The Subconscious Interview of David Nickle — fauna, foul, and fowl

The Sub­con­scious Inter­view: where your faith­ful Shelf Mon­key goes to the wash­room while his inter­view sub­jects talk to them­selves for a few min­utes.

Today, Cana­di­an horror/fantasy author David Nick­le (The ‘Geis­tersMon­strous Affec­tions) pon­ders cook­ing tech­niques, climb­ing abil­i­ties, and the true hor­ror inher­ent in munic­i­pal pol­i­tics.

Read the Con­scious Inter­view with David Nick­le here.


How do you roast a good chick­en?

Mmm…roast chick­en.

The trick is to get the skin. Or rather, imme­di­ate­ly between the skin and the breast-meat. Before you put the bird in the oven (or in tin­foil, snugged up against an engine block) work an open space where flesh and skin sep­a­rate near the cav­i­ty. Then slide stuff in. To start out, you want to try thin­ly-sliced gar­lic, and some mild­ly acidic fruit like pear or apple, so that when the fat ren­ders from the chick­en, the flavour of the gar­lic and the juice of the fruit will go to work on the breast meat. You need not lim­it your­self to gar­lic and pears, though. Oh no. Once you’ve gained in con­fi­dence, you’ll find all sorts of things that will improve the flavour of the bird: bacon bits; fish food; the branch­es of saplings; lizards, of every imag­in­able shape; the dreams of chil­dren.

Have you ever been so far up a tree that you fear nev­er com­ing down again?

Ah, the housecat’s dilem­ma.  Climb high­er, stay where you are, or go back inside where you know at least the food is reg­u­lar.

Who is going to win the Toron­to mayor’s race in 2014?

Cropped from car­toon by de Adder

If that ques­tion were from any­body but me, I’d say that it was naïve to think that I or any­one else can say who will be May­or of Toron­to in an elec­tion held many months from now. The debates! The scan­dals! The sheer repet­i­tive bore­dom from all those debates!

Rob Ford has a shot at it, but I think a long shot and only if noth­ing else unto­ward hap­pens, and the anti-Ford vote splits between Olivia Chow and John Tory and a cou­ple of oth­ers. Chow has a bet­ter shot at it, I think, as the right-of-cen­tre vote is already frag­ment­ed with a big chunk of votes stay­ing with Ford, and oth­ers grav­i­tat­ing to Tory. The right needs to unite, and it real­ly can’t as long as Ford is in the race. The left has only one real choice.

The real ques­tion (the one I prob­a­bly should have asked up top, if I’d been think­ing more deeply) is ‘what the hell is with Toron­to?’ This is a ques­tion that I have spent a longish career try­ing to answer, watch­ing city hall goings-on since before there was one.  I’ve watched it for so long because real­ly it’s the best van­tage point to watch the com­plex­i­ty of this city unfold.  As a nov­el­ist and writer of short sto­ries, I can’t help but think of local politi­cians as more than our rep­re­sen­ta­tives. They’re our avatars, who reflect our own nature in a sharp and often unflat­ter­ing relief… these days, a relief that is very unflat­ter­ing indeed.

At some point, I’ll prob­a­bly write a hor­ror nov­el set there.