New Jack Butler Interview

A hot tipster has informed me that a Jack Butler interview will be appearing in the Summer/Fall 2005 issue of the Mississippi Quarterly. What’s more, said tipster somehow scored a copy of this interview and passed it along, to which I raise my highball glass with gratitude. Of course, I wouldn’t mention any of this if I didn’t provide you with a sneak peek. So here goes:

JB: I soon resolved not to become a rehasher, a writer who goes back to some imagined South of the past and merely iterates the stereotype, however vigorous the stereotype might seem. This resolve was not the result of loving SF. It was just, who wants to be a copycat?

My scientific and SF background came to the rescue. I appropriated from physics the notion of the multiverse. My multiverse consists not only of the quantum probability alternate universes, but all of the universes that can be imagined (including, like Woody Allen, those of fiction), and, as I like to say, all of those that can’t be imagined as well. I work, from time to time, on a collection of stories patterned loosely after The Canterbury Tales, which I call Tales from the Multiverse. It owes a lot to science fiction, but more to Chaucer’s incredible poem.

Since my Yoknapatawpha is the multiverse, I am freed from the constraints of consistency.

* * *

You hear that, gang? To paraphrase a really crappy cartoon about robots, there’s more to Jack Butler than meets the eye. Sometimes, anachronistic education is the mad and unexpected muse.


  1. Dan, it’s not uncommon for publication dates for academic journals to lag a bit behind real time — I was an editorial assistant for one once, and, well, a lotta stuff comes up. In this case, too, as I understand it, MQ recently went through a change of editors that slowed things down a bit. If this issue and the last are any indication, they do seem committeed to publishing double issues until they catch up again.

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