Carl Pukwudgie, cryptozoologist, electronic genius and trusty sidekick character in the R. Nevada, S.P.I. series of tongue-in-cheek sci-fi novels has a revealing conversation with the author. The conversation took place in Boston on the "Salt and Pepper" bridge (aka the Longfellow Bridge) that spans the Charles River between Beacon Hill and Cambridge while the Red Line trains rumbled past and cars whizzed by at dizzying speeds.
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Hetzel, Hugo and Herbert are three diminutive and resentful Critovians that are left behind on Earth in 1851 London by the rest of their Critovian Reconnaissance Advance Party.
From the book:
From the book:
- Left to fend for themselves without any useful devices and forced to disguise their alien features with goggles and hats, learn a human language and take human names to blend in as best they could, they all had bitter feelings about being summarily dumped. But their fearless leader Hetzel was still driven to finish the mission, to prepare the ground for the invasion of Earth. Even if that meant traveling into the future to do it. -
Through a series of events the aliens are eventually transported to 2013 where their goggles and purloined Victorian children's clothing give the hipper London set the impression that they are possibly the coolest little Steampunkers ever.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
EK: So, before we begin, is it alright if I call you "R", or shall I be more formal for this and call you Mr. Nevada?
NEVADA: No, it's never alright to call me "R", and you well know it. Just call me Nevada as you always do. I'll refer to you as EK.
EK: Okay, that's fine. So what shall we start with? What got you into the whole Strange Phenomena Investigator game to begin with?
NEVADA: Well you should know, shouldn't you? I mean, you write this stuff. Can't you recall your own notes on character backstory?
EK: Well, sure, but I was hoping you might tell us in your own words, you know? Give us some insight, some hidden motives. Share some dark, secret, life altering events.
NEVADA: I think you may have me confused with Carl, who is clearly a disturbed little bugger. A genius, yes, but emotionally disturbed, you'll have to admit.
EK: Well, I don't know if I intended to write him as "disturbed". Quirky, certainly. Eccentric, unconventional, aberrant, idiosyncratic, a bit freakish, maybe.
NEVADA: You sound like a walking thesaurus.
EK: Well, words are my business, you know. But you don't seem to interact with the character Carl Pukwudgie in the books as if you consider him "disturbed".
NEVADA: Well we're not in the books at the moment, are we? I thought this was the whole point. To get a more candid picture of the characters when they're not playing their roles.
EK: Hmmm. Let me think about this for a moment…
This excerpt from Chapter 2 of Alien Law
might shed some light on
“I have to call Carl right away,” Nevada said as he and Ms. McGill disembarked from the train. “Can I use your phone?”
“Well, of course, but don't you have one? I mean, shouldn't you?”
“Yes, Ms. McGill, I have one but it's old and the service is limited and won't usually work outside the metro Philly area. I'm what's known as 'slow-tech', which is of endless fascination to my clients for some reason.”
“Slow-tech? I'm afraid I don't know what that is. You mean low-tech?”
“No. It means I don't, or rather won't, upgrade. I have a cell phone, a computer, a television, but all vintage machines, as it were. I resist the latest generations, the newest software enhancements and so forth. A fact that many people find incongruous with my line of work, but I find just the opposite. I'm not quite Amish, although I do enjoy a nice buggy ride. Did you not notice my digital watch with the green, segmented LED numbers?”
“I did, actually, but I just thought it was some sort of retro fashion statement.”
“Ah, good! Retro-tech! Maybe I'll use that term to describe my relationship to technology instead of 'slow-tech'. A better connotation, I think. In any case, we need to get together with Carl as soon as possible. He's in Baltimore. I believe he can be very helpful to us.”
Copyright © 2013 EK Gillcoan
Monday, April 1, 2013
Carl Pukwudgie is a bit of a strange bird. He had a strong interest in strange creatures and the paranormal from an early age, and eventually grew up to become a bona-fide cryptozoologist. He was also always good with electronic things, having as a child taken apart and (sometimes) put back together various electronic devices around the house with nary a shock, but many blown fuses.
We first meet him in Chapter 3 of Alien Law:
Carl's place was almost Hollywood cliché. It was in the old warehouse district and occupied the entire third floor of a building fit for a mad scientist. The cavernous room that comprised his work space was filled from floor to twelve-foot ceiling with blinking and beeping electronic equipment. The big warehouse windows were mostly blacked out and the crumbly brick walls between them were covered with posters from old monster movies as well as blown up newspaper photos and eyewitness drawings of Yetis and Chupacabras and the like. There was also a colorful and nicely framed picture of Chessie the Chesapeake Bay sea monster painted on velvet.
And Carl himself fit the movie role, too. A diminutive creature with a shiny cue-ball head, large protruding ears and a thin blonde pony tail wriggling down between his shoulder blades representing the last few hair follicles remaining in his cranial area.
Copyright © 2013 EK Gillcoan
From "Steampunk Alien Invasion" (soon to be released):
- Carl’s snake-like ponytail whipped back and forth on the back of his cue-ball head as he swung his machete wildly trying to cut through the thick jungle growth. “Oh, man, do I hate friggin’ vampires! Only one thing I hate more than vampires, and that’s… friggin’… jungles!” he said punctuating his words with each swing.
Nevada was clearly getting weary of Carl’s complaining. “It’s not a vampire, as such, as you’re well aware. It’s an Aswang. Not quite the same thing, although it has been reputed to exhibit vampire characteristics. Anyway, I seem to recall that it was your idea, your insistence in fact, that we get involved in this expedition.” Being a foot and a half taller than Carl, Nevada swung his machete at the overhead vines while Carl hacked away at the underbrush. -
Copyright © 2013 EK Gillcoan
Sunday, March 31, 2013
The character R. Nevada is a complex yet simple fellow in the sense that what you see is pretty much what you get with him, but he is composed of paradoxes. He is fascinated by technology, for instance, but steadfastly refuses to be controlled by it and is therefore comfortable remaining in his "slow-tech" zone - using older technology, resisting upgrades and cutting edge devices. You would expect a Strange Phenomena Investigator to be into gadgets and high-tech tools to ply his trade, but he relies on others, like colorful sidekick Carl Pukwudie, for that sort of expertise and assistance. In this respect he's a bit anachronistic, but not a full-on anachronism.