My ambition is to become an official member of OuLiPo
OuLiPo is a system of writing that encourages the use of mathematical constraints to help create work that is startling, clever and very original. It was founded in 1960 by Raymond Queneau and François Le Lionnais. Although the idea of using mathematics to create literature might sound very formal and somewhat daunting, the reality is that OuLiPo techniques strongly emphasise playfulness and whimsy.
My favourite writer, Italo Calvino, was a member of OuLiPo.
Some of my other favourite writers include: Boris Vian, Jorge Luis Borges, Stanislaw Lem, Donald Barthelme, Alvaro Mutis, Flann O'Brien, Ray Bradbury, Brian Aldiss, Felipe Alfau, Alvarto Mutis, John Sladek, Vladimir Nabokov, Ursula Le Guin, Michael Moorcock, William Burroughs, Thomas Pynchon, Maurice Richardson, Samuel Delany, Brion Gysin, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, John Barth, Jack Vance, Primo Levi, Umberto Eco, Alasdair Gray, Saki, Georges Perec, Anna Kavan, B.S. Johnson, Nathanael West, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Blaise Cendrars, Douglas Adams, Franz Kafka, John Hawkes, Anatole France, Thomas Disch, John Crowley, Lord Dunsany, Frank Herbert, Raymond Queneau, Fritz Leiber, John Steinbeck, etc.
Too many to mention really...
Music...I am a fan of what is unsatisfactorily referred to as 'World Music'. I especially like music from Brazil and India. I also like jazz, ambient, classical and some avant-garde rock. I am a big fan of the 'Canterbury Scene', the more whimsical and offbeat cousin of prog-rock. One day I intend to write a non-fiction history of this neglected movement.
Religion...Half Buddhist, half Taoist, half atheist -- and living in constant hope that those fractions never add up.
Interviews...There are many interviews with me on the internet, and some of them are rather inaccurate, but this one is a fairly good example.
I have been a vegetarian since the age of 14, partly for religious reasons (yes, that's when I became a Buddhist) but also for the sake of my body. I object to the eating of meat on moral grounds, health grounds and as a simple question of good taste!
What contemporary writers do I respect? Here's a short list: