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Book Tour Q&A: Chronicles from the World of Guilt by Chris Durston

Today we're taking part in the book tour organized by Escapist Book Tours for Chronicles from the World of Guilt by Chris Durston! Continue reading for the book blurb and a Q&A with the author.

About the book

What is Guilt?

Is it an enormous flying whale? Maybe an alien, come from deep space to punish us? Some call it an angel or a god, others a demon.

What nobody can deny is that it is the end.

These tales chronicle the story of the Earth in the centuries after the apocalypse: struggles for survival against twisted, horrific foes; small moments of kindness and warmth in the dark; life going on, even as the whole world changes.

These are the Chronicles from the World of Guilt.

On to the interview...!

Thank you so much for joining us for this Q&A! We’ll start off with one of our standard podcast opening questions–tell us something great that’s happened recently.

Hi – happy to be here! Does ten months ago count as recently? My wife had a baby! That was pretty great. More recently, said baby actually slept for a few straight hours, and that… might’ve been even more great.

What are you currently reading or what’s up next on your TBR? What made you pick up this book?

Up next is The Hero Interviews by Andi Ewington, which I think was a recommendation. I’m lucky to know a lot of people with good taste, so I get a lot of books through recommendations.

How do you spend your free time when you’re not reading or writing? Do you have any hobbies or interests that you can talk to us about?

I love getting out and about – I’m very lucky to live in a beautiful part of England where coasts and moorland and forests are never far away. Taking care of my baby daughter is taking up a lot of free time right now, but I’m also still trying to find time to make music (which I mostly do with a friend under the name Cedarstone, and you can find our stuff on Spotify!).

Who are your favorite current writers and who are your greatest influences?

Tolkien is always up there, as is Borges. I think Ted Chiang is probably one of the greatest science fiction short writers, and China Miéville and Jeff VanderMeer some of the weirdest imagineers. I love Sayaka Murata, Shion Miura, Yoko Ogawa… and then there’s Neil Gaiman, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Terry Pratchett… this was probably supposed to be a shorter list. Oh, well.

What is one book you want to shout about to the world? What about it makes you love it so much?

I think everyone ought to read The Art of Logic by Eugenia Cheng. It’s a fantastically accessible book on formal logic, but it also understands that being purely logical and rational isn’t always the best way to interact with life and humans. On the fiction side, I’m always surprised by how many epic fantasy lovers haven’t read Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. And if I can give some love to a fellow indie, Astrid Knight’s Perception Check was probably my favourite read in 2022.

What are your favorite types of stories? Of characters?

Right now I’m really enjoying easy reads, which for me is a lot of progression fantasy. When I’m less tired, I love stories that make more thematic sense than literal sense, which I think a lot of Japanese authors do really well.

Is this your first book? If so, what lessons have you learned from writing it? If not, what lessons did you learn from writing earlier books that you brought into this one?

My first published book was called Each Little Universe and it’s almost completely different from this one! Stylistically, tonally, even genre and format, they’re not really anything alike. I think writing each of these has taught me that I really like doing different things – I kind of can’t sit still in one place. Heck, in this one book alone I can’t sit still: Chronicles from the World of Guilt is a bunch of short pieces that jump all over the place, but I hope they fit together well.

They say to never judge a book by its cover, but a cover is still a marketing tool that helps sell books. Can you tell us about the idea behind the cover of your book?

I wanted it to capture the scale of Guilt, which is the giant space whale, so I wanted to see part of its body compared to the Earth beneath. I think that’s the entirety of the brief I gave Nat and she turned it into the cover, which I genuinely think is just one of the most incredible and beautiful things. If you need a book cover, you want Nat to do it! She’s and missnatmack on most social media, I think.

Can you give us an elevator pitch for your book?

It’s a collection of short pieces that begins with the space whale apocalypse and gets weirder from there. Over hundreds, thousands of years, the presence of Guilt – an impossible, colossal being whose shadow warps everything it touches – changes the Earth beyond recognition. This book is about the people who inhabit that world, and the little things that make their lives horrific and hopeful and terrifying and beautiful.

In your opinion, what kind of reader would like this book?

My hope is that this book might appeal to fans of the New Weird - VanderMeer, Miéville - or to those who don't mind a bit of genre-mashing (here, horror meets something that might be kinda sci-fi or fantasy-ish but isn't quite either). Those who'd rather read a novel than a bunch of short pieces will probably find things more to their tastes elsewhere, and if you aren't a fan of the occasional graphic description of some really rather gross things happening then you might want to give it a miss!

What would you like readers to take away from this book?

I think if it’s about anything, it’s much less about the giant space whale and more about finding and holding onto the little moments of light and beauty where you can. No matter what’s going on in the world, people will always find ways to create hope.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for us! Do you have any parting thoughts or comments you’d like to leave for our readers?

Thanks for having me! I wrote Chronicles from the World of Guilt kind of as an in-between thing when I wasn’t really sure what else to do, and I love how it turned out, so I think I would say: just do what makes you happy, because that’ll probably give you a better result than trying to do something you think you should be doing, or anything like that. Also – collaboration is awesome! Thanks to just whimsical connections and people being kind, I’ve met people like Aaron and Nat and Josh, who created the art on the outside and inside of this book and made it look way professional.

And finally, where can you be found on the internet if our readers want to hear more from you?

I have a website at, and Facebook and Instagram pages called ‘Chris Durston Does Words’, but I’m most active on Twitter as @chrisdurstonish.

Where to buy the book:

Universal Link:


Bookshop UK:



Barnes & Noble:

Book Depository:

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