Q&A with Martin Clark

Summer 2014

  1. Can you tell us a little what your story, "The Abstract Heart," is about?

    This has been described as ‘geek noir’, alluding to classic 1940’s and 50’s stories like Farewell My Lovely, but with a weak-willed technician as the hero, as opposed to hard-bitten private detective. It’s set in the near future where software can simulate, even replicate, the  responses of the deceased. Although this type of personality construct would pass the Turing test with ease, the creator of one such ‘ghost in the machine’ wants to make it both sentient and self-aware.

  2. How did you come up with the idea?

    The Abstract Heart is the prequel to an on-going series of short stories. It draws upon the – typically male – failing of obsession with concepts; in this case the idea of who someone really is, what makes them who they are, and what they can become. There is nothing so dumb as a man in love.

  3. What is your inspiration for writing as a whole?

    The work of William Gibson, Michael Moorcock and Philip K. Dick. I enjoy storytelling even though it can prove to be an exercise in frustration – trying to bridge the gap between the ideas in your head and their realisation on the page.

  4. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

    I’m from Dumfries, in south-west Scotland, but spent my 20s and 30s in Glasgow, Birmingham, London and Edinburgh before settling back here. After twenty-something years in computing I work in local government. I’m married (second time around), and I’m an evil step-father.

  5. Where can listeners find more of your work?

    I’m the author of an on-going series of supernatural noir novellas produced by Eggplant Literary Productions, plus short stories in e-magazines like Nebula Rift, Timeless Tales, Kraxon Books, and Mythaxis.

  6. Any new work we should keep an eye out for?

    The new Lucas Helath story**, Vincent Sings The Blues, will be released this November.

  7. (Just for Juli's curiosity): What are you reading now?
  8. I’m revisiting classic William Gibson, having just finished Neuromancer and about to start Count Zero.