In the penultimate post in a series of slightly embarrassing 'teasers' intended to recruit readers and backers for that glibbest and most delightful of books, Space, Tuesday Belgravia talked to one of the more charming characters in the book, Lysander Cullinane, the head of a shadowy British government disinformation operation, The Space Agency. She caught up with the posh spook in his trailer on the set of the book, during a short break in writing his final scene...
So you’ve been quite a popular character in Space. Who’s your own favourite character?
Oh, it’s got to be Eva Bartholdy. Of course, she plays a great deal greater role in the book than it seems at first. She’s a charming lady, although she does have quirks. But then we all have quirks, don’t we?
Things haven’t been going terribly well for you, have they?
No, I have to confess they have been better, old thing. It’s odd to have to admit it, but I’m even a little sad that I ever got involved with young Dr. Ben Jonson, although this really isn’t all his fault. Things have unravelled a tad, though. For a start the Russian mafia have been bugging my office, then I’ve lost a good operative in Ian Beresford. Having young Neon seconded from the Americans went pretty wrong, too. She’s a little too, um, trigger-happy, isn’t she? But she does look absolutely marvellous in a black leather catsuit, one has to admit!
And then there’s the virus...
Yes, the virus. Well, we’ve always run campaigns here at The Space Agency that have worked well in terms of disguising what’s actually going on. We’ve had some great successes: stories that have diverted attention away from the real machinations and intent of those in government. It’s important to do that, sometimes. As you know, we invented the Loch Ness Monster, spontaneous combustion, UFOs, out of body experiences. All that paranormal claptrap originated from the teams of young creatives and the massive archives we have here. We’re running most of the Internet, these days. Authonomy was one of ours, you know. Web 2.0 thinking is so exciting, don’t you think? Put the writers where you can see ‘em, that’s what we say!
You mention your archives – aren’t they based on Nazi research?
Yes, found by Kenneth Spamp in the closing weeks of World War Two. It was a treasure trove of strange stories and odd tales. The Nazis were so into that sort of astrological mumbo-jumbo! So we used it to weave our own little web of disinformation!
It's all rather complicated!
Well, the chap had over 350 pages to play with and he certainly filled them up with words. Mostly 'gun', 'blood' and 'dead' from what one can discern...
So, getting back to this virus. It’s got a bit out of control..
It has, rather, hasn’t it? Not a good day.
And the suicides.
Yes, and the suicides. Quite a few of those, aren’t there? This interview’s going to look pretty negative in print, I have to say. Well! Have you ever seen a Yeti? I have!
You’re killed in the next scene.
Yes, on a park bench by the Thames near Richmond. It’s quite a nice place to die.
What? Apart from being responsible for the virus that’s locking up the country’s computers, telecoms, power and road networks; the multiple murders created by my out of control ‘minder’, the suicides of my second in command and my computer expert and the fact that the man who founded my agency is not in fact dead at all but running a super-powerful cabal of shadowy international power freaks who are reverse engineering two millennia old spaceships?
No, no regrets at all, dear heart! It’s been a spiffing day!
Thank you, Lysander Cullinane.
Any time, my dear. Now. Have you seen that wretched Russky, Litvanoff?
You can read Space online on authonomy by clicking on this handy, easy to use hyperlink. And if the book makes you laugh and looks like something you'd buy and read, then you can 'Bookshelf' it and vote for it to stay in the top five books to be 'cherry-picked' for review by Harper Collins' editors at the end of the month! There are three days to go and, believe me, your vote counts right now!
Incidentally, there's a load of other fiction by new writers in the UK, US, Europe and Australia up there, so have a poke around too and see what takes your fancy!
Try Stalking the Widowmaker by Greg Horbay for instance, or MM Bennets' epic 1812. MM Trevalean's Tartare is certainly an interesting, if unsettling read and then there's Dan Holloway's Songs from the other side of the wall, a work of literary genius. Also try Peter Booth's Their Name is Legion or Lauri Shaw's wicked Servicing the Pole!