Though writers are known for their egos, few have come out and literally declared themselves God. New Wave fantasist and poet Thomas M. Disch does just that in The Word of God or, Holy Writ Rewritten.
Why declare yourself God and why now?
God is eternal and eternally relevant. One of the wonderful things about being God is you can say such nonsense and it's all true.
You mentioned getting a degree in theology and you did go to Catholic school at one point. What influence, if any, did that have on The Word of God?
Catholicism was the religion I grew up in, and the religion I still have the most intense love/hate relationship with.
The New Wave movement, as it came to be known, included Moorcock, Le Guin, yourself and so on. Was there a sense of community?
I never knew Le Guin when I was writing my stuff; she didn't know me. Neither of us knew we were part of a movement until Judith Merril said that to be the case. I could see that it was a good marketing strategy, though every writer likes to think that they're special in their own way. Still, it served being called that for many years. No one knows about it now.
Mostly my generation and the next one are either dead or comatose. It's interesting to see who the survivors are going to be. Bradbury's going on forever. Arthur Clarke went on writing for a great long time. I'm happy—and that's what The Word of God is about—I'm happy that I'm still writing because lots of the New Wave are pretty quiet.
Over time you've shifted from science fiction into horror. Was that planned or was it just where the writing took you?
The first horror novel, The Businessman, I had been working up the plot of, thinking about it, since the time I was writing Genocides. I think it took me a while to figure out what the book was about, emotionally. Also the trick of any book is getting the tone. With that one it was the combination of lyrical horror and very beautiful afterlife scenes where everything about the afterlife is like the house next door. With The Word of God, the problem was likewise my tone of voice as God. It's not a parody of Jehovah's speeches to Job and the various times Jehovah appears as a character, or about Jesus, for that matter. The trick was just to be absolutely straightforward and candid on the subject of God, who has never a moment of self-doubt. That's the trick to being God.