Kenneth MacKriell was born in London in 1975 to one loving and one largely ambivalent parent. It was quickly evident to his mother that he was some kind of changeling, but she quite liked his chubby little face and agreed to keep him as long as he didn’t do anything too weird. Unfortunately weird will out, so the MacKriell’s fled London for rural West Sussex under the cover of night before their housing estate’s Faginesque kingpin burned them out, but all too late: For Kenneth had already developed a lifelong passion for science fiction, wonky music, and the overly dramatic that the people in his life would have to endure for many years to come.
Time passed. Kenneth became a Byron-obsessed teenage goth who spent his time playing RPG’s and moping after indie chicks way, way out of his league until The Time of The Great Conjunction. He had started to quietly develop the idea that the stories he imagined with his geeky friends in role-playing sessions could be the foundation for his own original tales, but everything he wrote was a risible pastiche of Poe, Lovecraft, Peake or Fields of The Nephilim lyrics until he simultaneously encountered two transformative works of high art: Neuromancer by William Gibson, and Pretty Hate Machine by Nine Inch Nails.
Kenneth was no longer a goth. He was a cyberpunk.
Forming an industrial band called Lathe with his bestest school chum Gareth ‘Silicon Avatar’ White and some geezer he worked with in a supermarket called Waxy he wrote and performed some noisy tuneless shit to a horrified public, but despite how awful the music was and how disastrous its reception the cyberpunk DIY ethic was firmly embedded. Reluctantly accepting he was not a musician, Kenneth instead turned to writing science fiction vignettes which turned out significantly more credible than his earlier attempts at writing horror. Encouraged by his friends and family he practised, drafted, agonised, sat on, ignored, revisited, re-drafted, and eventually completed his first novel, Hunting Party, which I sincerely hope you have (or are going to) read and enjoy. He has subsequently finished a second book, The Guests, with Ms Tania Greenwell and hopes this one will see print.
Kenneth no longer identifies himself or his work as cyberpunk, but he still wears his Mirrorshades on the inside and secretly likes Sigue Sigue Sputnik despite how rubbish they were. His love of exercise, baldy head, leftist politics, hero-worship of Michael Moorcock, and apparent complete lack of readership and accolades have earned him the monicker ‘The Poundstretcher China Mieville’.
At present he lives on the south coast and is dad to two wonderful children; Connor and Seren. He passionately loves music, science fiction, history, politics and philosophy, and shooting a bow. He’s knee deep in a Classical Civilisation MA, has been training in martial arts since he was twenty-one, describes himself as an ‘outraged liberal’, and still occasionally runs an RPG because it’s fun. His hair is presently deserting his head faster than conscripts in a Russian winter and he has a wonky eye, but other than that he’s in extremely good shape. He also likes to write about himself in the third-person because it sounds more authoritative, and digs up temples in the Aegean in his spare time (of which he has very little).
He will almost certainly say yes if you offer to buy him a drink.
As a final note, Kenneth would also like you to know that Hunting Party is a work of fiction and not a political manifesto.
Hunting Party is in your hands thanks to and because of the following people, places and things:
Rachel, Connor-Beast & Princess Seren Pookalook, Ma & Pop, ‘Manna & Nugget, Paulie & Asli G, the readers (Dr Matt, Jeffers and his Law of Diminishing Returns, Teresa J, Dr Dan Hume, Evil PJT, Katie P-P, Dave P-P and his Mid-Atlantic Duckcam, DJ Argus McWargus, James Carden, Little/Big Rob Wyle, & Dr Swinging Pan-International Infomatic G), Simon Hitchcock for turning lead into gold, Auntie Bet (for feeding the geek in me – RIP), Bella (my punk rock), all the Interwired people (especially LX and TC), the original UHC & Desmond Crisis, Owen O’D & Queen Lynds, Simon ‘Two Gats’ P, Daniel S. Laufer, Tom ‘Mr Tomnus’ Hume, Richard M. Albon the Polystyrene King, Rebecca Hume, the Interpol 2027 team, Misty the Navajo Barmaid (RIP), Michael Moorcock, Mondo 2000, Vienna, T.S. Elliot, China Mieville, London, Iain (M) Banks, Clutch, Ravensbury Court, Ken MacLeod, Tamzin Nobes, The Postal Service, Judy & Bear, Hunter S. Thompson, The Cure, Josh & Sadie, Albert Camus, Ben House, Shaun W. Keaveny, NMA, Sallymonkey, Lucy Dancer, Orbital, Bruce Sterling, Breakfastaz, Feather & Cara Groetzinger, William Gibson, Trent Reznor, Albert Hoffman, Splitloop, Rico, Brighton, Estrela, Damien ‘High Rise Drifter’ Gerard, Jeff Noon, Joe West, Team Mayhem, Aldous Huxley, Henry Rollins, NOLA, Alexander Shulgin, Gary Numan, Alan Turing, David & Jo-Ann Reynolds (RIP), The Lost Boys, George Gordon Byron, Kid Beyond, the Bay Area, Richard Brautigan, Black Rock City, Frances Eley, Bat for Lashes, Sami Giron, Elizabeth Kershaw, the 303 and the 808, Bill Hicks, Tom Waits, Charles Babbage, New Kingdom, W.B. Yeats, Richard Morgan, LCD Soundsystem, Imogen M. Thomas, Douglas Rushkoff, Michael Franti, Dan & Denise Pliskin, Mick Farren, Ada Lovelace, Hybrid, Maximum Mike & RTG, sweet girly coffee, Annie Nightingale, Space Island, Curve, BBC 6 Music, Neil & White Crane Fighting Arts/Shaolin Dog boxing, Lyndsey Best, Plato, Paul Turner and everyone at Broadsword, Kraftwerk, whisky distilleries everywhere, Johnny Cash, Team Tartaruga, night driving, Passengers, and many others.
All quotes and references are made with genuine love and admiration, without any particular permission but with no intention of infringement of copyright. Any comparisons between persons living or dead are probably deliberate but don’t get bent about it – it’s because you’re special.
And finally I thank you, dear readers. This story is dedicated to you all.
Bibliography & Quotes
p.194: Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (1812-18) – Canto II/XVI – Lord George Byron
p.238: The Waste Land – Part I: The Burial of The Dead (1922) – T.S. Elliott
p.275: The Tempest (1610-11) – Act 4 / Scene 1 – William Shakespeare
p.410: L’Etranger (1942) – Albert Camus
p.397: The Municipal Gallery Revisited (1939) – W. B. Yeats