The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe

Crushing on Villains: Damien Angelica Walters Takes Our Pop Quiz Interview

Welcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on Tor.com featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!

Today we’re joined by Damien Angelica Walters, whose short fiction has appeared in various magazines and anthologies, including Year’s Best Weird Fiction Volume One, The Best of Electric Velocipede, Strange Horizons, Nightmare, Lightspeed, Shimmer, Apex, What Fates Impose, and Glitter & Mayhem. She’s also a freelance editor, and until the magazine’s closing in 2013, she was an Associate Editor of the Hugo Award-winning Electric Velocipede. Sing Me Your Scars, a collection of her short fiction, is available now from Apex Publications.

Join us!

Please relate one fact about yourself that has never appeared anywhere else in print or on the Internet.

When I was a child I had a crush on Darth Vader and later, Boba Fett. I’m not sure what this says about the sort of child I was.

If you could choose your own personal theme music to play every time you enter a room, what would you pick?

Michael Nyman’s theme from The Piano. I can’t say it would be the best choice when I’m staggering into the kitchen for my first cup of coffee, but it would make the journey more enjoyable.

 If you had to choose one band or artist to provide the official soundtrack to your new book, who would it be?

Tori Amos. Her lyrics are poetry, even when they’re cutting you to pieces. I recommend this playlist:

  1. Crucify
  2. Leather
  3. Baker Baker
  4. Putting the Damage On
  5. Doughnut Song
  6. Mr. Zebra
  7. Silent All These Years
  8. Hey Jupiter
  9. 1000 Oceans
  10. A Sorta Fairytale
  11. Abnormally Attracted to Sin

Do you have a favorite unknown author?

I’ve a favorite fairly unknown bookI Who Have Never Known Men by Jacqueline Harpman. I picked up a copy years ago while wandering through a Barnes & Noble. It’s a chilling story set on a barren world where men and women are kept in underground cages, and it’s not a book for people who want all their questions answered and everything explained, but I highly recommend it.

Battle to the death, which weapon do you choose: A) Phaser, B) Lightsaber, or C) Wand?

Lightsaber, definitely. There is a four-year old in the family who loves Star Wars and he has several lightsabers.* Much practice, he has. Very skilled, he is.

*These may or may not be toys, but rest assured, no child was harmed during the training.

If you could name a planet after anyone (other than yourself), who would you choose and why?

Ripley, from Alien, most definitely. I think it’s the least we can do.

Name your favorite monster from fiction, film, TV, or any other pop culture source.

This won’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me, but the xenomorph from Alien. If I met it in a dark corridor, I know it would eat my face or make me a human incubator for more of its kind, but acid for blood, a double mouth, the whip-like tail—what’s not to love?

What literary or film science fiction technology do you wish existed in our world right now?

Teleportation. It would make things so much easier. People could sleep in a little longer, and rush hour traffic and road rage would become relics of the past.

What was your gateway to SF/Fantasy, as a child or young adult?

The Velveteen Rabbit counts, doesn’t it? I remember crying my heart out, and then much later when I tried to read it to my own children I discovered it’s nearly impossible to read aloud when you’re sobbing.

I also remember the beautiful illustrations from a copy I had of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match Girl. The book didn’t survive my childhood, unfortunately; my tears probably soaked the pages until they fell apart.

What would your Patronus/familiar be?

Deinonychus. I’d name her Betty, paint her toe claws bright red, and drape a strand of pearls round her neck.

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