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Interview: Rick Bowes on “Rascal Saturday”

– Tell us a bit about “Rascal Saturday.”

My story, Rascal Saturday, is set a couple of generations down the line in a time of global warming and growing political chaos. In this future, Manhattan is nicknamed, “The Big Arena.”

At the center of the story is a gifted but unstable and corrupt Irish American Family, the Dineens. The Dineens are famous in our world, and are secretly the self-proclaimed rulers of the city of Naxos and its Fey-like population. Naxos is in an alternate world to which they have access.

Janina Dineen, a young scion of the house, is seeking to end this injustice.


– What was the inspiration for this story, or what prompted you to write it?

I tend find myself writing series of stories that share a common themes and settings. “Rascal Saturday” is one of a group that started with “Tales That Fairies Tell,” in Paula Guran’s original anthology, Once Upon A Time (2013). Last Year’s Nebula Award nominated novelette “Sleep Walking Now and Then” ( was another one. The story, “Anyone With A Care For Their Image,” came out this year in Uncanny, and “Time is a Twisting Snake,” was in the newly resurrected Farrago’s Wainscot early this year.

These days, my novels are fix-ups – related stories assembled into a narrative line. That’s how my Minions of the Moon (1999), From The Files Of The Time Rangers (2005) and Dust Devil On A Quiet Street (2013) were created. Each of those books contained chapters that had once been original stories in original anthologies, in online magazines and in print magazines: especially F&SF. Some won awards and some were on short lists and in Year’s Best collections.

Maybe something like that will happen with these “Big Arena” stories. That doesn’t depend on me nearly as much as it does on where the stories take me.


– Was “Rascal Saturday” personal to you in any way?  If so, how?

I tend to write Urban Fantasy and it tends to be first person and varying degrees of “personal.” But I also write in a mode that’s a bit more Science Fictional. “From the Files of the Time Rangers” was about Time Travel and 20th Century U.S. politics and the upcoming Singularity as well as the Ancient Gods and their modern servants.

Two of the first three genre pieces that I wrote were paperback original novels. Both were published in the mid-1980s. Warchild and Goblin Market were both about Time Travel. The third novel, Feral Cell was dark Urban Fantasy and more personal. It was about alternate worlds and Cancer, which I had at that time.


– What are you working on now?

At the behest of Steve Berman at Lethe Press (who published my novel (Dust Devil On A Quiet Street) I’m working on a fix-up novel about being a gay kid in Boston, circa the late 1940’s – 1962. Several of the stories have been published “Stories I Tell To Friends” (The Revelator), “Seven Days of Poe” (Where Thy Dark Eye Glances), “Fordham Court,” (Interfictions).


– Anything else you’d like to add?

Selling a story to any venue makes me feel I need to do something in return. I want the story to succeed, get critical attention, award attention, and get selected for Year’s Best anthologies. Sometimes that happens more often it doesn’t. When I started selling stories in the early 1990’s, there were two prominent review sites for spec fiction stories; Locus Online and Tangent. Almost 25 years later, many things have changed but that’s still the case.

“Rascal Saturday” appears in the September/October 2015 issue of F&SF.  You can purchase it here:

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