leaving the future behind

On the face of it, science fiction’s all about technological change. But actually, when you sit down to write it, I think it sets a more interesting challenge: how to tell a story that can leave key parts of its future behind. SF’s most enduring works don’t live on because they accurately predict tomorrow. In […]

trolling atlas

I’ve been watching this again and again – there’s something deeply hypnotic about seeing this little biped navigate the world. Also, I suspect that the human-on-robot trolling that begins at about 1:30 is probably some sort of Skynet origins moment. I was intrigued to feel myself reacting so strongly to it. I was very put […]

bowie’s in space

It’s been fascinating watching people mourn David Bowie. There’s a sadness there that I suspect comes from more than just the loss of a major creative icon. I think we’re also mourning the loss of the conditions that created and supported that kind of icon. Bowie’s iconic status was a product of certain cultural and […]

at play in infinity

  I spent Friday both talking and listening at the wildly enjoyable Playful 2011 Conference (that’s me on-stage above – pic @thisisplayful). This post is a very quick follow-on to that. I’ve had quite a few requests for both the talk itself and a list of the writers I mentioned. So, I’ve posted the talk […]

On Britishness

I recently took part in the BSFA’s British Science Fiction & Fantasy survey, which led to the publication of a rather nifty little book comparing genre self-perception now and 20 years ago – more details here. The book was edited by Niall Harrison and Paul Kincaid; they’ve done an excellent job of picking out interesting […]

Starting the next book

Another quiet month on the blog, as ever because it’s been very hectic elsewhere. I’ve started a really fascinating project for Counterpoint, the British Council’s thinktank – more details over at my Disappearing blog, or at the project site itself – and I’ve begun writing the next novel, which is what this post is about. […]

Haunted by cosmonauts

Another enjoyable night out last night, as I went to the rather wonderful Shunt space beneath London Bridge station, to listen to upcoming Radio 4 Afternoon Play ‘Listen Up’. Inspired by a recent Fortean Times article, the play deals with two Italian brothers, Achille and Giovanni Judica Cordiglia, who – in the late 50s and […]