Thursday, November 12, 2015

"The Awesome Headfux" by Will Lorimer

The Awesome Headfux
by Will Lorimer

Will Lorimer, author of The Awesome Headfux, joins us today for an interview and to share an excerpt from his book. You can also read my review.

Spanning worlds, realities, genres and possibilities, this counter factual novel begs the question - what if our reality is faux, all history bunkum, and the mind boggling conspiracy outlined within its pages, true? What if our culture is just an aggregation of stories recorded in the Book of Eternity? What if all the great scientists and savants are mere story tellers? What if this isn't a novel at all, but instead is the factual account of a nerve-racking tour of the multiverse, by way of describing where we come from and are headed.
Drawn from the Secret Histories kept in the Lodge of the Old Beard, and other ancient sources, this novel could radically change your understanding of History, Science and Reality.

The Legend of the Return
Of all the Bedouin stories told around the fires of shepherds camped down in the desert, perhaps the most popular is the Legend of the Return. Although there are as many versions as there  are Wailing Tribes, these have the  same basic elements in common.
A young man, dying of thirst and lost in a maze of desert canyons, spies something glittering at the base of a cliff. Hoping it is light reflected on water, he hurries closer, and does not know whether to be pleased or disappointed when he sees a jewelled sword buried up to the hilt in a big boulder. Taking the gem-encrusted pommel in both hands, he eases out the blade, careful not to scratch the shiny metal, releasing a pressurised spring of dark red liquid in an arcing spout. Desperate to slake his thirst even though  he suspects the liquid might be blood, kneeling, he places the sword on a flat stone to the side, and, bending lower, averts his head to drink.
Just then, a blind old man creeps out from his hiding position behind the rock, snatches the sword, and angrily demands to know who has unstoppered his bottle and is spilling his precious red wine on the ground. Unable to move because a blade is creasing the nape of his neck, the Young Man recalls the First Law of the Wailing 12 Tribes, which requires the young to respect their elders, no matter how mad they might seem. Politely, he introduces himself, apologises for his ignorance in mistaking the Old Man’s bottle for a rock, and offers whatever restitution is demanded. Disarmed by the young stranger’s good manners, as he is as well-brought-up as any lad of the 12 Wailing Tribes, the blind Old Man turns the sword round  in his hands, presenting the pommel, and tells the Young Man to take the stopper and put it back in the bottle.
Just then, the Young Man notices a skull atop a pile of gnawed bones, half in shadow in the lee of the rock where the blind Old Man had been hiding. Graciously, he thanks the blind Old Man, accepts the proffered sword, half turns, making out he is about to replace the ‘stopper in the bottle’, twists back, raises the sword high, and decapitates the old man with a mighty blow.
Adeptly catching the falling head behind his back before it hits the ground, he then hurls it high over the canyon wall and stands watching it rapidly ascending, until it become a tiny dot and finally disappears into the blue. Satisfied at last he is alone, the Young Man, still obedient to the wishes of the blind Old Man, slots the sword back in the rock, stopping up the flow and, kneeling, is about to drink from the pool below, when he notices, reflected in blood, the face of the blind Old Man, where his should have been.
That night, the Young Man, now a blind Old Man, dreams he sees his younger self, lit up like a red lantern, glowing cheerily amid the starry jewels of the night sky. Calling up, he shouts, ‘I was you once.’ To which a Young Man replies, ‘and will be again, when you return’.

My Review

By Lynda Dickson
Part One of The Awesome Headfux is told from the point-of-view of the Mark Two News Head owned by Seth, a writer. Now, the Head is just what it sounds like - a talking head that receives transmissions and relays the news. But, it turns out he's making transmissions of his own. Why is the Head spying on a lowly writer? Well, it turns out Seth is the illegitimate son of the Count, half-brother to the Rich Chancellor, and he's in line for the Patrimony of the Fux. The author creates a new world and language, reminiscent of 1984 and A Clockwork Orange, while the dark humor and field guides are reminiscent of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. Extensive footnotes help clarify the world-building.
Part Two is told from the point-of-view of Luke, who can't remember who he is, but who has flashes of a past life. This part of the story is once again reminiscent of 1984 - with shades of Big Brother - as well as The Truman Show and the Bible - with Luke seeing himself as God, in control of his "experiment".
Part Three is told mostly in a play format, featuring (of all things!) talking cats (an homage to Cats: The Musical?).
Intrigued? Are you wondering how these three seemingly disparate storylines are connected? Well, you'll just have to read The Awesome Headfux to find out. And then, maybe you can explain it to me!
I don't usually read fantasy/science fiction, but I found the premise of this book intriguing. Honestly, I'm not really sure what to make of it, and I'm not even sure I understand it; it shows moments of brilliance, but it's definitely confusing. Maybe it's in need of editing to make it a bit more accessible to the general public. Maybe it's my fault - and maybe that's why I don't usually read this genre. In all sincerity, I can't tell if the author is brilliant, delusional, playing a literary joke on us - or all three! You'll just have to come to your own conclusions. Please let me know what you think!

Interview With the Author
For what age group do you recommend your book?
11 years upwards.
What sparked the idea for this book? 
A dream, I had of a prison camp, where experiments were done on people, in some remote place. The prison camp is in the second part of the book.
Which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
The character’s story. That is about someone who finds out that just about everything he believes about his world at the beginning of the story, is shown to be untrue, by about a third of the way in. 
What was the hardest part to write in this book?
Part one, where I had to interweave diverse elements into the plot, without disrupting the narrative flow.
How do you hope this book affects its readers?
To question their world view.
How long did it take you to write this book?
It took me 10 years on and off.
What is your writing routine?
I start early.
How did you get your book published?
I formed my own publishing company –
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Write honestly. Forget about correcting as you write. That you can do later. Self censoring is the biggest danger to becoming a writer. The most important thing (in my opinion) is to achieve flow. 
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Recover, take walks, chill, and otherwise make art.
What does your family think of your writing?
Um, guess that is mixed.
Please tell us a bit about your childhood.
I thought most adults were nuts, an opinion that has not changed much.
Did you like reading when you were a child?
Yes, particularly science fiction.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Around the family dinner table when I was around seven, I guess. Later, I wrote about family meals in The Last of the Lutchens
Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
Yes, in The Last of the Lutchens, certainly. Generally I think childhood experiences form the person.
Which writers have influenced you the most?
The Bible.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Not much yet, but I'm looking forwards to hearing from readers.
What can we look forward to from you in the future?
More novels. I have a couple half finished.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by today, Will. Best of luck with your future projects.
Thank you, Lynda.

About the Author
Will Lorimer, had a myth spent youth, bunking school and reading SF. A graduate of the mean streets of Edinburgh; besides travelling the world, and living in various capital cities and in remote places among indigenous peoples; he held the world’s first Ideal Gnome Exhibition, introduced electric yo-yos to Scotland; had many solo Art Exhibitions, in the UK and abroad; converted a derelict grain mill into a rock n’ roll hotel, with organic farm; ran a market stall in Brick Lane, London; designed jewelry; ran a removals business; in 2001 he was recognized by the UN for his voluntary work with his local community group in Edinburgh.