Share this
Like us on facebook
For the latest news and reviews.




For the latest additions to the Usual Questions project, and other posts about writing see the Facebook page:


Robert Hood

answers the Usual Questions

Robert Hood at Aussiecon 3, photograph: Richard Hryckiewicz

Robert Hood at Aussiecon 3, photograph: Richard Hryckiewicz

Australian Robert Hood wrote his first novel in First Year high school, mostly during Maths lessons. "It was awful.", he says. "My first pro sale came about when I submitted a story (Orientation) to the Canberra Times National Short Story Competition -- and won. My second sale came in the same year (1975) while I was doing a course called "Prose Craftsmanship" at Macquarie University, under the tutelage of Thea Astley. She suggested I send a story to Radio National, who were doing paid readings of short stories one night a week. I sent Caesar or Nothing, which they took and then paid me more than they'd paid Thea for hers the month before -- much to her chagrin."

A large part of his life, according to Hood, is taken up bonding with and looking after cats. He also has a particular passion for giant monster films, zombies and ghosts (in fiction and on film, of course).

His work has included being a high school teacher, comedy writer for radio, on-air radio performer, journalist, cartoonist, research assistant and university tutor, and currently work as a graphic designer at the University of Wollongong. He also writes film commentary/reviews.

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

The major effect of fans/readers of my work is by way of confirmation that my stories speak to people other than myself. There's great comfort in that.

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

At an award ceremony once -- where my novel Backstreets had been shortlisted -- a group of Year 11 students sought me out to tell me that though my novel hadn't won, they were convinced it should have. The key moment, however, came when they said that they wanted to thank me for not assuming they were stupid and for not writing down to them. That is something I'll always remember and value.

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

H.G. Wells -- the writer who first inspired a love of speculative fiction in me. William Blake -- for his metaphysics.

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

I'd rather not be trapped in a lift with anyone, though having someone like Bruce Banner there could be useful in terms of busting out. We could discuss the nuances of having a rampaging beast with limitless power as an alter-ego before smashing our way out of the place.

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

Anyone who'd been in the gaming room at a scifi con for any length of time. From experience even moving from one floor to the next is pretty bad, let alone being trapped in the lift with them for any length of time.

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

My iPod, with the complete albums of Jethro Tull and Ian Anderson on it, as well as a selection of prog rock from the 70s (Yes, Rush and Genesis) through to 2010 (Radiohead, Porcupine Tree and Muse).

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

A large collection of really good stories and books.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

Seeing vague ideas become detailed worlds, and characters become "real" people in my imagination.

signature, autograph Robert Hood

submitted by Robert Hood

July, 2010

For other answers to The Usual Questions Click here

Just the facts:
Born: 24th July 1951 at Parramatta
Resides: Wollongong, NSW, Australia
Bibliography/Awards:Publications: over 120 short stories (crime, horror, SF, fantasy), three collections of stories, six novels (one later this year), five edited anthologies, 15 children's books, numerous articles, 8 plays, and various other works, including an opera libretto and an interactive narrative game for mobile phones.

1975 Canberra Times National Short Story Competition winner for Orientation 1989 Australian Golden Dagger Award runner-up for Dangerous Specimens
1990 Readercon Award (US) runner-up in the Best Collection by a Single Author category for Day-Dreaming on Company Time (1988)
2006 Ditmar Award for Best Collection for Daikaiju! Giant Monster Tales (edited with Robin Pen) (2005)
2005 William Atheling Jnr Award for Criticism or Review for review of Weight of Water at HoodReviews: Is this film a ghost story? (2004) -- joint winner with Jason Nahrung
2006 William Atheling Jnr Award for Criticism or Review for Divided Kingdom: King Kong vs Godzilla (2005)
2009 Ditmar Award (Best Fan Writer) for Undead Backbrain
Numerous Ditmar and Aurealis Award nominations

Web site:
Links (website/blog etc) Personal website:
Undead Backbrain
Undead Brainspasm
Robot War Espresso


For posts about Melbourne events, places, news, reviews, giveaways, see our Facebook Page: