Friday, September 21, 2012

~Questions and Answers with Paul Magrs~

I was lucky enough to meet Paul Magrs at last years Teslacon where he was one of the three guests of honor, along with George Mann and Gail Carriger. While his books aren't overtly Steampunk per se, I would agree with his moniker of Chintz Punk, the Brenda and Effie books being about the Bride of Frankenstein running a B and B in Witby, they do contain Steampunky elements, besides just being awesome books. Also, we can not discount the fact that he has also written numerous Doctor Who books, both traditional items of paper and glue and the less traditional, audio. Doctor Who has so many elements of Steampunk, I would in fact say that it's probably the most mainstream Steampunk out there.

Needless to say, because of Teslacon, no one can say Steampunk to me now without me thinking of and then highly recommending Paul's books. Paul was happy to participate in Steampunk Summer and in fact, this silly little Q and A, of which he fully embraced the openendedness of the questions, is just a taste of what's to come... wait for it... all October will be Magrs Month! Make sure you come back! Hopefully this will whet your appetite.

Question: What is the definitive Steampunk book for you?

Answer: It has to be George Mann’s The Osiris Ritual*, which I bought on a whim when I found it in Waterstones, soon after it first came out. I knew I would adore it, and I did – and all the others in the series. Reading it was the beginning of a great friendship, too.

*George was a guest at last years Teslacon, and is participating in Steampunk Summer

Question: What drew you to this genre?

Answer: I think it would have to be Peter Cushing and Doug McClure in ‘At the Earth’s Core’ at Darlington ABC Cinema in 1976. And then ‘Talons of Weng Chiang’, the classic Doctor Who story broadcast the following year. The idea of Victoriana combined with monsters has never ceased to haunt me since then.

Question: How do you take your tea?

Answer: Sweet, spicy and milky.

Question: Must have sartorial accessory?

Answer: I’ve just found a silk and wool tweed jacket in a secondhand shop and it’s vintage Harrods. It’s wonderfully light to wear.

Question: Sartorial leaning: Street Urchin, Tinker, Explorer or Aesthete?

Answer: Aesthete on the beach.

Question: Top hat or bowler hat?

Answer: Bowler, I think. Though Panama above all.

Question: Subgenre you most identify with: Boilerpunk, Clockpunk, Dieselpunk, Gaslight Romance, Mannerspunk, Raygun Gothic or Stitchpunk?

Answer: Chintz punk.

Question: If there was one thing that could truly exist from the world of Steampunk what would it be?

Answer: Brenda’s actual B+B. When I’m in Whitby I long to be able to go round her house and sit in that attic and have a cup of spicy tea with the ladies. It’s ridiculous, but I always know that something’s missing when I’m there, and it’s visiting that attic sitting room.

Question: If there was one element in the Steampunk genre you could remove forever what would it be?

Answer: I do find guns dreary.

Question: Favorite movie or television series with Steampunk elements?

Answer: I’d have to say the single episode of ‘Evil of the Daleks’ from 1967 that still exists. Daleks menacing an antiques shop and time-travelling by using mirrors. A perfect piece of telly. Oh, and ‘At the Earth’s Core’, of course.

Question: Preferred mode of transport: celestial, aether, terra firma or aquatic?

Answer: Celestial Omnibus.

Question: Favorite Queen to have had a diamond jubilee, Victoria or Elizabeth?

Answer: Quentin Crisp.

Question: Victorian or Wild West?

Answer: Victorian

Question: Would you like an automaton butler or ladies maid, considering that it might be the first step in the robotic apocalypse?

Answer: A teasmaid would be heaven. We used to have one, but it broke. It lit up with this gentle amber glow and started hissing with steam at 7.30am. It played music and poured your tea for you.

Question: If The Doctor showed up at your door, where would you go?

Answer: Anywhere. Absolutely anywhere. It’s no use specifying a particular place. Those are the stories that go horribly wrong. Just let him twist the dial and see where it takes you, I say.


Quentin Crisp! Ha.

Someone should make Paul and George Superheroes in a steampunk universe. That'd be the best.
...ok, too meta.

Paul Magrs, George Mann... don't wait for the translation, buy their books now!

I second that heartily! And, I would totally read a comic about them being Superheroes!

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