The ‘Use Only As Directed’ Interviews: Charlotte Nash

26 07 2014

What’s the story behind a story? There are probably as many answers to that as there are stories … but to glean a few of those meta-stories, I’ve invited the highly-talented authors that Edwina Harvey and I assembled in the recent Use Only As Directed anthology, which has been the subject of recent repeated mention in these parts, to comment on just what was going through their minds as they put pen to paper. I’ll be running their responses over the coming days (with the proviso that what follows won’t necessarily be a complete set of all the Use Only As Directed authors, because it is a voluntary exercise and I have chosen what many have been an inconvenient time for some people). It is, though, in any case, appropriate that I open the proceedings with Charlotte Nash‘s answers, seeing as Charlotte’s story ‘Dellinger’ is first up in the anthology’s Table of Contents.

Charlotte Nash - Author

Without further ado, then:

What should readers know about you before they sit down to read ‘Dellinger’?

I don’t know if there’s anything you *should* know … I think the story should stand for itself. But if I had to say one thing, it’s that I’m a deeply unconventional person at heart, lurking in some conventional spaces and enjoying the subversion. 😉

What provoked you (or, if you’d rather, encouraged you) to tell the story you did? What was the germ of the idea that led to it?

It began in the fertile ground of a long-running interest in man-machine interfaces. The seeding idea was that of an old-world ship’s doctor, but turned on its head – a doctor for the ship itself. A space ship. I’d written another short story with the character and this idea, but she had a shady past, and is the type of person who attracts trouble despite trying to keep out of it. She’s trying to make some kind of new start, but that old life won’t be escaped. This story is one episode of those issues returning to bite. Along with this, I liked the idea of a Bermuda triangle in space, and putting the two together, I had my story.

If you were told you were only allowed to keep one sentence from the published story, what sentence would that be, and why?

“You want to free this murdering ship and put it in a cyborg body to wander around? Fuck that.” Hehehe … I had chosen a more poignant, poetic sentence, but it didn’t make sense on its own. And this one has a raw kind of appeal… I can imagine Hudson saying it.

I happen to know that ‘Dellinger’ is a follow-up to at least one other earlier story of yours, ‘The Ship’s Doctor’, that appeared in ASIM 47. Are there other stories in this sequence, and might there ultimately be a novel of Coryn’s adventures?

There aren’t any others written yet, but I do see Coryn and Riley’s travels as a bit like the Odyssey, journeying for a metaphorical home rather than a physical one. My husband bugged me for a long while to write a second one, and I imagine there will be others. As to a novel … if a big enough idea came along, I wouldn’t rule it out.

What are you currently working on, and what would you like to tell readers of this blog about your current endeavour?

I’m working on an agricultural cyberpunk novel and having heaps of fun with it. I started it a while ago, then I realised my two opposing characters (a machinery fault-finder and an industrial saboteur) had met before, and had a strange love-hate attraction to each other’s work (and each other). So I wrote a prequel about their first meeting (Blue ICE, ASIM #59), and now I’m writing the big story of what happens next. Basically, in a world driven by FarmCorps automation, Thumper is a saboteur outside the system. Until someone tries to kill him, which forces him to examine the dirty world inside the corps, uncovering a plan that will change the whole world. I’m about half done and desperate to finish it!


If you’re interested in learning more about Charlotte’s writing — and as well as ‘Dellinger’ itself, I can also heartily endorse the stories she’s written for ASIM 49 and 59 (as well as the story of hers I should be editing for the upcoming ASIM 61!) — you might wish to check out her website at

If you’re now feeling motivated to read ‘Dellinger’ and the other stories in Use Only As Directed, the links are here: (PBB (publisher, pbk, epub, pdf, mobi); Amazon (mobi))

Tomorrow’s interview: Leife Shallcross, ‘The Blue Djinn’s Wish’.




One response

26 07 2014
Charlotte Nash

Reblogged this on Charlotte Nash.

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