Let's get to know Seth Hynes! All the way from Melbourne, Seth is a film reviewer and a bloody good writer. Look forward to wrapping your brain around his Sci-fi short story "Holistic Logical Weaselling", and Seth, we're real glad to have you in MIXTAPE ONE
What is your favourite comfort food?
Apples - they always relieve my stomach.
What's your all time favourite short story, and why? Probably 'Understand' by Ted Chiang. It's an utterly riveting story about a brain-dead man who gains superintelligence from an experimental serum. This story is practically transcendent, as it succeeds in conveying an unfathomable mind in very humanistic terms. The story has a slow, entrancing build, intense scientific detail without ever being tiresome, evocative descriptions of the protagonist's experiences (including the debilitating burden of his overcharged brain) and a really nifty twist ending.
Do you brush your teeth in the shower? NO
Who are the three authors who have inspired you the most?
British hard sci-fi author Stephen Baxter, New York historical novel writer Sarah Vowell and American fantasy author Steve Boyett.
Have you released any writing before? Tell us about it, and where can we read it.
I've been a freelance journalist since 2009, with articles and opinion pieces (frequently film-themed) published in various print and online publications. I have been an in-print film critic a couple of times, including two years with the Dandenong Journal and my current gig as the weekly film critic for the Mountain Views Mail, which I've been contributing to since April 2014. As for fiction-based writing, I self-published a free ebook of Doctor Who short fiction in 2015 called 'Pre-Meds: A Multi-Doctor Season', and I'm about to release a new book of original cyberpunk short stories.
What does your writing space look like?
I can write anywhere, including in bed or on the bus, but my desk is a mildly-cluttered affair with my keyboard and monitor in the middle, an 'in-tray' of sorts to the left, my tablet, charger and reading materials to the right and a huge, well-laden bookshelf behind the monitor. As for what I write with, I prefer writing by hand with a mechanical pencil on loose-leaf paper held in my trusty wooden clipboard.
You're about to sit and write for the day - but first, you need to get a drink. What's your beverage of choice? I don't drink alcohol. Milk is my beverage of choice, as it's refreshing and nourishing. However, I will spruce it up a bit in the morning by chewing a couple of squares of dark chocolate as I sip the milk.
Tell us about your home city. I spent most of my childhood in the rural outskirts of the Yarra Valley - Dixons Creek, Yarra Glen and Christmas Hills (the latter being where my primary school was). This was a very secluded, peaceful region, and we used to rent an enormous farm-house. In around 2003, we moved to Healesville, which is a fairly active and densely-developed town but still maintains a peaceful, welcoming identity of its own
What do you love about writing? I love how writing involves crafting language into elegant structures that can inform, entertain or inspire readers (or all at once). I also love the rich new worlds writing creates, with the foundations laid by the writer's imagination and expanded by the readers' imaginations.
Usually a brand has a kind of personality about it, and you know what you're messing with when you associate with that brand. Up & Up is interesting, because it is brand new and doesn't really have an established personality yet. How do you feel about it? What do you make of all this?
It feels good to be part of a motley, up-and-coming community that is building our collective identity as we go.
Our motto at Up & Up is "The indie punk label of publishing for the garage bands of writing." What do you make of that? I like this motto as it's very much in line with other media I enjoy. My favourite genre of music is alternative rock, which is often released under independent labels, and this genre contains far more pure, unfettered creativity than music from the studio machine. Likewise, indie and foreign films are not subject to issues of profitability or brand development, and the filmmakers can thus fully realize their creative vision and produce real innovative storytelling. Writing is less restrictive as a field than music or movies, but there still need to be smaller companies like Up & Up that give new writers a chance when so many bigger companies reject them.
What are your hobbies?
I love writing, reading (mostly science fiction and non-fiction, though I also dabble in biographies and fantasy), movies, video games, cooking (frittatas are my specialty), walking for exercise and tinkering with old Macintoshes.
What are your long-term writing plans?
I'm a happy freelance journalist and self-published writer, but I would like to become a paid full-time journalist. I will keep writing and self-publishing books, including a novel I'm planning out, and will gradually build a folio of published books that I can present once I'm ready to get a book formally published with a company. I've also approached a local film company as a script editor - working in filmmaking would be a dream come true. Either that, or supporting myself from book writing.
What question do you wish I'd asked you?
What is your favourite novel - and my answer would be The Gnole by Steve Boyett.