Saturday, May 23, 2009

Twas In Another Lifetime

This past week I have been mostly commuting to Kingston University, to give a four-day intensive workshop on writing science fiction and fantasy (kudos to Adam, Chloe, Gary, Ian, Loraine, Luke, Melanie and Ruth for their patience and enthusiasm; tip of the hat to Steve Jones for his motivational talk), and reading the proofs of the paperback reissue of Red Dust, due out in September. I wrote it in 1992. I'd been in St Andrews for almost three years. I'd moved out of the bleak university flat to a cottage on a hilltop overlooking the Eden Estuary, and I was insanely busy with research and teaching. As I remember it, the bulk of the writing was done over one summer, working for an hour or two every evening at a big desk in a big study with the windows boarded up; the builders who'd been putting in replacement windows had made a mistake measuring up the ones for the study, and it took a while to get new ones made. It's a fast-paced manga-style story of a revolution on a terraformed Mars that's slowly dying, and dominated by a capitalist version of mainland Chinese culture. All kinds of stuff went into its making: Elvis and his movies, westerns, yak lore, weird ecologies, totipotent viruses that unpacked memories and posthuman abilities into those they infected. Those viruses would reappear in Fairyland, but first I had to write Pasquale's Angel, which I'm just about to start proofing.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Clouds Of Stars

Galactic Center of Milky Way Rises over Texas Star Party from William Castleman on Vimeo.

Sheer beauty. (I'm currently proofing Eternal Light for paperback reissue; much of it is set at the centre of the Galaxy.)
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