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Below: Harold Holt, Australian Prime Minister -- not yet either dead or daikaiju

Trent Jamieson
Q & A
Daikaiju! story: "Five Bells "

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

Unfortunately I’m an absolute neophyte when it comes to daikaiju. But my interest in giant monsters probably began with Battle of the Planets, a terribly dubbed, horribly watered down version of a late seventies anime Kagaku Ninja-Tai Gatchaman, which translates as, so Google tells me, Science Ninja Team Gatchaman. When I was a kid this "cartoon" -- which is what we called anime because we didn’t know any better -- rocked.

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

I’ve published short stories in magazines and anthologies such as Nemonymous, Agog! Smashing Stories, Nowa Fantastica, and Aurealis. In fact, I have a collection coming out this year through Prime Books. I’ve just finished a steam punk zombie novel called The Night Bound Land, which is currently looking for a home, and, oddly enough, features at least one daikaiju-sized beast.

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

This is my first.

What would you consider your major work to be?

The next novel I’m working on. It’s certainly the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to write.

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

"Ground Under Foot", by Robert Hood. I really, really like this story. [It's in Aurealis 23, 1999 -- ed.] "The Fog Horn", by Ray Bradbury.

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

Maybe I’m weird  but I’ve always wanted to write about a giant Harold Holt rising out of the sea -- a great white shark stuck in his foreskin -- but I could never find a way of framing it in a story (I can‘t believe I just wrote that sentence). I love Kenneth Slessor’s poetry, and his poem "Five Bells" seemed the perfect way to link the story together, well perfect to me. I also wanted to write about depression, as there’s something inherently sad about daikaiju, something mournful mixed up in all the rage.

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

Whatever you do, don’t judge the genre by the 1998 US production of Godzilla.

February 2005



The anthology is published by Agog! Press.

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