Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Dirty Dozen, with Ryan Oakley

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Ryan Oakley

In Ryan Oakley's Technicolour Ultra Mall (EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing), Toronto has descended into chaos, part of a world ruined by genetic pollution. The book follows Budgie, a knife-wielding survivor who falls in love with his best friend's killer.

Ryan chats with Open Book as part of our Dirty Dozen series, where authors are invited to share twelve unexpected facts about themselves. Read on to hear from Ryan about baseball, the allure of sandwiches and his bigfoot experience.

  1. This won't be a surprise to anyone who follows me on Twitter but I'm a big baseball fan. I tweet about politics, tech and all that life stuff too but I keep the service for baseball.
  2. I deactivated my Facebook account and have never regretted it. The thing is like a fossil collection. Just because we spoke for thirty seconds two years ago, doesn't mean I want to listen to you for the rest of my life.
  3. I'm a decent cook but take no pleasure from it. I prefer sandwiches.
  4. When I was a kid, I saw bigfoot at the Metro Zoo. I didn't realize it was a man in a costume until I told the story as an adult. Then I wondered how I'd believed it for so long.
  5. I worked in an apple orchard for a while. And a potato factory. Actually, I've worked in just about every part of the food industry from field to table. The best paying job is the flash of bullshit at the end. That's a little troubling.
  6. My favourite actor/director is Beat Takeshi. I quit drinking with the caveat that if I ever met him and he proved willing, I would drink with him. I don't think we'd talk. Some sh&t can't be said. Some sh&t doesn't need to be.
  7. Though I'm known as a dandy and have a large collection of bespoke suits, shirts and shoes, I also have three navy blue work uniforms and consider these the most dandyish thing I own. People who fail to understand this, don't understand the first thing about it.
  8. I don't listen to music for a sense of emotional connection. It makes me uncomfortable to hear my feelings expressed by another human. I listen for pure aesthetics divorced from content. Sometimes, I like songs about emotional disconnection. Ideally, both. Then I connect with it and am right back at the beginning. It's a difficult relationship.
  9. I loathe explaining myself.
  10. One of the reasons I dress the way I do is to avoid semiotics. People think a suit says something. But whatever it says is only in their head. If people are going to judge me my clothes, I want them to be wrong so I can judge them by their mind.
  11. When I was a kid, I climbed a tree and broke all the eggs in a robin's nest. I liked how the smashed blue shells looked with the yellow yolks. The mother robin attacked me for the rest of the summer. I still feel terrible about the whole thing.
  12. I've managed to really piss off a member of a so-called royal family. I recommend the experience to anyone. They're hilarious. Or would be, if they were not armed.


Ryan Oakley was raised in a small town and discovered at an early age that he was drawn to the bright lights, white noise and gaudy trappings of the big city. In the din of the city he lives his life, experiencing it all; using his experiences to further his writing, he says, “I’ve always enjoyed writing. I don’t know when I started doing it — I was a little kid — and I’ve always tried to make the time to do it.” Although Oakley never completed a high school education, he admits that he’s not “a particularly stupid man”. He works as a bartender, waiter and dishwasher, as needs be, and is fast becoming known as Toronto’s most notorious dandy and renowned flaneur.

For more information about Technicolour Ultra Mall please visit the EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

Check out all the Dirty Dozen interviews in our archives.

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