One on One with Phillip Carter
My interview with a talented science fiction author/comedian/poet.
Welcome back to another one-on-one interview with a fellow indie author! These recurring interviews give me a chance to introduce readers of this newsletter to other authors worth reading and their works.
My latest one-on-one interview is with Phillip Carter, author of Who Built the Humans? and owner of Halfplanet Press — an independent publisher of weird speculative fiction.
Phillip Carter started out as a science fiction author, but after being told by readers his debut book made them laugh out loud in the middle of public places, he realized he was also a comedian.
His debut book, Who Built The Humans? is a manic exploration of existentialist sci-fi, partnering mind-bending twists with side-splitting dark comedy. It's also free on March 10th on Amazon.
Phillip is doing a standup comedy set all about time travel on March 22nd, in Manchester, United Kingdom, for BRIGHT CLUB. After which he will be preparing for a debut set at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Your stories and poems draw on science fiction and comedy. What influenced you to combine these elements into a single creative path? How does that path influence how your ideas evolve?
Phillip: I've always said that I see comedy and science fiction as parts of the same branch of literature. They both have a license to delve into unexplored places and ideas. They both take a situation and say "how can I make this more weird?" and sometimes, they both include probing.
The poetry evolved as an extension to the sci-fi stories. Sometimes an idea isn't yet big enough for a story, or doesn't work as one. A lot of my earlier poems were essentially ideas for music videos.
If given an opportunity to time travel, when and where do you go? How do you get there? What do you do?
Phillip: I would go back to the night of the Roswell incident and I'd stand there to see what happened. In fact, I would position myself so accurately I might be splattered by the crashing UFO, thus leaving no trace of my meddling
(I think I just wrote a new story)
Which of your fictional characters would you want to spend an entire day with and why?
Phillip: This is a hard choice, so I've answered three times, in order of importance.
Stephanie. Since 2016 she's become a voice in my head. I know how that sounds but I'm sticking with it. She's a psychic who discovers her reality is falling apart. I'd like to follow her on her reincarnation adventures.
Lax Morales. Who wouldn't want to hang with a shapeshifting alien crab who can travel through time?
Varda and Orbarop. These two do everything together, and I'd love to be a passenger on their spaceship as it hunts for a ruined future Earth.
What adventure or activity tops your bucket list?
Phillip: Running into AREA 51
Who are your primary literary influences as an author and poet?
Phillip: I started out with lyrics. Gary Numan, David Bowie. Their sci-fi stories manifested into songs, and I wrote some of my earlier sci-fi ideas as songs and poems.
Beyond that, I'm a fan of Heinlein and Stephen Baxter. I've had my work compared to Douglas Adams, but I don't think I'm that good.
An apocalyptic alien invasion starts tomorrow. How do you spend your final day before the world ends?
Phillip: In all honesty I'd probably be part of the planning. I'd be doing my best Saul Goodman impression and convincing the aliens to invade the moon instead. Much less conflict there. The moon is an easy target.
You find a genie. What are your three wishes?
Phillip: For more people to review my books (yes, really)
For people to be more open to listening to each other (I'd wish to end world hunger but genies are tricky. So making people talk more might be the only way to do it.)
I'd like my own house. Nothing massive, I just find it easier to write when I'm alone.
Thank you so much Phillip for taking time to introduce yourself to readers at Strange New Worlds. Sign up for his newsletter here on Substack, Real Phillip Carter, to enjoy compelling original fiction and poetry and get the latest news on Phillip's stories in progress.
Check out Phillip's novel, Who Built the Humans?, which is available at major booksellers everywhere. It’s a fun, mind-bending, and surreal collection of inter-connected science fiction stories that takes you to many unexpected places as a reader. I highly recommend you all get a copy.
Read a free sample of Who Built The Humans? here
Happy Read an Ebook Week!
To help you find a book to celebrate, you can get all of my novels for 50% off at Smashwords this week. Their sale lasts from March 5th to March 11th and includes a multitude of stories from your favorite authors.
Find my books and many more at Smashwords today.