Ask the Author: Mike Meginnis

Mike Meginnis’s technobiblical fiction appears in the May issue. He talks with us about all manner of things related to his story and beyond.

1. What is Robot Christ powered on?

I hadn’t thought about it, but I’m tempted to say like a giant Mac battery. Which means they have to power-cycle him every now and then, I guess, and replace it more often than you’d think for the price.

2. Write us an excerpt of Robot Christ fighting Robot Judas in Jerusalem.

Robot Christ kissed Robot Judas on the mouth, hard. “We’re supposed to be fighting,” said Robot Judas.

“I know, but I’d rather make love,” said Robot Christ. He put his robot tongue in Robot Judas’ robot ear.

“Mmmm,” said Robot Judas. “Oooh yeah. Mmm. Don’t stop.”

“Mmmmm,” said Robot Christ. “Mmmm.”

“Oh yeah,” said Robot Judas.

“Ohhhhh,” said Robot Christ.

They were in Jerusalem at the time.

3. What is Robot Christ’s greatest weapon?

Given that he’s defined by suffering, I guess passive aggression. Well, and kicking. He does seem to like kicking stuff.

4. What happens when Miracle Jesus and Robot Christ combine? What form does it take?

Robot Christ with Miracle Jesus’ bucket on his head. Also he wields Miracle Jesus’ severed arm like a sword. Also he never stops wiggling his eyebrows, or rather the bucket’s eyebrows, ever. Not ever.

5. Why did you choose to make the New Testament into robots in this story?

I think it started with hearing the phrase “Robot Christ” in my head or saying it out loud and thinking that was a really exciting combination of words. Anything a Robot Christ does is inherently interesting to me. I felt that if Christ was a robot then so should the other things around him be, and this allowed me to write descriptions that I thought were really funny — steam shooting out of ears, fire shooting out the top of people’s heads, broken down apostles, etc.

I guess I was also thinking about what it would feel like if our idea of Christ were personified. He wouldn’t be a person, he would be a machine, because his existence in story is all about repetition — we put that guy up on the cross, take him down, roll the boulder around and fly him up to Heaven like a million times a day, and we torture him nearly as often. That would have to suck, being that guy. I ended up teaching him to love (after a fashion) in the end because that was such a shitty existence I couldn’t bear to leave him in it. I can’t believe these people who won’t let Jesus have a wife or a girlfriend or anything. They want his life to suck so much.

Honestly a lot of my ideas come from putting the adjective “robot” before a noun and seeing what happens.

6. How would you betray someone?

I’m thinking hard about this and I’m trying to be honest.

I guess I would probably be a coward about it. Like, I want to say I would be really open with the person, like, “Hey, guy, I am now fucking you over. The parameters of our relationship have changed.” But as much as I like to pretend to enjoy fighting I don’t like it that much: what I really like is when people like me and want to be my friend and to help me out. So I guess I would try to find a way to make it look like I was actually helping the person I was betraying, such that they would thank me for it, and maybe feel guilty that they hadn’t been as kind to me as I was now being to them, and resolve to do better for me in the future, to dedicate some small portion of their heart to my service, to dedicate some small part of their mind to thinking of me daily, and my needs. And I would convince myself also that I really was doing them a favor, as if it really was all for this person, as if they needed me, and now they owed me. I would try to make it so we both felt this way.

So I guess the whole “with a kiss” thing might actually work for me, is what I’m saying. Certainly it would be about a quarter of an inch from sexual exploitation.