Welcome to an Interview with : rob mclennan
Author of. The Uncertainty Principle: stories, (Chaudiere Books, 2014)
A brief synopsis.
The Uncertainty Principle is a collection of very short stories in compact prose. Some stories are but a sentence long, while others last half a page or more. They run the range from personal missives to explorations of world history to commentary on contemporary (including pop) culture.
What made you decide to write this book?
After reading authors such as Lydia Davis and Sarah Mangold, I wanted to see what else might be possible through the form of the postcard-sized story, and the book-length accumulation of such pieces. Just how much can be said in a short space?
Where did you find the characters?
The stories are far more idea and even plot driven than character driven, meaning the idea of character is reduced almost completely to the narrative “I.” There ain’t much character to speak of, I’d say. But where there are, they came out of where all writing comes: anywhere and everywhere.
Share with the readers one little known fact about yourself.
The shorter the prose work, the longer it seems to take to complete. This collection took five years to complete, where a longer work, a more linear memoir, took only three years. I spent most of the time cutting, carving and shifting. Boiling down.
Are you traditionally published or an Indie author?
Uncertain of your specific definition of “Indie.” I have published some thirty books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction through various small presses throughout Canada and a couple of other countries. That said, this new collection of short, short stories is produced by Chaudiere Books, a small publishing house I run with my wife, Christine McNair.
If you could make one change to the world, what would it be?
There should be less cruelty. Far less.
Do you have a website to share?
Any Link to the Book?
Please feel free to share an excerpt.
At the toy store, she picks the soft baby plush, “Rocket Baby Play Set,” for her friend’s baby shower, this chewable rocket with space-dog peeking out through clear plastic window. Where are you, Laika, adrift? Saddest toy I’ve seen in some time, strange homage to the first animal to orbit the earth, the first orbital death, sent up in Sputnik 2 on November 3, 1957. Squeeze the plush rocket and Astro Dog barks, felt tongue playfully lolling, inert. Do you remember Dogs in Space (1986), the film starring still-teen INXS-frontman Michael Hutchence, a lesser-known alternate to the same year’s Sid and Nancy (1986)? One has nothing to do with the other; a story similar but Australian, more crowded and far more meandering. Squeeze the rocket, and the plush dog barks. Don’t dwell on what happens when the small battery dies, don’t think about euthanasia or the rocket-turned-crypt, a creature who died from the temperature spike; don’t think about the mass of ignored, broken toys as this yet-unborn toddler emerges from baby fat, worn rocket plush at the back of her playroom like Major Tom, lost and discarded, drifting in dusty space.
Many thanks for taking the time to join us Rob. I wish you the very best with your book.