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Dystopian Noire? Sure why not! Interview with Nathan Larson

Don’t you just love newly coined phrases and genres in the book industry? *rolling eyes* OK OK OK they are fine, but admit it, at times annoying! However, considering I try and coin Kriss’isms and ridiculous descriptors all the time, (a few of which I realize I used when I wrote this) I really cannot fault this one especially since it is combining two of my favorite genres; dystopia and noire.  With Nathan Larson’s Akashic Urban Surreal Series he has begun a series involving a poor soul dubbed Dewey Decimal which is esoterically promising and sprinkled with reviews that I really have had fun reading over the last year, not everyone seems to “get it: heh right up my alley but all say the first is definitely worth reading, and the 2nd one just came out at the end of June.


I love Hard-boiled fiction and film (Noire Fiction/Film focused on the hard-boiled dark and dreary detectives)! Give me Dashiell, Raymond and throw in the brilliance of the film industries take on both of them and Kriss is a happy girl. I especially am fond of Raymond Chandler because above all he was a poet and so when reading his Phillip Marlowe  series you really could see  this shine through his strong allegories. With scenes such as from The Big Sleep when  Marlowe enters the hot house and approaches his client to be amidst the orchids.. those fleshy orichids (shivering at the memory) with their stench and the decay in the dirt.  Just like the decay below him in the surrounding oil fields, within the ruling family, with the mind, body and souls of the empire crumbling… Poetry baby! Sure, Dashiell Hammett is what we think of when we hear the phrase Hard-Boiled, and arguably The Maltese Falcon is a pivotal example of the brilliance behind this genre,  , but I love my Raymond Hammett.

I also love a good dystopian; the original idea behind the dystopian tales not the ones muddying up the current waters with their ‘Twilight’ian” style stories full of sparkle and delight even surrounded by the dead culture, but I won’t snark, Geoff already did! I love things dark, gritty and thought provoking. I do not have to smile and feel like throwing glitter in the air and giving everyone free bacon after reading a book, sometimes I want to slip on a black baretta for go that Carmel Mochita, take it bitter, black and steaming hot.

When I saw this interview it re-awakened my need to hurry up and get to this book, which has been in my TBR for a bit now. It had me digging for my dog-earred moleskin, my fountain pen  and my black turtle neck so I could go write like I was meant to write on mornings after surving the drunken construction workers Ode to the great USofA by blowing up things.

I welcome Nathan Larson, thank you GMTA Literary Community for the interview provided. First, after reading my rambling above, here is the official synopsis, can you see why I went all fangirl femme fatale style on your asses?



Hello Joe/Nathan, thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview. It is a pleasure tohave the chance to get to know more about you and your writing. First tell us about your newest novel and why you decided to write it. 

Howdy. Thanks for the opportunity. Back when I wrote my first novel THE DEWEY DECIMAL SYSTEM, I decided it was going to be the first book in a “trilogy”, which was pretty arbitrary considering I didn’t know if I could even manage one book, it sounded pretentious and funny at the time. Now it appears that I actually have to make good on it lest I be branded a liar. So THE NERVOUS SYSTEM is book 2 of this series, which doesn’t mean it sucks and I hated writing it, far from it, I’m having a blast with the jammie and I think I improved on the original recipe.

Tell us about some of your hobbies, things you like to do in your spare time.

I write in my “spare” time. Seriously. Beyond my day job (making music for films) and being a dad, I have a razor thin margin of “extra” space in my day. I don’t know how I manage it. How does anybody manage it? But as I say it’s a pleasure and a privilege.

What is the one most rewarding thing in your life right now?

My son, everything about him. I won’t even start, it’s boring for anybody who isn’t my wife or I. And secondly: the very fact that I am able to make art that then comes out into the world to be consumed by actual people, this is mind-blowing.

When reading for pleasure do you tend to stick to the same genre you write or do you like to read other genres as well?

Just finished Peter Sotos’ transcriptions of Jamie Gillis’s OG “gonzo porn” films, called PURE FILTH, highly recommended and highly depressing. Prior to that a book on the history of the “vocoder” called HOW TO WRECK A NICE BEACH. Prior to that I read Christopher Hitchen’s memoirs. But seriously I get about 5 pages into anything and I just pass out. Takes me months to get through anything. Except the porn transcripts, those went down quick.

When was it that you realized writing was what you wanted to do with your life?

Well it’s one of several things I want to do with myself. I would always need the other stuff to counterbalance the writing. There’s always stuff one can nit-pick, but in all truth I am completely blessed and I do believe am engaged in my bliss, precisely. Living the dream, dawgs! It’s good to be me, trust me on that

When can we expect your next book out and can you give us a sneak peek?

That sucker comes out in July, it’s more mayhem and craziness from the world I set forth in my first book, with the same protag. People call is “dystopian noir” and that seems like a nice descriptor. It’s good fun with lots of violence, a decipherable plot more or less, and (I hope) some social commentary thrown in there.

Back in your high school career, who was the one teacher you would say made a profound difference in your life, if any?

I had a creative writing teacher named Marcia (and another guy w a beard, I want to say Steve but that’s not right) who let me be free. I owe them a lot cos I was a miserable student, but they saw through that and my ridiculous glue-spiked haircut.

What dreams do you have for future generations that you’d like to share with others?

Oh lord. Are you kidding me? Well just starting with the USA: that corporate/ private money and American politics are severed now and forever. That we can all have health care, housing, and proper education. That we stop this global domination trip. That empathy, logic and science can provide humans with the same kind of kick that religious fanaticism, tribal hive mind shit and nationalism seem to be generating. You mean the big questions like that? There’s far too much. Let’s stick with saving the polar bear, that’s something tangible.

One off the board question I like to ask, is what are your views as far as 2012, and do you believe in the Mayan Calendar?

I can’t discount any calender, as all are relative to the the culture from which they stem…but if you’re talking about either a) the world ending or b) a global shift in consciousness whereupon the citizens of earth come together in wisdom and harmony and, tanned and buff, live forever, smoking spliffs with the one Quetzalcoatl – no, obviously that’s not happening exactly. It’s fun to read about though and I enjoyed that 2012 book, in the sense that I enjoyed COSMIC TRIGGER when I was 18. *

Finally, do you have any advice you’d like to give to other aspiring authors, also please leave us your links where we can find out more about you.

Sure, the thing is you have to write, you have to keep writing. It’s ok if it sucks, it inevitably sucks at first. You can always go back and make it awesome. But you have to create the thing before you start ripping it down. You can jump around, leave holes. It doesn’t matter, just do it, no rules. There’s this loop that one can fall into that’s like “geez my first sentence isn’t just legendary”, so what, write the fucking book first and then go back and tweak. It’s very simple really.

Another technique (if it could be called that) I employ is to write shit really fast, to stay ahead of your internal censor….cos your internal censor will tell you you’re crap, you’re fake, you have no business writing anything, that you should give up. The censor is the enemy and if you allow it get to you it’s already won.

Thanks again and all warmest regards.


*This guy gets cooler and cooler, another Robert Wilson Anton fan… 23 people..23!!!

AUTHOR BIO… oh heck this guy is not just an author as I mentioned above but.. he did talk about writing so I will keep the title of that! 

Here is a snippit I swiped from hisOFFICIAL WEBSITE I (as in Cabin Goddess I) am really thankful to Kitty and all her hard work, because Dewey Decimal System has been sitting here in my TBR pile and hopefully I will be getting to it FINALLY for August’s . (See my button in the left column of this article)


Nathan Larson






I’m Nathan. I create art made-to-order, plus I write music and prose that has no context except that it exists in time. I live in New York City in the historic neighborhood of Harlem, most days commuting to my studio in Brooklyn via underground rail system . I rep dual boroughs. As well, my wife and I have a place in Sweden. Therefore I travel a lot and am a member in good standing of a number of frequent-flyer programs.

I used to play very very loud guitar for a band called Shudder to Think. Say what you will but we rocked, though in ’99 I took a step back from that rock and decided to have a whack at doing my own thing , which includes lots of music for films as mentioned and very occasionally writing “songs” or working with other artists who interest me.


The Dewey Decimal System

The Dewey Decimal System

View a preview of this book online (Read an excerpt of the book on Google Preview)

by Nathan Larson (Goodreads Author)

After a flu pandemic, a large-scale terrorist attack, and the total collapse of Wall Street, New York City is reduced to a shadow of its former self. As the city struggles to dig itself out of the wreckage, a nameless, obsessive-compulsive veteran with a spotty memory, a love for literature, and a strong if complex moral code (that doesn’t preclude acts of extreme violence) has taken up residence at the main branch of the New York Public Library on 42nd Street.

Dubbed “Dewey Decimal” for his desire to reorganize the library’s stock, our protagonist (who will reappear in the next novel in this series) gets by as bagman and muscle for New York City’s unscrupulous district attorney. Decimal takes no pleasure in this kind of civic dirty work. He’d be perfectly content alone amongst his books. But this is not in the cards, as the DA calls on Dewey for a seemingly straightforward union-busting job.

What unfolds throws Dewey into a bloody tangle of violence, shifting allegiances, and old vendettas, forcing him to face the darkness of his own past and the question of his buried identity.

With its high body count and snarky dialogue, The Dewey Decimal System pays respects to Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and Jim Thompson. Healthy amounts of black humor and speculative tendencies will appeal to fans of Charlie Huston, Nick Tosches, Duane Swierczynski, Victor Gischler, Robert Ferrigno, and early Jonathan Lethem.  

ANYONE ELSE INTO HARD-BOILED FICTION? What new writers out there or books have you read?

I have not read a lot of new fiction in this genre, I tend to  re-read the classics, but would love to hear some new suggestions!

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  1. I saw you added this on goodreads so I went and read what it was about. It sounds great and for the record I love Krissisms. Dystopian is one of my faves to read and this one sounds great. The title alone makes me go oooohhhhhhhh

  2. I did not understand the whole concept of what I was reading about.


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