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Rjurik Davidson

answers the Usual Questions

Photograph Rjurik Davidson; 220x165

Rjurik Davidson

Rjurik Davidson is the author of short stories, essays, screenplays and reviews. His collection is called The Library of Forgotten Books.

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

Just a little. It's always nice when someone comes and says, "Write more of those stories." There's nothing like that to make you think, "Yes, I should write more of those stories." In my case, it's particularly stories set in the city of Caeli-Amur that people seem to like. But I'm always conscious of trying new directions also.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

Once a man said to me, "You wrote The Interminable Suffering of Mysterious Mr Wu. That story affected me just so much, it just made me ... " He gestured to himself. I was so taken aback that I stammered something like, "Oh thanks..." It's the first time anyone said anything like that and it stays with me.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

I tend to go through phases: I love a particular writer's work, obsess about it, read it all, recommend it to others, rant about it late at night over vodka to all and sundry, and then some time later come to a more measured opinion. Some of these writers, in rough chronological order from my teenage years onwards, are: Tolkien, Ursula K. LeGuin, H. P. Lovecraft, Tolstoy, Harlan Ellison, Peter Carey, Jeanette Winterson, Paul Auster, Robert Silverberg, Philip K. Dick, Samuel Delany, J. G. Ballard, M John Harrison, Alice Munro. Traces of their influence can be found throughout my writing.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

Philip K. Dick. He was a great conversationalist - ideas spinning off at a rapid rate. Though hopefully his rumoured paranoia wouldn't kick in. Maybe he'd think I'd organised the lift to break down. Maybe he organized it in order to test me: to see if I had convinced him to organize it. Maybe I had. Maybe god organized it to test us both - so perhaps there is a larger force at work that neither of us have yet perceived. Maybe Dick would show me a coin with my head on it, and in response I'd show him one with his head on it. Who knows?

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

Sarah Palin. Or that woman from The Nanny with the wailing voice. That would be bad.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

Computer - sad really isn't it? But we keep so much of our lives on them. I like peanut butter too. And Camembert. In fact a really good chef would be nice. I am aware, you know, that I'm not listing only one thing. Sorry.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

Stories that make people see the world afresh, and so think about their own place in it anew. Man, that sounds kinda heavy. But I think that's part of the famous 'sense of wonder' that science fiction is famous for.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

Finishing something where you think, "Wow, I really achieved something there. That's really something."

submitted by Rjurik Davidson

26 February, 2010

For other answers to The Usual Questions Click here

Just the facts:
Born: Melbourne, Australia
Resides: Melbourne, but I've also spent time in France and the U.S.
Bibliography/Awards: A couple of Ditmar awards and a bunch of shortlists for awards.

Web site:


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