something

. Your stories were first published in INTERZONE and the editor at the time, David Pringle, wrote that you were… bombarding them with manuscripts. And then you had stories in three INTERZONE issues in a row. How long had you been writing before that, and when did you first start writing?

  1. Those early INTERZONE stories all have some fascinating ideas and in ‘Upgrade’, the second to appear in Interzone, there is the idea of how the human mind might get transferred and backed up in a posthuman world, and how that change of medium, from organic brain to brain in a jar to… something else… could fundamentally alter our sense of consciousness. And in ‘A Hollow in the Sky’, a much more recent story, you are also looking intensely at minds and consciousness. Where would you say that particular fascination comes from?
  2. ‘Loop’, one of those early stories, is about a space probe that seems to be looping about in more ways than one. And it is an intriguing character sketch, but the character is a probe with an organic memory system… or brain… and so we get to the mind, again, and memory. How much of that story can you recall. And how did it come about? And while you were writing that first run of stories for INTERZONE, were you getting a lot of editorial feedback from David Pringle, or were you heading out… across the universe… on your own?
  3. Could you talk a little about how you write – long hand, or onto the computer. Do you correct and edit as you go, or create a very rough draft and then go back to it, or something else?
  4. While you were talking with me on Twitter before this interview, you mentioned POWERS OF DARKNESS, this Icelandic… version of Bram Stoker’s DRACULA written by Valdimar Asmundsson which has now been retranslated into English by Hans Corneel de Roos, and this appeals to me on so many levels – first, DRACULA itself, second, the fact that Old Icelandic saga narratives are just so interesting in terms of form, and perhaps most interestingly, over all that, there is the question of translations, and the way stories change over time, through the way they’re told. Receiving a text well and then retransmitting it, with additions or alterations. I think this is so cool, and so fundamental. What drew you to POWERS OF DARKNESS, what do you think of it, and more abstractly, I suppose, do you view yourself more as a storyteller, telling people tales, or as a writer?
  5. You told me that you’re pretty productive at the moment, in terms of writing, and that it is all or nothing, for you. What stories can people expect to see from you over the coming months and years? And what would you like to do next in terms of story or genre?
  6. What have you read of late which has made a big impression on you?
  7. I saw that you’re also a guitarist and you play in a band. What music have you been listening to lately and do you listen while you write?
  8. You’re invovled in human rights law… and there is a very slight reference to human rights in ‘Carla’s Eye’, a comment about China, and ‘A Hollow in the Sky’ could certainly be said to be concerned with the rights of the human. How, for you, does science fiction intersect with human rights, and more generally, do you feel that technology today is a liberating force, or a means of oppression?

psychology

memory

horror

science fiction

family

‘A Hollow in the Sky’ Zelazny ‘technique’ wasps