02Feb2012: MilSciFi.com interviews Jeff Young, editor of the not even
remotely military science fiction anthology, The Drunken Comic Book Monkeys in Sciencey Tales of Science Fiction, and
the writers, Brian Koscienski & Chris Pisano tag along. (Introduction submitted by author)
MilSciFi: "Welcome. Please
tell us a little something about your book, and what part did you play in its
Young: "The Drunken
Comic Book Monkeys in Sciencey Tales of Science Fiction is a collection of
homages to the classic tales of SF with the inclusion of two main characters
whose primary power is the excessive consumption of beer mayhem ensues. As
the editor, I kept all of the 'i's dotted and the 't's crossed, cut down on the
usage of double and triple punctuation marks and in general tried to keep the
literary arm punching to a minimum. Different from the prior book, I am now one
of the characters as well and get to play the role of the antagonist."
Koscienski: "It's Knucklehead
and me in various sci-fi stories."
Pisano: "Some favorites
and some to be favorites. We wrote it
Koscienski: "We wrote it and
we're in it. We're the stars!"
Pisano: "We're like super
novas! We could blow at any time!"
Koscienski: "A double threat!"
Young: "This is why you
should let me do the talking."
MilSciFi: "Is this part of a
large series or universe?"
Young: "This is the
second in a continuing series, which may expand to include further volumes
based around classic fantasy and even westerns."
Pisano: "Yes. Like Jeff
said, it's a universe. Our universe."
Koscienski: "How big is our
Pisano: "12 ounces!
Koscienski: "This is book 2
of a 4 book trilogy."
Pisano: "Or more!"
MilSciFi: "What inspired you
to write this story?"
Young: "Four things
inspire Comic Book Monkeys Beer, Sex, Porn and Food simple as that."
Koscienski & Pisano: "Yaaaaaaaaay!!!
Young: "What inspired me
as the editor? The opportunity to be a character that constantly tries to
eliminate the Comic Book Monkeys."
MilSciFi: "Who did your
illustrations, and how did they come to be involved in this project?"
Young: "The Monkeys will
let you know a great deal more about the illustrator, Koa. I can tell you that
he was exceptionally talented and able to create illustrations in a very short
period of time."
Koscienski: "His name is Koa
Beam. We've known him through the convention circuit. He's a very talented artist. No website that
I know of, though."
Pisano: "He can draw
artwork ready for framing using only a sharpie on restaurant placemats."
MilSciFi: "How much input,
or control, did you have on said illustrations?"
Young: "I understand
that Koa was very receptive to suggestions from the Monkeys."
Pisano: "Did you just
infer that we're bossy?"
Koscienski: "Jeff's so mean.
We had a lot, but Koa did take some artistic license. For example, in the World of the Monkeys, he
knew there was no girl in a cage but he drew one anyway, because he thought it
MilSciFi: "Do you have plans
to expand upon, or write other works based on this book?"
Young: "As the editor, I
can only say, please dear God no but I have already signed on to edit the
next couple. I can only resign myself to the hope I receive jury duty and am sequestered
for over a year."
Koscienski: "Words hurt,
Young: "Yeah, I know!
And when they come at me from a loud Sasquatch such as yourself, they hurt even
Pisano: "Preachin' to the
Koscienski: "Ah-hem. To
expand upon what Jeff said, the next book will be about us in fantasy stories.
And we think the book after that will be us as detectives."
MilSciFi: "Most authors we
encounter write novellas/novels, do you write short stories, and if so do you
find it a challenge?"
Young: "While the
Monkeys are working on novel length projects, I think short stories are easiest
since one of the four items mentioned above can quickly distract them. In fact,
even shiny objects distract them."
Pisano: "I'm a little
happier in the short story medium. There's a little more instant gratification
in short stories."
Pisano: "you get that
feeling of accomplishment faster with a short story."
Koscienski: "Lord knows, we
don't get that feeling often!"
Pisano: "Usually it's
from a good beer."
Young: "Only you two
could compare short story writing to beer drinking."
Koscienski & Pisano: "It's a gift!"
MilSciFi: "Since time is of
the essence for getting a read up to speed in a short story, do you have a
strategy, or preferred method for doing this?"
Young: "As the editor, I
find that the Monkeys tend to start things in medias that allow them to start
the pace more quickly."
Koscienski: "For this book,
we've taken a whole movie or genre and attempted to parody it."
Pisano: "So, we assume
that readers have an understanding of the original."
Koscienski: "It was a challenge
to get the main points of the stories to come across."
Pisano: "If each story is
a scene in a vignette, you have to change the lighting, backdrop, for each
story, almost like a play. But I don't
think we do cookie cutter stuff."
Pisano: "We try to do the same thing differently each
Koscienski: "We try to parody
the theme versus the whole thing."
Pisano: "We use extracts."
Young: "Extracts? What
is wrong with you two?"
Pisano: "Is that the next
MilSciFi: "What advice would
you give an 'up and coming writer'?"
Young: "Up and coming
editors: do not agree to edit the Comic Book Monkeys. And if you have to, then
demand payment up front, never give out them your phone number or email address
and at the least, conduct all contact through carrier pigeon."
Koscienski: "Persistence and
Pisano: "Even if you don't
get accepted, don't berate the editor.
It's a very subjective field."
just say, 'Don't berate the editor?!' "
That must have been someone else."
MilSciFi: "What was the one
thing you found most difficult about creating this book?"
Young: "Getting Chris to
finish his stories and getting Brian to spell 'brassiere' correctly."
Working with the artist. Making sure we don't tell the same stories twice.
Keeping inside jokes to a minimum. Learning how to spell 'brassiere.' "
Pisano: "That's the
advantage of having an outside editor involved."
Young: "Oh, don't start
sucking up to the editor now!!"
Koscienski: "The photo shoot.
Coordinating two monkeys and their editor with 24 bottles of beer outside
without getting arrested by the police as they drove by more than once. And
explaining to the pizza guy that we weren't being invaded."
MilSciFi: "Please tell us
about your publisher, and how you became involved with them?"
Pisano: "We pay all their
Koscienski: "After literally
ten years of knowing each other, Pisano and I needed a 3rd party to tell us
that the other wrote. We started working on a novel and then after many
pitchers of beer, we now have a publishing company."
Young: "They came to a
writer's group that I led. I was imperceptive and did not run screaming in the
other direction quickly enough."
MilSciFi: "Do you have any
other projects in the works?"
Young: " 'TV Gods'
what if your favorite TV show was cast with the pantheon from your favorite
myths? 10-15 stories from a cast of talented authors."
Koscienski: "And who's the
Young: "**sigh** Me."
Koscienski: "Ha! You LIKE
being our editor!"
Pisano: "We're your cash
Young: "I hate you both."
MilSciFi: "Do you have any
upcoming author events?"
Young: "The Monkeys have
the complete list of cons for 2012. I will join them as I can, especially when
they let us read 'The Drunken Comic Book Monkeys Versus the Mummy' aloud."
Pisano: "Jeff reads the
part of the Mummy. He's a very angry young man."
Koscienski: "The next few are
Monster Mania, Pittsburgh Comicon, and Balticon."
MilSciFi: "Thank you, for
Young: "I think I need a
Koscienski & Pisano: "Great idea! We'll join