2016 Snapshot: Aidan Doyle

AidanDoyleInterview by Helen Stubbs 

Aidan Doyle is a Melbourne based writer and computer programmer. His first short story was published in Aurealis in 1993. He attended Clarion South in 2009 and has since been published in places such as Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Fireside, Escape Pod, and PodCastle. He has been shortlisted for the Aurealis and XYYZY awards. He has visited more than 90 countries and his experiences include teaching English in Japan, interviewing ninjas in Bolivia and going ten-pin bowling in North Korea. He is an Associate Editor (evil slush monkey) at PodCastle and is also the author of The Science Fiction Writer’s Hierarchy of Doubt. http://www.aidandoyle.net, @aidan_doyle

Can you tell me about your most recent publication?

The Bee Tamer’s Final Performance was recently published as a PodCastle short story audio original. It’s the tale of a mutiny aboard a circus fleet run by bees who live in the skulls of undead clowns. I’m ridiculously fond of it and there has been some wonderful listener feedback. http://podcastle.org/2016/06/14/podcastle-420-the-bee-tamers-final-performance/

The Bee Tamer's Final Performance_emojiI also had an interactive fiction story published in sub-Q. Kotodama is like a choose your own adventure story where you take on the role of a robot sent to deal with an outbreak of dangerous poetry in Tokyo.

kotodama-aidan-doyle-coverWhat else have you been up to lately in the speculative sphere?

One of my blog posts earlier this year got some attention after Neil Gaiman, John Scalzi and others tweeted links to it. The Science Fiction Writer’s Hierarchy of Doubt explains why true happiness will always be out of your reach.

I recently started slush reading for PodCastle, which has been an interesting experience. I’m enjoying seeing the submission process from the other side. It has also reinforced how you can’t afford to have a slow opening with a short story.

I have also been having too much fun turning my stories into emoji. Since I wanted to learn how to automate the processing of word documents (I work as a computer programmer), I wrote a windows program to extract key words from documents and output an image file with matching emoji.

What’s coming up next for you?

I have a short story coming out in Daily Science Fiction called The Robot’s Guide to Online Dating. Practical advice and useful tips for robots trying to navigate the baffling world of online dating.

Mr Nine and the Gentleman Ghost_emojiMy story Mr. Nine and the Gentleman Ghost is going to be reprinted in a forthcoming anthology called The Museum of All Things Awesome and that Go Boom, which is one of my favourite names for an anthology.

Museum of All Things Awesome - Cover

I’ve just started work on a new middle grade novel. It’s like The Seven Samurai with dinosaurs.

What Australian work have you loved recently?

Rose Hartley’s No Other Men in Mitchell is one of my favorite stories I’ve read this year. I read a lot of short stories and this one has really stuck with me. Beautiful writing and haunting images.

Which author (living or dead) would you most like to sit next to on a long plane trip and why?

John Heffernan and Sebastian Gutierrez. They wrote the screenplay for Snakes on a Plane.

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