Anyone who reads this blog knows I’m a monster fan of KJ Parker. Orbit is releasing a new Parker novel this month titled, Sharps, which I’ve read and will be reviewing soon. Given the nature of Parker’s public profile, or lack there of, few interviews are granted by the publisher and/or author and the only one of any real substance I’ve seen thus far was the one done by Tom Holt for Subterranean Press. Until now.
Jared Shurin of Pornokitsch was given an opportunity to interview Parker via e-mail. He posted the replies today and they’re fantastic. Not surprising given the quality of Shurin’s questions. I strongly suggest everyone check it out.
PK: Magic appears infrequently in your work, and is invariably accompanied by someone trying to explain it away as something un-magical. Why take this approach to the supernatural? Given how much you accomplish without magic/natural philosophy/weirdness, what leads you to include it when you do?
KJP: I like to have magic in short fiction, and to keep it sidelined in novels. This started off when reviewers complimented me on writing magic-free fantasy (I’ll show them, I thought) but I rather like the distinction, since short-story stories are necessarily quite different from larger-scale narratives. Magic in fantasy literature is a bit like chilli sauce; a little, sparingly used, is great. A whole magic-flavoured novel can be inedible; all you can taste is the chili, not the meat and vegetables.