Meet the Editors: Carol Kirkman

Today I’m introducing you to our venerable editor-in-chief, Carol Kirkman.

Who are you and what do you want with us?

Hi, I’m Carol. I’m the editor- in –chief. I want to eat your brains take over the world steal the triforce run a magazine that has awesome science fiction and fantasy that people will enjoy. I was a double major in English and History in an okay Midwest college, and I minored in Physics, so watch it with the hard SF, aight? I also have like a million little sisters, and I’m a grad student, which is super exciting and fascinating.

How many little sisters exactly is a million?

Pretty much as much as it sounds like.

Why did you decide to make a magazine? And why did you drag me into it?

I’ve read through the slush of several magazines, and I always had to reject tons of really good solid stories because they didn’t fit the tone of the mags I worked with – that is to say, the kind of fiction stodgy middle aged English professors like to read. Then again, I rejected a lot of stories that were really, really horrible, but that’s the name of the game.  I wanted to publish bright, energetic stories; stories that had meaning, stories that took risks and weren’t about middle aged crises. As for you, James, I needed someone to read poetry, since I can’t.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve read out of a slush pile?

A guy sent in a 9/11 conspiracy story, and in his cover letter claimed to be an FBI informant who was also being followed by the FBI for some reason. He wrote a different name on his envelope because his mail had been tampered with before and asked that we publish his story under his FBI code name. His story implicated his Arabian coworkers in terrorist plots, and revealed that he had no understanding of the mechanics of Anthrax, nuclear weapons, or the government. It was kind of awesome.  I totally would have published it.

What are you reading right now?

I’m rereading Night Watch, which is possibly my favorite Terry Pratchett book. I’ve never owned it, just borrowed it from the library about twenty time,s which is ridiculous, because pretty much all of his books are in paperback for like seven bucks, and I finally broke down and bought it a couple of days ago. Also, I finally listened to the Les Miserables soundtrack a couple of months ago, so now I see that Night Watch is kind of the Terry Pratchett take on Les Mis, which is awesome, especially since Vimes is Javert (“I am the law, and the law is not mocked!” – awesome), who was my second favorite (after Eponine).I love figuring stuff like that out.

Who’s your favorite SF writer?

I don’t have a favorite – there’s no way I could pick. People always ask me “what’s your favorite book?” or “who’s your favorite author?” because I’m an English student, but that’s impossible for me to answer. I’m constantly finding new authors that I never knew about before, or rediscovering people I read years and years ago. Right now, I  love Neil Gaiman, Scott Lynch, Michael Chabon, Neal Stephenson, Ray Bradbury, Ellen Klages, Tim Pratt, and of course, Terry Pratchett.

What is your favorite tv show on right now?

I know I should say Caprica, because Caprica is the new hotness, but there is really room in my heart for one show, and one show only. And that show is Doctor Who. Oh, Doctor Who. I can (and have) written fpoems about how much I love that show. The camp! The Britishness! The cheesy special effects and hit and miss writing! The camp! I am so terribly excited for the new season that’s starting in less than a month. And, not gonna lie, I cried like three times during Waters of Mars, especially during the speech where the Doctor talks about how the old astronaut lady inspired everyone to explore space, and I was like, fuck, I’m never going to get to Mars. . Why do we spend money on anything else? LETS GO TO MARS. PRIORITY ONE.

Dude that was a little harsh.

My one ambition in life is to walk on the surface of another planet. If there are any scientists out there – make it happen for me, please.

If you could have lunch with any three historical figures, who would you pick?

One: Catherine the Great, because she was unbelievably fierce. Two: Homer, mostly because I want to settle this Man or woman debate and also because The Odyssey is possibly the best work out of the whole Ancient Greek canon. Three: Sylvia Plath, because she’s basically the only poet I can stand, and because, in my heart, I’m still a fourteen year old girl who thinks her stuff is the greatest.

What’s the biggest mistake you made today?

Confusing Kung Po chicken with Kong Bo chicken on a Chinese takeout menu.

Yeah, thanks for that.

I tell you, James, someday we’re going to find a Chinese place that does really good, really cheap Kung Po chicken, if we die trying places.

They didn’t even have the rice in a separate carton! I like eating my food separate, okay? It has to be separate, or I can’t eat it.

Yes, we get it, you have problems.  Anyway, the Kong Bo chicken was okay, just not the fabulous paragon of culinary achievement that Kung Po chicken is.

It wasn’t worth the money we paid for it.

Dude, it was like ten bucks. Get over it. Besides, the vegetable rolls were good.

Anyway, anything you have to say to the nice people before we leave?

Punk is nothing but death, and crime, and the rage of a beast!!!

Oh man, like two people got that.

Also, to submit?

Oh yeah, that too.
Carol will stop by and write blog posts from time to time. If you’ve got any questions for Carol, leave them in the comments.

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