"...an even bigger threat. which is us, the humans..." — Robert Repino
Robert Repino is an editor for the historical arm of the Oxford University Press, but when you meet him you're likely to see the baseball pitcher or science fiction writer. He's been published in the short fiction literary magazines The Literary Review, Night Train, Hobart, and The Coachella Review, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
So the premise for his novel 'Mort(e),' about a housecat that has been transformed into a post-apocalyptic six-foot tall walking wounded warrior, is well, clearly not in the kitchen-window epiphany genre. More power to it!
He confessed to me that the cat was based on his own cat, also named Sebastian. He also confessed that he had seen a movie that never left my mind, Phase IV, in which ants become intelligent and decide to eliminate their natural enemies — including man. But he told me that he preferred Them, just a bit, because it had giant ants. I have a special place in my heart for Them as well, for the news monitoring marquee that is my motto or newsgathering.
So what you have with Robert Repino is (and you'll hear this in the interview, throughout) a fellow who takes his work seriously, but allows himself to have fun as well. Star Trek episodes (young'uns generation) as well as Orwell inspired 'Mort(e).' This kind of mix allows Repino, who is unpretentious, smart and having fun, to get to the mix a ripping yarn, a poignant memoir and a weird thought eoeriment and hasve it all seem of a piece.
We had a great deal of fun talking about he seeming conflict between his literar side and his genre fiction side, as both of us were of the opinion that this conflict can actually help the fiction. The poignant stuff is much more powerful when it is also fun to red. And the fun adventures are more fun for having some resonance in our lives. Make no mistake, you'll think twice about that steak. Sure, you may not be a vegan overnight, but even thinking about the impact of whast you eat is a good start for planetary stewardship. For the human rae, st this point ijn our technological development, its all about planetary stewardship.
Or else. 'Mort(e)' does a great job of externalizing one of the less harmonious outcomes should we fail in our efforts — or never make an effort in the first place. And if uyou liten to Robert Repino, you'll find that he has the right balance to take on the big questions and entertain the hell out of you and make that hell come to life on the printed page.
07-11-15 UPDATE:Podcast Update: Time to Read Episode 209: Robert Repino, Mort(e)
Click image for audio link.
Here's the two-hundred and ninth episode of my series of podcasts, which I'm calling Time to Read, or when I warn the writer in advance, the lightning round. This is turning out to be really fun, and especially since I get to take on my game show host persona.
This week, I'm way behind, but who knows what the hell might happen. I am hoping to get back up and stumbling. I have lots of great books in the hopper to review and lots of great interviews to podcast.
08-21-15: Agony Column Podcast News Report : Senator Claire McCaskill is 'Plenty Ladylike' : Internalizing Determination to Overcome Sexism [Incudes Time to Read EP 211: Claire McCaskill, Plenty Ladylike, plus A 2015 Interview with Senator Claire McCaskill]
Agony Column Podcast News Report : Emily Schultz Unleashes 'The Blondes' : A Cure by Color [Incudes Time to Read EP 210: Emily Schultz, The Blondes, plus A 2015 Interview with Emily Schultz]