Check out the original guidelines

Below: King Kong takes on Godzilla


Terry Dartnall
Q & A
Daikaiju! story: "Footfall"

When did your interest in daikaiju and other giant monsters begin? What inspired it?

I wasn't really aware of the genre until I saw the info about the proposed anthology.  I'd seen movies about monsters, of course—most obviously Godzilla—but hadn't realised it was a genre.

Perhaps you can tell us something of your career to date.

I taught philosophy for many years, until the jobs dried up back in the 1980s. I retrained into Artificial Intelligence, which I've been teaching at Griffith University since then. I didn't start writing fiction until a couple of years ago, when I was nearly 60. So I started late. I've had 30 stories accepted since then. 

How many giant monsters stories have you written/had published?

The two you've accepted!

What would you consider your major work to be?

I haven't published a major work.  I'm looking forward to having a crack at a novel when I retire.  Soon, soon …

Where does your fascination for giant monsters come from (if you have one)?

I was seriously frightened by the Quatermass series as a child -- and saw The Monster from Green Hell, which is about giant wasps, at an RAF base in the UK when I was 15.  This might account for my unholy terror of praying mantisses.  In "The Strange Case of Starbase 6" (to appear in the Daikaiju! Supplementary e-Anthology), Sherlock Holmes shoots up on a cocktail of drugs and has a vision of a mantiss more than three miles long, drifting through space.  It eats the starship.

Different people have different ideas as to why the giant monster genre holds such power? What is your take on it?

I think most people like them because they're fun.

What is your favourite giant monster film? Why that one?

Godzilla vs King Kong was good fun. An interesting clash between King Kong, with his big brain, and Godzilla, who's brain is the size of a pea.

Are there any written stories or novels featuring giant monsters that you would particularly recommend?

None I can think of.

What lies ahead for you?

I wanna have a crack at a novel when I retire.

Can you tell us how you came to write your story for the DAIKAIJU! anthology? What thoughts lay behind it?

I don't think when I'm writing! If I started to think I wouldn't be able to write. Like the centipede who was asked how he able to coordinate all those legs. When he thought about it he wasn't able to walk anymore.

The daikaiju genre (such as it is) has been very film-focussed to date. Did this prove a problem when you came to writing your story?

Hmmm… I don't think so.

What would you say to those new to the idea of daikaiju films and stories?


February 2005



The anthology is published by Agog! Press.

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