Fairyland's structure is a deliberate burlesque of the three-act structure. Sure, there are three acts. Sure, they follow Field's pernicious formula. But they aren't narrated from the point of view of what would be the traditional hero - in this case, a frighteningly bright little girl who achieves godhood, and along the way bestows consciousness on a select group of genetically engineered servants. Instead, the first and third acts are told from the viewpoint of a bit-player who's caught up in the little girl's cunning plans, and the second, while featuring our hapless hero, Alex Sharkey, is told from the point of view of an aid worker in Paris's bidonvilles. The 'real' story happens in the interstices of their stories; I was still, and still am, interested in people caught up in history, rather than the people who, supposedly, make history.
Fairyland was written in 1995, using a background I elaborated, in true SF tradition, in several short stories and novellas (collected in the out-of-print Invisible Country). I had decided to quit academia, and this freed me up to have as much irresponsible fun as possible with cutting-edge biology. It was also, very deliberately, set in London, Paris, and Albania, to get away, however briefly, from the American hegonomy. And it was my first near-future novel, which allowed me to warp and pour in as much as I knew of the present. Which is why, perhaps, it's written in the present tense (as are The Secret of Life and White Devils, which with Fairyland form a loose trilogy about biotech-dominated near futures)
It won a couple of prizes, which meant a lot to me then, if only because by the time they were announced I was a freelance writer. It was one of the first biopunk (or - tip of the hat to Paul di Filippo, ribofunk) SF novels. And it started out in London, not far from where I'm typing this, in the Ladies Smoking Room of the former Midland Hotel at St Pancras (which ten years later I visited, in its glorious decrepitude), where now, as in the novel, Eurostar trains set out for the continent.
And now, it's due to be reissued for the second time. You can read an extract here, or buy the first reissue (why not?) here.