Hamish Downie’s Five Questions with Made in DNA

Editor Note: Hamish has another in his series of Five Questions With…

Hamish came up with this idea because he was accumulating too much material for his Famous News Sushi column and asked if he could do these mini-interviews. Why would we say no?

Thank you Hamish for being such a trooper for us. We really appreciate all for your hard work.

Let us know what you think of these interviews in the comments below.

TGG: Those of you who have followed my “News Sushi” blog while remember that I shared “Screaming Metal” in serialised form. But, for those of our readers who don’t know you, could you introduce yourself?

MiD: My pen name is Made in DNA. It’s a homage to manga artist Shirow Masamune. (Bonus points to anyone who can figure out exactly where I got it.) I came up with it when I was in college and it just kind of stuck. I’ve been writing since then mostly in the realm of science fiction adventure and possibly cyberpunk. I’ve been living in Japan for just a little over 20 years now and my work has slipped into the weird. I really love mixing genres, and weird really gives you freedom to do that — to be anachronistic, wild, and downright dirty (in every sense of the word). I’ve been greatly influenced by adult reading material such as Heavy Metal Magazine, Epic Illustrated, Penthouse Comix, etc.

TGG: Could you tell us about your new novel?

MiD: The title is Screaming Metal and sci-fi fans will immediately recognize the homage to Metal Hurlant. As I said, I really like mixing genres and working in adult reading material, but this novella is different. I started it back in 2015 when I wanted to do a second Twitter “novel”. I serialized my first one back in 2007-2008, and jumped straight into doing this one, but it soon languished as I didn’t properly outline first. So back in 2017, I started over and wrote an adventure. It’s “rated PG”. There’s no adult language or situations (which most of my readers will know me for), and I really enjoyed it.

The story takes place on a frontier planet called Shake Hands that eschews both high tech and offworlders. There, the 3-member crew of the Alley Cat is digging for a supposed non-functional alien A.I. for a third-party buyer. Trouble ensues.


TGG: What inspired you to write the novel?

MiD: Alongside the aforementioned influences, specifically in regards to Screaming Metal, both the Fred Saberhagen Berserker universe and Makoto Kobayashi’s Dragon’s Heaven (and other works) set the style. I love mecha — mechs, giant robots, etc. — so it was only natural for me. I’m super disappointed that there aren’t more novels and media out there, outside of the already established brands because frankly, they are getting “tired”, and that’s something I’d like to change.

TGG: What’s next for you?

MiD: I have several novellas in various stages of progress. I’m hoping to drop a second Metal Fiction universe novella in 2021 or 2022. Each of the novellas are standalone pieces with different characters and situations arranged around the titular Metals (the mecha). In between those I’ll be working on different projects as well.

TGG: How can we best support you? (buy your stuff, follow you on social media, etc)

MiD: I have a couple of different sites for different facets of my writing. I have a load of free short story and non-fiction posts at Vocal. This might be the best place to see if my writing style suits a reader. There is healthy amount of adult work there, but it is all under an adult category and pretty easy to distinguish. (There are no adult images though.) Other than that, I hang out on Twitter (@idiotandroid) far too much, and my work is published on Amazon, DriveThruFiction, Smashwords, and Itchio.

Vocal: https://vocal.media/authors/made-in
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Made-in-DNA/e/B003L3W1X2/
DriveThruFiction: https://www.drivethrufiction.com/browse/pub/4667/Made-in-DNA
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/junkdnafiction
Itchio: https://made-in-dna.itch.io/

TGG: Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed!

MiD: Thanks again for this chance!

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