Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on the Escapist Book Tours virtual book tour for Chris Durston’s Dark Fantasy short story collection Chronicles from the World of Guilt! Today, I am excited to help kickoff the tour by sharing an interview with the main character from the book!
You can find our Q&A below, along with all of the info about the book, the author, and links to purchase a copy of Chronicles from the World of Guilt for yourself! Also, be sure to take a look at the schedule here or at the top of the post and follow along to see the stops from our other awesome hosts!
Chronicles from the World of Guilt by Chris Durston
Series: N/A, Standalone
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Intended Age Group: Adult
Published: August 26, 2022
Publisher: Three Ravens Publishing
What is Guilt?
Is it an enormous flying whale? Maybe an alien, come from deep space to punish us? Some call it an angel or a god, others a demon.
What nobody can deny is that it is the end.
These tales chronicle the story of the Earth in the centuries after the apocalypse: struggles for survival against twisted, horrific foes; small moments of kindness and warmth in the dark; life going on, even as the whole world changes.
These are the Chronicles from the World of Guilt.
We’re All Having a Whale of a Time • Everybody’s Changing (Into Murderous Butterfly Creatures) • Cetacean of Domination
Universal Link: mybook.to/WorldOfGuilt
Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Guilt: I AM. I SWIM.
Sothea: Hello! Sothea here. My friends Edsimander and Lendora and I are the founders of a totally new scientific discipline we call beastology. I read in this one book that people used to do something similar and called it zoology, but I have no idea how to pronounce that word so I’m sticking with beastology.
What music do you listen to?
Guilt: THE HARMONIC FREQUENCIES GENERATED BY THE MOVEMENTS OF THE CELESTIAL BODIES, ACCOMPANIED BY THE PERCUSSIVE THUMP OF MY FINS AS I TRAVERSE THE COSMOS.
Sothea: Edsimander has this board with three strings and a little metal thing that makes a springy sound. He calls it a stringspring. It’s kinda twangy, but he’s good with it.
What are 3 items you can’t live without?
Guilt: I NEED ONLY MYSELF. I AM. I SWIM.
Sothea: A good pair of boots, a magnifying glass, and a sturdy water flask.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Guilt: THE BARELY SIGNIFICANT PULL OF GRAVITY. THIS IS NOTHING TO ME, YET NOTHING ELSE IS EVEN CLOSE TO A FRACTION OF AN INCONVENIENCE.
Sothea: Lendora’s always late, and she hardly ever keeps our place clean. But… for some reason, I can never stay angry with her.
What do you do in your free time?
Guilt: I AM. I SWIM.
Sothea: I guess the science thing is kind of free time, since it doesn’t exactly pay. But when I’m not doing that, I like to just go and watch the ocean in the sky.
What makes you want to get out of bed in the morning?
Guilt: I DO NOT GO TO BED.
Sothea: Usually my belly rumbling.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Guilt: NONE CAN ADVISE ME.
Sothea: My aunt made me climb to the top of a mountain to watch Guilt fly past once. She said you have to understand things to be able to do something about them, even if they’re scary or whatever. I mean, nobody can understand Guilt, exactly, but I get what she meant. You can’t make a difference unless you take the time to really know how things are – only then can you start thinking about how to get them to where they could be.
What’s your favorite animal?
Guilt: THE ENTITY CREATED WHEN A HUNDRED DYING STARS COMBINE THEIR LIGHTS INTO A SINGLE WAVELENGTH, BIRTHING A GREAT AND TERRIBLE FORM FROM THE BASIC WAVES OF THE UNIVERSE ITSELF.
Sothea: I have this little friend we call a polypod. He’s adorable – eight tentacles, a big blubbery head, sweet round eyes. He’s super smart, too. I have this theory that however he thinks, it’s not quite the same as how we think, but he can definitely do thinking, you know?
What do you think about [other MC(s)]?
Guilt: I DO NOT KNOW WHO THIS IS. I KNOW OF NOTHING OTHER THAN THE ENDLESS SPACE AROUND ME AND THE BLUE BALL BENEATH ME, FOR WHICH I DO NOT CARE.
Sothea: Guilt… defines all our lives. I’ve only seen it once, but just knowing it’s flying somewhere, knowing what could happen to me if it ever flies overhead… Ech, I’m shivering now. Look, let me just say this and leave it at that: Guilt is our world.
How would you define happiness?
Sothea: That’s… an interesting one. I think the world’s so weird and so terrifying that happiness is basically just about finding the things that make you forget that, you know? Like, I love just sitting and listening to Edsimander and Lendora argue about something super unimportant. It makes me forget that a million things in the world are messed up. It makes me feel like if I cling onto that small thing, somehow all the big things will be fine too. I know they won’t, but it makes me feel like they could be.
If you could change one thing about [the book’s world], what would it be?
Guilt: I AM TIRED. PERHAPS I WOULD LIKE TO STOP SWIMMING FROM TIME TO TIME.
Sothea: I mean, you ask anyone that question and they’ll say… get rid of Guilt. Right? No Guilt, no Children of Guilt, no… messed-up murderous trees or infinite towers or shadow-butterflies with knives for wings… but if you take away Guilt, you take away all those moments that were more precious to us because they were in spite of Guilt. I don’t even know what the world would look like without Guilt. So I’m just gonna say I would make all food taste really good without needing seasoning. That would be an immediate improvement, for sure.
What’s your biggest fear?
Guilt: IN A DARK CORNER OF THE GALAXY, I ONCE ENCOUNTERED A VERY LARGE BEE THAT I DID NOT LIKE. I DO NOT FEAR IT, FOR I FEAR NOTHING. … BUT I DID NOT LIKE THAT BEE.
Sothea: That I’ll lose everything and everyone. And the worst thing is, in this world that could happen at pretty much any moment for no reason at all.
How would you describe the world you live in?
Sothea: Guilt is the world, and the world is Guilt. But there’s a lot more than that to it, too. There are people, despite everything. And they’re also the world.
About the Author
Chris Durston is a writer, editor, and occasional musician from the South West of England, where (like everyone else who lives there) they spend their days scrumping, their nights cow-tipping, and the intervening periods hiding from irate farmers. Their debut novel Each Little Universe was self-published in April 2020 and republished by Skullgate Media in October 2021; their short stories appear in half a dozen or so other places. Future projects (as of the time of writing – with any luck, at least some of these will now be in your present) include work on storytelling card game Woad: Stone to Stone, more novels and whatnot, and Cthulhu Dreamt 2, a collaborative multimedia project including a metal album, a novel, and a role-playing game. Find them at chrisdurston.com or on Twitter as @chrisdurstonish.
(Also on Facebook as https://www.facebook.com/chrisdurstondoeswords/ and Instagram as chrisdurstondoeswords.)
Author Site: https://chrisdurston.com/