How I write

My friend Tony Ballantyne has been asking writers to describe their writing process, posting the results on his website every month.   Here is what I wrote for him.

If you haven’t encountered Tony’s work, I recommend it.  He is one of the cleverest people I know, in fact quite possibly the cleverest.  (I won’t embarass him by saying that, by the way: he doesn’t really do that kind of humility.)  Annoyingly, apart from being a talented and productive writer, having a degree in maths, and being a deputy head of a secondary school, he also plays several musical instruments and is a member of a brass band.  His novels are unlike anything I’ve ever encountered.  However there is something about his particular vision, dark,  witty, humane, and occasionally tinged with a rather scary version of Christian theology (the latter particularly apparent in Recursion), that occasionally reminds me of Philip K. Dick.

His latest novel is Dream Paris -full of strange Ballantynian angles on the French revolution and politics in general- but you’d probably do better to read Dream London first.

I, clawfoot

Here is a guest post I did for Sarah Chorn, who edits a column on SF signal called Special Needs in Strange Worlds.   I am very grateful to Sarah for giving me an opportunity to discuss the people with disabilities who appear in Dark Eden and Mother of Eden (the batfaces, clawfeet and slowheads), as I don’t think anyone has specifically asked me about them before and they are absolutely central to the world of Eden.

In this post, I also reveal that I am in a way the original for the so-called clawfeet.  Which, now I think about it, may partly explain my decision to make the clawfooted Jeff Redlantern very wise and absolutely irresistible to women.

Mother of Eden interview

Here is an interview with Paul Semel about Mother of Eden.  (Many thanks, Paul, for your interest.)  Paul also interviewed me last year about Dark Eden, and that interview is here.

Incidentally Mother of Eden is out in the UK on June 4th (in spite of some slightly confusing statements on Amazon UK, which the publishers are currently fixing).  It’s out in the US this week.

In the picture I’m standing on a Roman road outside Cambridge, where I go to walk our dogs.   Sort of appropriate really, in a book which talks a lot about living among the residue of the past.