“Chuck Tingle’s Internet Magic”, Anna North’s op-ed for the New York Times, explains how the author was roped into last year’s Hugo controversy and what’s happened since then.
Mr. Tingle didn’t attend the Hugo ceremony. The author, who says he lives in Billings, Mont., with his son, Jon, does not make public appearances or give in-person interviews. Last December, Jon said in a Reddit A.M.A. (“Ask Me Anything”) that his father has autism and schizophrenia.
Since his Hugo nomination (he didn’t win), Mr. Tingle has used Twitter to promote acceptance of diversity, and to lob offbeat but impassioned criticisms at Donald Trump. He’s been the subject of profiles in The Guardian, Vox and elsewhere. And he’s continued to write the bizarre e-books he calls “Tinglers,” in which men have sex with trains, dinosaurs, mythical creatures and more (“Seduced by Doctor Bigfoot: Attorney at Large” is one of his tamer titles)….
North also tries to figure out if Tingle really exists, and finds the author as helpful in answering that question as he always is:
In an email interview, Mr. Tingle said he was proud to have fans who are autistic. He made a distinction between the persona of “Chuck Tingle” and his real self: “i have CHARACTER name of chuck and also ME name of chuck,” he explained. He described his persona as an adaptation to difficulties in his youth: “when i was a young buck it was difficult for me to UNDERSTAND FEELINGS so now i have my own way of being myself that is like a mask but it is a mask of my own face.”
[Thanks to Darrah Chavey and Daniel Dern for the story.]