum always gone? Maybe just a nice glass of porter, a nice big glass.
Siân: Ah – an aficionado of the dark and cream are we? We have it chilled or ambient Dublin style – however you like it!
Moving swiftly on – let’s get a quick look at your entertainment selections.
*checks off the baggage list*
- Dwight Yoakum’s Greatest Hits
- ZZ Ward
- ZZ Top
- Pirates of the Caribbean Box set
- 20000 Leagues Under the Sea – 1954 edition
- Around the World with Niven – 1956 edition
You like your classics, huh…?
- The Mummy Series
- Pinky and Brain
- John Wayne movie assortment
Siân: Hmm… very revealing! Now! Before we get stuck into that little lot I’m intrigued to find out what you’ll be taking down with you as your ‘luxury item’ on this arid little hell-hole?
Craig: Ha! Got you there. I’m bringing Lisa Burton, and you can’t accuse me of bringing a friend, because she’s a robot. She also comes with the B.A.G, and that stands for Big Assed Gun. Semi-sentient worms, take that.
Siân: They’re not so bad – it’s the Goliath land crabs you’ve gotta watch out for!
OK, I’m sure Lisa will do up to most things with her BAG and the other gizmos! Now, let’s have a close-up look at your entertainment selection before we venture onto the literary frontiers…
Dwight Yoakum’s Greatest Hits
Siân: Dwight’s new to me but I really like fusion music and he’s done some brilliant covers on here, Elvis, Prince (or indecipherable Squiggle), Sheryl Crow – hoopy stuff!
Craig: I got caught up with Dwight Yoakum’s greatest hits while writing The Playground. It only applies to a character named Clovis, but the background music of Fast As You kept going through my mind while I wrote The Playground. Not for every character, but for Clovis, my anti-hero. (Seriously, play it in the background and read his chapters.) . It hasn’t let go either, and that rockabilly style is calling to me on a future project I’m calling The Hat. This will be a paranormal avenger kind of story. Seems kind of fitting that Dwight does one called A Thousand Miles From Nowhere. Maybe he should call it billions of miles from nowhere for this trip.
Siân: A Thousand Light Years from Nowhere makes a good trip anthem for you, I believe… :-P It’s a very big galaxy out there!
Siân: Not come across this lady before either, but this number instantly caught my eye!
Craig: Whilst surfing through Pandora one day, I discovered her music. She’s got an amazing voice, and her music really appeals to me. I love Put The Gun Down, and she has a fantastic voice for this kind of music. I think she’s a rising star, and hope she does well. Plus I might need a gun out here on a desert planet. Will there be wifi?
Siân: Erm, yes – probably… Oh yeah – you’re bringing your own solar panels, aren’t you?
*absently checks list again* Yep! Heavy firearms are mandatory for this resort – hope you’ve been getting lots of practice in at the firing range recently!
Siân: Now, I can see the attraction for you here… 😛
You’ve gone for Stages from the Afterburner album!
Craig: Right, I want to round my musical selections off with ZZ Top. I’ve loved ZZ Top since they first came to prominence. Stages is a favorite of mine, and maybe it’s appropriate for whatever kind of rocket-ship you’ve found to deliver me.
Siân: Em… well, we’re using a sort of retro industrial-sized Star Trek beamer – it’s more steampunk and has a cute baroque feel to it…
Pirates of the Caribbean
Craig: I believe you said I could have some movies. I’ll take the entire Pirates of the Caribbean series. Can you send me a copy of the new one when it comes out? How deserted is this place? Will there be a theater somewhere?
Siân: ??? Is there something you don’t understand about the term ‘castaway retreat’, Craig? Nope. No theaters, but we can get the next one over to you easily enough.
Soundtrack’s on all of them’s not so shabby either! Do you have a favourite movie from this franchise?
Craig: I love mash ups, and paranormal with pirates is just so creative. I think my favorite has to be Dead Man’s Chest. Davy Jones has to be the coolest character in decades. I loved Imhotep and Gollum, but Davy is the best. These films also do double duty with the soundtrack.
Siân: Bill Nighy must have been in make-up soooo long! Worth it though.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Siân: You were very specific about wanting the classic mid-fifties version for this – I’m actually impressed that the effects are still looking as good as they are!
Craig: The effects were outstanding in their day. Not everything has to be computer generated. They had good stories behind them, and that’s the important part.
Around the World in Eighty Days
Siân: Ah! David Niven… what a Phileas Fogg he made! He was a hell-raiser who was actually tougher in real life than on the screen. Did you know he had an illustrious WW2 on active service with the newly formed Commandos. That led to the formation of the SAS and SBS units post-war?
Craig: I heard some of that years ago. Many of the old Hollywood types had a history you rarely heard about. The most recent one that came out was Hedy Lamar.
Siân: That reminds me – hope you have some strong sun-screen. The UV levels are brutal down there.
Siân: I love how Brendan Fraser doesn’t put a foot wrong in these movies, with the comedy never getting in the way of him being a true action-hero. Rachel Weiss is great as well!
Craig: They were fun and creative. A new spin on a classic. The idea of the seven plagues at Imhotep’s disposal is brilliant. I think there’s always a bit of room for some humor in all stories.
Pinky and the Brain
Siân lead-in: This was ‘must see’ Saturday morning TV in our house. Do they still make them?
Craig: Sadly, their run is over, but they are one of my favorites
John Wayne catalog
Siân: This was such a great film for John Wayne, even though it was close to the end of his career. Westerns were never the same when he finally hung up his cowboy hat!
Craig: The Shootest was the last one, and that was great too. People don’t often remember how many times John Wayne won World War Two in his films these days, but his westerns are outstanding.
Siân: Oh, man! I just hope you have the time to get through all that lot in between pacifying the local critters. I’m glad you’re not taking Otto with you – he’s far too sweet and juicy!
OK – time for my favourite part. The books! Who’s going to be on your nightstand?
Siân: They all come with a great pedigree! I just got some random choices there, but of course, you’ve got your own favourites.
Craig: They inspire me for their originality. I’m sure none of them single-handedly created a genre, but they all seemed to put the cherry on top. Maybe that should be Cherie. We have some near future science fiction, some steampunk, and some urban fantasy. These folks do, or did in Creighton’s case, it well and we can all enjoy their stories. Writers could learn a thing or two from them as well.
Siân: Well, Craig – it’s been a real hoot looking over your essential supplies. If you do get any downtime down there on Sandpit Central, I’m sure you’ll be well entertained. Don’t mind the Goliath land crabs too much – they’re quite tasty I’ve been told… That’s if the BAG can get through the exoskeleton without vaporising all the meat!
Now, if you and Lisa could make your way into the Transmat Portal, I’ll see you in a coupla lunar cycles. That’s roughly 12 months in Earth reckoning. Enjoy your extra-terrestrial sabbatical!
Craig on Craig
I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.
I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.
I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.