Culture

Golfing on the Moon

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Editor’s Note: This is the eleventh in a series of interviews and story excerpts spotlighting some of the most innovative fiction writers at the recently-launched new media publishing platform Liberty Island. The first eight can be read in this collection here, the ninth here, and the tenth here. Find out more about Liberty Island’s new writing contest here. Please check out this interview Sarah Hoyt conducted with CEO Adam Bellow here to learn more: “It also has a unique mission: to serve as the platform and gathering-place for the new right-of-center counterculture.” 

Pierre V. Comtois is a newspaper reporter writing from Lowell, MA who has had fiction and non-fiction published in books and magazines from The Horror Show to Military History. Marvel Comics in the 1980s, the third volume in his history of Marvel Comics, is due out in 2014 and Autumnal Tales, an omnibus collecting the best of his weird and fantasy stories, is coming soon. For more information about the author, visit here.

Comtois solo

1. Who are some of your favorite writers, books, movies, and intellectual influences?

I’ve always displayed a pretty eclectic mix of reading interests which early on fell into two tracks: non-fiction and fantastic fiction. Considering that a few of my favorite non-fiction writers including Peter Hopkirk, Alan Eckert, and Bernard DeVoto wrote about real places and events, British India, the old Northwest, and an American continent as it was first being explored by Europeans they likely struck me subconsciously as being just as fabulous as any landscapes of imagination explored by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, and Clark Ashton Smith, a few of my favorite fictioneers. By the time I was a teenager, I was already a big science fiction and fantasy fan with H. P. Lovecraft, Edmond Hamilton, Jack Williamson, William Morris, Lord Dunsany, Olaf Stapleton, Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, Arthur Machen, James Branch Cabell, Sax Rohmer, Isaac Asimov, and Frederick Pohl among my favorites but an eye opening read of The Steranko History of Comics exposed me for the first time to pulp magazine fiction of the mid-twentieth century. After feasting my eyes on reproductions of their often garish covers, I had to read them all! No matter the genre, science fiction, horror, fantasy, western, mystery, even romance I was hooked… and still am. My main worry these days is that with time running out, I might not have enough years left in me to read everything I want! Favorite books and movies fall under the same categories and eras as my pulp interests and are too vast in number to list here! As for intellectual influences, I would say they mostly fall under historians rather than philosophers with favorite topics being the Roman Empire, British Empire, American Revolutionary history, WWII, early explorers, and aviation history. Biographies of soldiers, statesmen, and businessmen have also been of interest.

2. How do you describe yourself ideologically?

I’ve always considered myself a moderate but in today’s leftist climate where common sense is turned topsy turvy, I’d probably be described as a conservative.

3. Where are you from/currently reside?

Massachusetts

4. What are your writing goals?

To have short stories, then novels/books published, then a TV or movie script sold. I’ve accomplished the first two and am working on the third.

5. Where can people find/follow you online?

I’m on Facebook and my website is www.pierrevcomtois.com

6. What’s your craziest hobby/pastime/interest?

I read and collect comic books, primarily silver and bronze age Marvel comics.

An excerpt from Pierre Comtois’s “Alan Shepard’s Golf Ball”:

The sharp contrast between the gleaming white object and the gray lunar dust was what first caught Barney’s attention.

Not that he’d been looking for anything in particular.

It was Tuesday, and that meant the Fra Mauro Comets were due to play the Tranquility Shooting Stars in the Lunar Little League rotation schedule.

Not that Barney cared that much. He’d been with the Comets for two years now, ever since he was old enough to be trusted outside in his own EVA suit. That made him 13 years old, time enough to begin to grow bored with the slow-moving innings of Moonball.

But then, it’d been his father’s idea that he join the league in the first place.

Mr. Samarin hadn’t liked all the time his son spent in the ether playing mind games with his friends. “It just isn’t natural,” as he was fond of saying. Too fond for Barney, who found his father’s complaints annoying. What was he expected to do on the Moon? Ride an air bike? Build a clubhouse? It bothered him when his parents talked about all the wonderful things they used to do when they were youngsters back on Earth. What did that mean to him, who’d never set foot on the planet?

Anyway, his father finally took steps (something else he always said) and signed Barney up to the Comets. He’d been on the team through most of the season, long enough for his fellow players to realize that he just didn’t care. Which is why he now found himself way out in right field where nothing much ever happened. …

Read the rest at Liberty Island…