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This Ain’t The Love Boat, Alas

JEZEBEL:
Heya, Avid Fans! Welcome once again to Cat and Muse, the only Internet talk-radio show (that we know of) where characters run the joint. I’m your host, the former demon Jezebel, coming at you live from the sordid depths of Jackie Kessler’s website. With me, as always, is the producer of Cat and Muse, who’s forced to speak in clichés and pop-culture references…the Muse of Tragedy, Melpomene!

[APPLAUSE]

Hi, Mel!

MELPOMENE:

YO.

JEZ:
Today’s guest is someone who’s been pumping out funny science fiction books like there’s no tomorrow. The HAL SPACEJOCK series is “Riddled with slapstick humour and glib one-liners,” according to Brisbane’s Courier Mail, and Galaxy Books says “The dialogue is witty, the pace is fast and the result is hilarious.”

Boys and girls, say hello to the star of Simon Haynes’ latest book, NO FREE LUNCH…Hal Spacejock!

[APPLAUSE]

Lunch

Heya, Hal!

HAL:
Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking, ‘allo ‘allo ‘allo, what’s all this then? Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

JEZ:
Wow.

HAL:
Is that right? Sounds a bit odd to me, but Clunk assures me he’s identified the most common greetings of your era.

JEZ:
It’s a memorable opening, sweetie. [GLANCES AT CUE CARDS] So you’re a freighter pilot forced to take on a risky job to pay your bills, which lands you in way more trouble than you expected. My my. Define “trouble.”

HAL:
Everyone’s after my cargo, and some are ready to kill for it.

JEZ:
Only some, huh?

HAL:
The rest are too busy lying, cheating and scamming to pull the trigger.

JEZ:
Heh.

MEL:
WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE, WHO NEEDS ENEMIES?

HAL:
The entire situation is ridiculous from one end to the other. Makes me wish I’d chosen an easier career. Asteroid-catcher, for example.

JEZ:
[LAUGHS] Poor sweetie.

HAL:
Fortunately, I’m helped out by a kindly robot named Clunk.

JEZ:
[BLINKS] Clunk?

HAL:
He was on his way to the scrap heap.

JEZ:
Ah. Got to love descriptive proper nouns.

HAL:
I scratch his back, and he grates mine raw.

JEZ:
Sounds like he’s more trouble than he’s worth. Given that he was on the way to the junkyard, that’s a Hell of a lot of trouble.

HAL:
Clunk turns out to be a very handy offsider. We complement each other well: he has the piloting skills, business skills, technical skills, analytical skills and personality, while I perform a more managerial role.

JEZ:
So he does all the work, and you take all the credit?

HAL:
[GRINS]

JEZ:
Okay, spill. Who’s your love interest?

HAL:
There’s no love interest.

JEZ:
What? Anathema!

HAL:
I’m a freighter pilot, not the captain of a passenger liner.

JEZ:
Even so, a pilot’s got needs! Come on, sweetie, tell us: what’s your romantic fantasy?

HAL:

Women in uniform. Woarr!

JEZ:
That’s what I’m talking about!

HAL:
Failing that, women bearing chocolate.

JEZ:
Bless me, a man who understands a woman’s needs! Interesting that you mentioned uniforms. Love your coffee-stained flight suit.

HAL:
Looks just like plumbers overalls, but costs ten times as much.

JEZ:
Heh. Which is better: sex or chocolate?

HAL:
I’ve had chocolate once or twice over the past year. Alas, I can’t say the same about sex.

JEZ:

Oh sweetie. Stick around after the interview. I’m sure you and I can…work something out.

MEL:
KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE BALL.

JEZ:
What do you think I’m trying to do?

MEL:
DON’T MIX BUSINESS WITH PLEASURE.

JEZ:
Spoilsport. [CLEARS THROAT] So Hal, in the HAL SPACEJOCK series, were there any parts of the story where you were like, Simon, dude, what the hell are you making me do? Or were you and your Creator in sync the entire time?

HAL:
I don’t believe in this Creator you mention.

JEZ:
Really?

HAL:
Although I must admit, there were times I felt someone had to be looking down on me. Many, many times. Most of them very painful.

JEZ:
Yeah, that would be your Creator, all right. They have a tendency to look down on us. [GLARES AT COMPUTER SCREEN] If you had your way, what would you change about HAL SPACEJOCK?

HAL:
I’d make me a rich bastard with his own planet. Let someone else carry the freight around.

JEZ:
Nice! If you could make Simon Haynes do anything, what would it be?

HAL:
That’s this Creator guy you’ve invented, right?

JEZ:
Sweetie, **I** had nothing to do with it…

HAL:
Well, I’d stick him in a junky old space ship, take away all his worldly possessions and watch HIM struggle.

JEZ:
Sounds good to me. Tell me one thing in the real world that you wish you could change.

HAL:
Make politicians live on minimum wages for a month or two. Then fire any who complain about it.

JEZ:
Hah! Brilliant! What about in the publishing world?

HAL:
Take the mega-millions wasted on celebrity book advances and use half to publish more authors, and the other half to promote their entire list. After all, celebrities don’t NEED the advances—their books will sell anyway.

JEZ:
You, sir, are a visionary. If HAL SPACEJOCK goes Hollywood, who should play you in the movie?

HAL:
Owen Wilson is a natural for me. Hang in there, mate!

JEZ:
What about Clunk?

HAL:
Terence Stamp is Clunk to a T. Just need to shave his head and spray-paint him bronze all over.

JEZ:
Ooh. Get him to a high-polished finish, he could double as a mirror. Finally, if you could be evil for one day, and you were granted spiffy evil powers, what would the powers be and how would you use them?

HAL:
Repeal tax laws at the drop of a hat.

JEZ:
Repeal? Really?

HAL:
Every time they bring in new ones, repeal them again.

JEZ:
Um, I did say “evil,” didn’t I?

HAL:
It’s hard enough making a living at the cargo game without giving more than half away. (What’s that, Clunk? Whaddya mean we’ve never made a profit? Well, that’s my point exactly!)

JEZ:
Hee. A freight pilot with a heart of gold. Who’d have thunk it?

Avid Fans, give another round of applause to the star of Simon Haynes’ HAL SPACEJOCK series, the man himself, Hal Spacejock!

[APPLAUSE]

Simon
[No, this isn’t Hal Spacejock. But it is his Dear Creator, Simon Haynes.]

The HAL SPACEJOCK series includes:

HAL SPACEJOCK *
SECOND COURSE
JUST DESSERTS
NO FREE LUNCH

You can get the books in the HAL SPACEJOCK series at Amazon, Powell’s, Borders Australia and New Zealand, Dymocks, Fantastic Planet, and other fine bookstores near you. If you live outside Australia, the publisher has a very special offer on all four books.

* Lookie! A footnote! The first book in the series, HAL SPACEJOCK, has just been released as a free ebook. Huzzah! Download your copy here.

That’s it for this episode of Cat and Muse. Until next time, remember: love your inner demon.

3 Responses to “This Ain’t The Love Boat, Alas”

  1. […] My email server came back to life, huzzah! So come on over to Cat and Muse and say hello to Simon Haynes’ Hal Spacejock. […]

    by Jackie Kessler - Insert Witty Title Here on June 3rd, 2008 at 6:54 am

  2. Clunk is my dream fodder…

    by Tehani on June 3rd, 2008 at 7:37 am

  3. Great interview. I love funny stories. This one sounds great.

    by Tom Gallier on June 3rd, 2008 at 8:12 am

Current Guest's Author

Michelle Rowen

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  • About

    So, A Demon Walks Into A Radio Studio

    The thing is, Jezebel is an active sort of former demon. She hates staying still for too long. And she loves people. (Just no longer in the “to death” sort of way.) So when she met Melpomene at the Voodoo Café one evening, it was probably inevitable that Jezzie would decide to be an Internet talk-radio host in her spare time.

    Now Cat and Muse has a dedicated audience (so Jezebel claims, loudly), and Jezzie has interviewed darlings of the print world, including MaryJanice Davidson’s Betsy Taylor, Rachel Caine’s Joanne Baldwin, and T.A. Pratt’s Marla Manson.

    Jezzie loves playing radio host. Mel laments being the producer. And Jackie? She just works here.




    The Staff

    Jezebel



    Jezebel is a former succubus. Quick with a joke, and to light up your smoke, there’s no place that she’d rather be than behind the microphone and interviewing other fictional characters. Okay, so maybe she’d rather be boinking the New York Giants. But that was a previous life (she swears), and she’s fully dedicated to being the best Internet talk-radio host she can be. (At least, until something else catches her eye.)

    Melpomene



    Melpomene, the Muse of Tragedy, has nothing better to do than lament her fate—all but forgotten, the Muse has a tendency to sigh and fret and use her power to wreak havoc. At least, she used to do all that, before she got whammied but good and now is stuck speaking in clichés and pop-culture references, sans magic power. At least now that Mel is the producer of Cat and Muse, she gets airtime while she mopes.

    Jackie



    Jackie insists that she runs the joint. She’s just a slave monkey who does Jezebel’s bidding, but don’t tell her that.




    Contact

    Contacting Cat and Muse

    We love hearing from our fans! Email Jackie at with the subject “CAT AND MUSE” and rave about how much you adore Jezebel and feel for Melpomene. And let her know which characters you’d like to see on Cat and Muse. Who knows? Maybe we can oblige.

    If you’re an author and you’d like to set up an interview for your characters, email Jackie at with the subject “INTERVIEW ME.” Jackie would be happy to explain the process.

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