Stuart Buck ðŸ”–answers thirteen questions in Booker's Dozen. 


TPQ: What are you currently reading?

SB: Giles Goat-Boy by John Barth. It's an incredibly dense, achingly long book that I can only describe as an absurdist adventure that absolutely drowns its readers in layers of impenetrable philosophy. I'm loving and hating it in equal measure which means it's a thoroughly great piece of art.

TPQ: Best and worst books you have ever read?

SB: The best book would be Sisyphean by Dempow Torishima. It's a staggeringly inventive science fiction book. Completely unlike anything you will ever have read. Impossible to describe but the first section is a little like if HR Giger rewrote the movie Office Space and set it in a petri dish full of sentient microbes. It only gets weirder from there, but it has elements of high school Disney movies, hard-boiled detective novels and an enormous, Kubrickian finale that leaves you wondering whether anything you read ever again will make you feel anything.

Worst book I have ever read is Gravity's Rainbow which is sure to make me popular among your readers. I found it insufferable. Totally in love with itself, no pay off for hundreds of pages of nonsense. It has a huge fanbase so I'm totally open to the idea that it just didn’t work for me. One thing I'm learning as I get older is although we say 'art is subjective' I still don't think we truly grasp the full meaning. I sure don't.

TPQ: Book most cherished as a child?

SB: Questions about my childhood are difficult for me because I was an alcoholic in my teens and twenties, meaning I've honestly forgotten a lot of the more specific details of my youth. I would have to say the Dr Who books I read in the school library were important to me because they helped me escape from a world of bullies and exams. If I had to pick one id go with The Green Death which is about giant maggots that live in a mine in rural Wales. Hard to explain to someone outside of the Dr. Who fandom just what a weird universe it is. Especially the older shows. The Pertwee and Baker series were brilliant. I love the remake, but it's definitely lost a lot of the WTF madness that the early ones did.

TPQ: Favourite Childhood author?

SB: A little easier. Pratchett. I read the Nome Trilogy at the same library I mentioned above. Beautiful books. Then I advanced to the Discworld books, and I still read them today. He was the rare author that staggered his works perfectly. They were immensely silly and packed full of action for kids but re-read them as adults and they are bitingly satirical and much cleverer than you gave them credit for.

TPQ: First book to really own you.

SB: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I was 14 and queued up for hours to get a copy. Hadn't even read the first 3. Became obsessed with the story. Awful books now when you look back but what they did so well was place this magical realm Just out of reach. High fantasy is wonderful but the fantasy that exists just next to the world you inhabit is my kind of jam.


TPQ: Favourite male and female author?

SB: I'd still probably say Pratchett. All these years later and he enchants me.

As for female, I tend to read male authors which is not a good thing I realize but it's just the way it falls. I have been on a female author kick of late trying to redress the balance. I'm a work in progress! Having said that I’ve read and loved everything Jane Austen ever wrote. I love the gentle, cutting humour. I love the regency and pomp of the dances and balls. So, I will say Austen with apologies to every other female author.

TPQ: A preference for fact or fiction?

SB: I read one fiction then one non-fiction. Always a preference for fiction but I am Very invested in Quantum Physics and Astronomy, so I have been reading and enjoying a lot of Brian Greene, Carlo Rovelli etc. I didn't start reading NF until 2020 and make sure I have something lined up every time now. I've been reading the Upanishads and those ancient eastern mythical texts. I am not religious; in fact, I tend to dislike organized religion with a passion, but I do like the Hindu ideas which mainly boil down to 'have a dance and enjoy yourself' which I think we can all agree is preferable to the 'worship invisible sky man and kill anyone who disagrees' fervour that Western Religion brings to the table. Sorry delete all that if it's too off topic.

TPQ: Biography, autobiography or memoir that most impressed you.

SB: Oh gosh, you know I haven't read a single one. Not ever. I'm very sorry.

TPQ: Any author or book you point blank refuse to read?

SB: Doubt I'll ever read another Pynchon. I wasted 2 months of my life reading Gravity's Rainbow! I have never read Joyce but everything I see of his makes me not want to. I love avant garde stuff and I will absolutely make an effort, but there has to be some payoff and those two seem devoid of it.

TPQ: A book to share with somebody so that they would more fully understand you.

SB: In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami. Its gross and beautiful. Like me . . . 


TPQ: Last book you gave as a present?

SB: I left my copy of Riddley Walker with my wonderful mom-in-law, and she loved it which is a great thing because it's a really weird ass book.

TPQ: Book you would most like to see turned into a movie?

SB: HYPNOPONY by Stuart Buck because I could really use the royalties.

TPQ: The just must - select one book you simply have to read before you close the final page on life.

SB: Moby Dick. A towering achievement. Hugely frustrating at times but overall, I think its majesty wins out. It's one of the pinnacles of humanity. Something crawled out of the sea all that time ago and then, later, Melville wrote Moby Dick. It's absolutely insane. It's not a perfect book but we aren't a perfect species.

📕Stuart Buck is the author of Hypnopony and the recently published Quantum Diaper Punks. He can be found on Twitter and Substack.

Booker's Dozen 📚 Stuart Buck

Stuart Buck ðŸ”–answers thirteen questions in Booker's Dozen. 


TPQ: What are you currently reading?

SB: Giles Goat-Boy by John Barth. It's an incredibly dense, achingly long book that I can only describe as an absurdist adventure that absolutely drowns its readers in layers of impenetrable philosophy. I'm loving and hating it in equal measure which means it's a thoroughly great piece of art.

TPQ: Best and worst books you have ever read?

SB: The best book would be Sisyphean by Dempow Torishima. It's a staggeringly inventive science fiction book. Completely unlike anything you will ever have read. Impossible to describe but the first section is a little like if HR Giger rewrote the movie Office Space and set it in a petri dish full of sentient microbes. It only gets weirder from there, but it has elements of high school Disney movies, hard-boiled detective novels and an enormous, Kubrickian finale that leaves you wondering whether anything you read ever again will make you feel anything.

Worst book I have ever read is Gravity's Rainbow which is sure to make me popular among your readers. I found it insufferable. Totally in love with itself, no pay off for hundreds of pages of nonsense. It has a huge fanbase so I'm totally open to the idea that it just didn’t work for me. One thing I'm learning as I get older is although we say 'art is subjective' I still don't think we truly grasp the full meaning. I sure don't.

TPQ: Book most cherished as a child?

SB: Questions about my childhood are difficult for me because I was an alcoholic in my teens and twenties, meaning I've honestly forgotten a lot of the more specific details of my youth. I would have to say the Dr Who books I read in the school library were important to me because they helped me escape from a world of bullies and exams. If I had to pick one id go with The Green Death which is about giant maggots that live in a mine in rural Wales. Hard to explain to someone outside of the Dr. Who fandom just what a weird universe it is. Especially the older shows. The Pertwee and Baker series were brilliant. I love the remake, but it's definitely lost a lot of the WTF madness that the early ones did.

TPQ: Favourite Childhood author?

SB: A little easier. Pratchett. I read the Nome Trilogy at the same library I mentioned above. Beautiful books. Then I advanced to the Discworld books, and I still read them today. He was the rare author that staggered his works perfectly. They were immensely silly and packed full of action for kids but re-read them as adults and they are bitingly satirical and much cleverer than you gave them credit for.

TPQ: First book to really own you.

SB: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I was 14 and queued up for hours to get a copy. Hadn't even read the first 3. Became obsessed with the story. Awful books now when you look back but what they did so well was place this magical realm Just out of reach. High fantasy is wonderful but the fantasy that exists just next to the world you inhabit is my kind of jam.


TPQ: Favourite male and female author?

SB: I'd still probably say Pratchett. All these years later and he enchants me.

As for female, I tend to read male authors which is not a good thing I realize but it's just the way it falls. I have been on a female author kick of late trying to redress the balance. I'm a work in progress! Having said that I’ve read and loved everything Jane Austen ever wrote. I love the gentle, cutting humour. I love the regency and pomp of the dances and balls. So, I will say Austen with apologies to every other female author.

TPQ: A preference for fact or fiction?

SB: I read one fiction then one non-fiction. Always a preference for fiction but I am Very invested in Quantum Physics and Astronomy, so I have been reading and enjoying a lot of Brian Greene, Carlo Rovelli etc. I didn't start reading NF until 2020 and make sure I have something lined up every time now. I've been reading the Upanishads and those ancient eastern mythical texts. I am not religious; in fact, I tend to dislike organized religion with a passion, but I do like the Hindu ideas which mainly boil down to 'have a dance and enjoy yourself' which I think we can all agree is preferable to the 'worship invisible sky man and kill anyone who disagrees' fervour that Western Religion brings to the table. Sorry delete all that if it's too off topic.

TPQ: Biography, autobiography or memoir that most impressed you.

SB: Oh gosh, you know I haven't read a single one. Not ever. I'm very sorry.

TPQ: Any author or book you point blank refuse to read?

SB: Doubt I'll ever read another Pynchon. I wasted 2 months of my life reading Gravity's Rainbow! I have never read Joyce but everything I see of his makes me not want to. I love avant garde stuff and I will absolutely make an effort, but there has to be some payoff and those two seem devoid of it.

TPQ: A book to share with somebody so that they would more fully understand you.

SB: In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami. Its gross and beautiful. Like me . . . 


TPQ: Last book you gave as a present?

SB: I left my copy of Riddley Walker with my wonderful mom-in-law, and she loved it which is a great thing because it's a really weird ass book.

TPQ: Book you would most like to see turned into a movie?

SB: HYPNOPONY by Stuart Buck because I could really use the royalties.

TPQ: The just must - select one book you simply have to read before you close the final page on life.

SB: Moby Dick. A towering achievement. Hugely frustrating at times but overall, I think its majesty wins out. It's one of the pinnacles of humanity. Something crawled out of the sea all that time ago and then, later, Melville wrote Moby Dick. It's absolutely insane. It's not a perfect book but we aren't a perfect species.

📕Stuart Buck is the author of Hypnopony and the recently published Quantum Diaper Punks. He can be found on Twitter and Substack.

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