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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the protagonists of your favourite books

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Science Fantasy

Oliver Muriel (of Lost Names, by AN Mouse)

Dear readers, joining me on the interview couch tonight is Oliver, ‘captain’ of a mercenary team. He’s here to tell us about his recent escape to Syama, why there are quotes around his title, and what it’s like living with professionals when you aren’t one.

Tell us a little about where you grew up. What’s the Ves like? Are all the stories true?

Depends on who’s telling them. Let me put it this way; there was a shootout in my apartment block. On my floor. I managed to get back to my apartment because I had sold the guy some scrap tech I had dug up a few weeks beforehand and he remembered me. The whole country is dirty. The buildings, the streets, the money. I mean, we’re in Syama now, and like, it’s bad but it’s not as bad. The worst part for me is that I don’t speak the language, but I’m learning.

You don’t have anything good to say about it? No cherished memories?

My cherished memory is the day we left. No, I’m kidding. The day I met the team. That’s kind of a weird thought, because I knew Ame and Rosa for years, we just weren’t close. And I guess the day I met Hastin wasn’t a very good day. All the time we spent together, though, for sure. Those are good memories.

What do you do now in Syama?

Well I’m not hauling scrap, that’s for sure. I’m a ‘co-coordinator’, which sounds hilarious when I say it out loud. They call me ‘captain’, and I don’t mind, but it’s a little more flattering than I deserve. I take care of the team. Make sure we have a place to sleep, things to eat, that we have a plan. I’m our first aid guy and our therapist. Hope of getting Hastin to a real doctor is pretty slim, eh, but we’re doing our best. Continue reading “Oliver Muriel (of Lost Names, by AN Mouse)”

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Victoria of Ourtown, aka Vic the Blade (of A Wizard’s Forge, by A.M. Justice)

Dear readers, tonight we are republishing an article from the premiere newspaper in Latha, on the fantasy planet Knownearth.

After Vic, a former scholar turned soldier, nearly killed her erstwhile captor, the newspaper issued a scathing article condemning her actions.

The newspaper has followed this up with an interview with Vic, to hear her side of the story. We publish this second interview in full. Read on to learn of Vic’s adventures, and what drove her from being a shy scholar to become a warrior and pick up the fight against Relm.


Last week, this paper published the news that Captain Victoria of Ourtown—aka Vic the Blade—had tried and failed to assassinate Lornk Korng, the Lord of Relm. The Monarchy and Prime Minister’s office have protested that the Heralds’ coverage of the incident was biased. As members of the Lathan free press, we stand by our story, but invited the Blade to tell her side. Much to our surprise, she granted an interview, published here in full.

Let’s start with some background. You grew up on the northern steppes. What was it like there?

It was nothing at all like Latha. Before I arrived here, I’d never seen a tree, much less a forest as big and dense as the Kiareinoll. The steppes could be beautiful, especially in spring when the snow shrank into the ground and the sun bathed the purple hills in golden light. But it was bleeding cold all the time, and in winter we had no more than an hour of sunlight a day. And the wind was endless. You’d think I’d have felt claustrophobic in the Kiareinoll, but somehow I’ve always felt more at home surrounded by trees than I ever did on the steppes.

What sort of things did you do as a child? Any special toys or games?

These aren’t the sort of questions I expected. You really want to know about my childhood? Continue reading “Victoria of Ourtown, aka Vic the Blade (of A Wizard’s Forge, by A.M. Justice)”

Bobby Rogers (of Anki Legacies by S. Shane Thomas)

Dear readers, tonight with me is a man born in space, and one of the first colonisers of an alien world.

He’s here to tell us about ancient conspiracies, about stone-age and space age, about archaeology and cryptozoology.


Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

My family was from Earth. My great grandpa Rob ran a conspiracy theory blog, it’s still archived at http://www.larc-scifi.com/LettersAboutRealConspiracies.html. The family lived in New England right up until the League of Atlantis Reborn Colonies launched its first colonial starship, the LARC1. I was born in space on the way to the planet Nibiru. I still live in the old colony now that it’s grounded on the planet.

Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?

I had a set of little plastic Colonial Security Force figures. My mom even made me a CSF costume for Halloween. I wore it until it fell apart! It’s no wonder I grew up to join the force.

What do you do now?

Now that we’ve discovered the shugarra and the CSF adopted the ancient transforming battle cloaks, I spend my days flying, diving, and tunneling Nibiru’s unknown regions searching for renegade Nefilim. Continue reading “Bobby Rogers (of Anki Legacies by S. Shane Thomas)”

Gabriel Kerr (of Manumission by E.R. Harding)

Dear readers, tonight on the interview couch is a man objecting to immortality.

In a world where a person’s consciousness can be transferred to another bio-frame, the corporation that controls this is king. He believes, like some, that the Metaform is the greatest threat to humanity in its authentic, natural and biological state.

He is here to tell us of his adventures.


Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

I grew up on part of Errik’s estate that was always called the Camp, or the Church. My Dad was a militant activist and he started the Soul Defence Force when he was quite young. My mum left when I was still a kid, so I don’t remember her, but dad was pretty mean and belted me a lot. I had a lot of mates growing up, and I was quite happy. Of course it was different when I got older. It was a lot less fun, and much harder work.

Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?

I didn’t have toys. I mean, I might have done when I was a baby, but I don’t remember them if I did. Life was all about training, and as soon as I was old enough, I was out on raids with the older lads.

What do you do now?

Life’s good now. I have enhanced intelligence, which means I learn stuff instantly and I never forget anything. I also have a really long projected lifespan, potentially unlimited actually, because when this bio-frame wears out I’ll buy another one. The life of a millionaire playboy could get a bit dull though, maybe. Oh yeah, there’s nothing to complain about now. Not really. Continue reading “Gabriel Kerr (of Manumission by E.R. Harding)”

Jazatar Baldrik, aka Jaz (of Trust A Few by EM Swift-Hook)

Dear readers, tonight we have something slightly different. A notorious criminal was recently released back into The City. After 5 years of brutal convict military service, he has to face up to a future with very limited prospects.

We could not get him to appear on the interview couch as a guest, as we lost track of him amongst the stars. Instead, we were able to replicate here the last pre-release report from the Coalition.


Report of interview with Jazatar Baldrik.

Pre-Release assessment final phase. Interview conducted by Specialist Interrogator Kilven, Coalition Security Forces. Interrogation Room 473.

Subject appeared slightly ill at ease, high levels of adrenaline recorded, several emotional peaks noted, none visible externally. Neurocological reports suggest the degree of honesty and self-revelation the interview required will have been a mid-level trauma for the subject.

So Jaz – You prefer I call you Jaz? Good – You have been serving a sentence with the Special Legion for the last  five years – and that means you must have committed a crime that is considered a capital offense. Can you tell me about that? Oh, and do bear in mind we’ll know if you are lying to us and if you do that could prejudice your chances of release.

Yeah. I know that. I’ve been wired to the Lattice long enough to know how it works. But, your question, what’s to tell? It’ll all be in my record and you lot ripped everything I ever knew about anything out of me when I was arrested. So you know I was part of a terrorist attack on a Coalition installation. If it’d worked it’d have screwed up Coalition control of the Varn Sector, but it didn’t – someone must’ve betrayed us because you lot were there and waiting. And you know what? The fact I had zero previous and a solid record as a merc fighting in your inter-corporate resource wars didn’t even get a mention at my trial. And you’ll also know I never liked those fanatics in the Legacy, I’m not going to have anything more to do with them. I only did it for my brother.

Ah yes, your ‘brother’ – not a biological relationship, but you felt a strong emotional bond for Avilon Revid, the leader of that terrorist strike. Do you still feel the same way?

About Avilon? Well now that’s an interesting question, because he’s not ‘Avilon Revid’ anymore is he? After your brain plumbers got through with him he’s a completely different person. He’s not got the faintest idea about what he was like before, only what he’s been told. So no, I don’t feel the same way – I feel it different. But no matter what he’s become he’s still my brother and I’m not going to let him rot if he gets out of this. Continue reading “Jazatar Baldrik, aka Jaz (of Trust A Few by EM Swift-Hook)”

Superior Mother (of Women of the Grey: Starburst, by Carol James Marshall)

Dear readers, tonight with me is the chilling leader of an alien race.

She is the Superior Mother, leader of the secretive Women of the Grey. They live amongst us, unknown to humanity.

She is here with her assistant, to answer a few questions.


Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

“It is understood among my kind that we do not question our leaders. Answers, my sweet, are earned. I hardly believe you have bothered to earn such information from me.”

With this Superior Mother sits back. There is a sense of cold in the air, almost like the first hint of autumn.

Did you have any favorite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?

Superior Mother learns in, seeming displeased.

“If I had known you were to ask my questions of such insolence I would have prepared myself to be entertained. Our kind does not play. We plan, we build, we watch, and when humans are busy with these toys you speak of, we strike. I do not understand how humans have thrived for so long, with concepts like toys.”

Superior Mother sits back, slowly shaking her head with the occasional tap of a ring on her index finger to the table. Continue reading “Superior Mother (of Women of the Grey: Starburst, by Carol James Marshall)”

Duncan Greyson (of The Arena by Santana Young)

Dear readers, tonight with me is a space-age gladiator. An accidental fighter, he was thrown into the arena when his father sold him into slavery.

He was trained to kill by the worst humankind has to offer. He was promised freedom but only if he can claw his way out from ever-mounting debt.

When a secret his mother took to her grave came to light, he became determined to leave Neo Roma.


Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

I spent the first eight years on a quiet farming colony called Janus Colony. Then the aliens called The Source attacked the colony. My mom died saving me and my little sister and I moved with my dad to another farming colony called Gaia Colony. People there liked to keep to themselves. I just tried to stay out from under my dad’s feet since he blamed me for mom’s death.

It didn’t work so well. He ended up selling me. Now I’m doing the rest of my growing up as a gladiatorial slave on Neo Roma where they like to remake whatever parts of Rome is convenient for them.

Do you have any cherished childhood memories?

My mom liked to tell me bedtime stories as a kid in her native Everen tongue. (I’m half human and half Everen, which is kinda like a genetically modified human.) She’d tell me about her homeworld she moved away from just before she met my dad. I liked to envision the horse farm she described or the heroes who helped bring the world out of medievalism and into the stars. Those are my favorite memories. Sometimes they’re all that keep me sane. Continue reading “Duncan Greyson (of The Arena by Santana Young)”

Maëlcolm (of Ilavani by Kaelan Rhywiol)

Dear readers, tonight with me on the guest couch is a member of the ruling family of Erieria, on the colony planet Ilavani.

He views his status as a prince as unfortunate. Trained in the arts of espionage and BDSM, all he wants to do is remain a companion.

He’s here to tell us about his struggles for self fulfilment.


Your name is Tourmaëline – did I pronounce it correctly?

It’s Mal, name looks funny when you spell it in English, but it’s still a derivative of Malcolm, my Companion name is Tourmaline, we take our Companion names after the house we trained in.

Mal, then.

That’ll work.

We know from your publicity packet that you’re a Prince? A Righ’sa, right? But what does that actually mean on your planet?

What do you think it means? It means loss of everything I ever wanted for myself. I have to give up my calling as a companion to serve the Righ’sea, the monarchy, by doing something I don’t want to do.

What does a companion do?

Anything we’re paid for that doesn’t violate our code of ethics. Sometimes we’re paid to go to dinner with people, sometimes to sing, or talk about art, sometimes to have sex with someone. That writer, Joss Whedon? He came close to what a Companion does on Ilavani in that show he wrote… Firefly.

Your role is more complicated than that, though, isn’t it?

Mine is, I’m the Guild head of the IGC-Interplanetary Guild of Companions. I chair the board that makes our laws. It’s going to be really hard to give all that up. Continue reading “Maëlcolm (of Ilavani by Kaelan Rhywiol)”

Emily Branwell (of Plato’s Cave by Russell Proctor)

Dear readers, tonight with me on the interview couch is a young woman who woke up one morning to find reality disintegrating around her.

From a horoscope that is astoundingly accurate, to sausages which keep appearing out of nowhere all around her, to how she can walk through walls.

She is here to tell us about humanity’s search for truth and the meaning of existence, through the eyes of someone who wishes the Universe would just stop bothering her.


We never meet any of your family. What are they like?

My parents are lovely people. My dad works as an accountant and Mum is a registered nurse. She’s a great person, despite boring people to death with her encyclopedic knowledge of the novels of the Brontë sisters. She really should go on one of those quiz shows. Dad collects Star Wars memorabilia, which is kind of cool. I’m an only child. That is, I did have a brother but he died of cancer. I was only four at the time so I don’t really remember much about him.

What do you do now?

What I did before. Study, bitch, drink coffee and indulge my chocolate addiction. But I don’t know…things are different. The sun is…have you ever seen the Sun? I mean, stared at it for ages, felt the warmth of it on your skin—really felt it, like fingers massaging you? My senses seem to have gone up a few notches since…well, since that time. Things just appear different. It’s hard to explain. Continue reading “Emily Branwell (of Plato’s Cave by Russell Proctor)”

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