Whats the best and worst christmas presents you've ever received and why?
The best... I'm really not sure. I've had a lot of Christmases which came with a lot of cool shit, but no one thing stands out in my mind as the One True Present of Cool. This is assisted by circumstances: we as a family are around the top-end of working class, wheras all the kids I used to go to school with were middle class, so they always got the bigger hauls and the cooler shit, which didn't make me ungreatful, but it did skew my ideas of cool presents.
Actually, with that disclaimer out of the way, the coolest present I ever got was Optimus Prime. Back during the first run of popularity of Transformers, the damn thing was impossible to find. My parents searched every weekend for a month, eventually having to go to York, 50 miles away, to secure the last one in the shop. And it was precisely what I wanted, so I was good for a long fucking time. Other parents would have tried to fob their sprogs off with something else, but mine put in far more effort than they had to. Thinking about it, I still have it around somewhere...
The worst is easy. Christmas 1998. Me moving away to University in the following September. So what do my parents do? Get me shit I will need away from home for Christmas. A toolbox. Assorted screwdrivers. A hammer. A set of glasses. A set of pans. That sort of shit. And they expect me to be pleased about this, when to me moving away is an aeon away. It's not that I didn't want them, jsut in my own selfish way I felt rather short-changed that these were Christmas presents.
Who/What would you say has been the biggest influence on your life?
Fuck, ask an easy one why don't you. The single biggest influence? I have no bloody idea. I could say Hunter S. Thomson, who has been a big influence but only in certain ways. I could say Warren Ellis or Grant Morrison, both of whom I have taken a lot from, but they influenced my writing more than my life in general. Terry Pratchett and then Neal Stephenson had a fair deal of influence on how I think about things, but again that was warped by myseld and a hundred other outside influences. Robert Anton Wilson fucked with my head, but that doesn't really count because I wanted my head to be fucked with at the time.
I think the biggest, or at least the one with the most impact and without whom I would be a totally different person, is in fact two people. gominokouhai is the friend I have known the longest, and over time it would be a lie to say that I haven't got a hell of a lot from him (and probably vice versa). And of course coaldustcanary, without whom I simply wouldn't be me. So there you have it. Not a writer or a philosopher or a religious visionary, but my best friend and my girlfriend.
Fame or Infamy?
Infamy. Definitely infamy. The problem with fame is that you get subverted by the media. You end up giving interviews all the time or getting hooked on nose-candy when you should be out in the world doing things. Infamy gets you media coverage for what you do (and what theys ay you do) which keeps people focused on why you are in the spoitlight to begin with. it also means people aren't bugging you about your sex life when you want to be in the pub for ten pints and a curry, or fucked up on hallucinogenic drugs.
Can one man make a difference? (in this cynical age)
Yes. No matter how cynical the age. One man can always make a difference because without that nobody could ever make a difference. Every revolution starts with one man.
Who is your favorite Computer-Game Hero and why?
I've not played that many computer games compared to some, and those I have tend to be old. I've still not finished Deus Ex or No One Lives Forever, so the answer may seem rather outdated by modern standards. That said, Max Payne, sa he was in the first game. He's not a big, strong, powerful guy who fights extra-dimensional evils to save the planet. He's a vigilante ex-cop with a dead family and a gun. His enemies aren't threatening the world or the galaxy, they front organised crime in the area and sell drugs. It's the ultimate modern noir experience in a video game, with a strong character with perfect characterisation who is detailed as more than just a group of polygons for the player to use to shoot things.
Standard boilerplate: If you want five from me, shoot. If you want to give me five, also shoot. Be as personal and deep or as flippant and meaningless as you want, because I'm in a narccisistic mood and enjoy talking about myself.