Scars are memory. Like sutures. They stitch the past to me.
In the field of fantastic fiction, the question of world-building is not uncontroversial. But I grew up with ‘Dungeons and Dragons,’ so that whole world-building thing is very close to my heart.
We should have just killed him, that’s a lesson, don’t get creative with revenge
Part of the appeal of the fantastic is taking ridiculous ideas very seriously and pretending they’re not absurd.
Personally I don’t like it when writers become excessively proscriptive about the way that people read their books.
If you’re brave enough to try, you might be able to catch a train from UnLondon to Parisn’t, or No York, or Helsunki, or Lost Angeles, or Sans Francisco, or Hong Gone, or Romeless.
So long as it fated, fate didn’t care what it fated.
Loads of children read books about dinosaurs, underwater monsters, dragons, witches, aliens, and robots. Essentially, the people who read SF, fantasy and horror haven’t grown out of enjoying the strange and weird.
I always felt sorry for the sidekick as a kid. They never got their due and it left a very bad taste in the mouth – they are defined by a subordinate relationship to someone else. I always felt like a bit of sidekick when I was a kid and it didn’t feel fair.
I’ll never be a minimalist. The fact that the prose is more tightly controlled doesn’t for a minute mean that it’s minimalist. I very much like arcane words and baroque sentence structure.
Geeks run the world. Condoleezza Rice is a geek, Bill Gates is clearly a geek, many of the big filmmakers and writers are geeks, lots of military people are geeks. Anyone who has heard Donald Rumsfeld talk about military hardware knows they are in the presence of a geek.
I like the idea of trying to write a book in every genre.
It felt like being a child again, though it was not. Being a child is like nothing. It’s only being. Later, when we think about it, we make it into youth.
PEOPLE HAVE WANTED TO narrate since first we banged rocks together & wondered about fire. There’ll be tellings as long as there are any of us here, until the stars disappear one by one like turned-out lights.
It had not been a long journey, but the memory of it filled her like an infection. She had felt tethered by time to the city behind her, so that the minutes stretched out taut as she moved away, and slowed the farther she got, dragging out her little voyage.
When I write my novels, I’m not writing them to make political points. I’m writing them because I passionately love monsters and the weird and horror stories and strange situations and surrealism, and what I want to do is communicate that. But, because I come at this with a political perspective, the world that I’m creating is embedded with many of the concerns that I have. But I never let them get in the way of the monsters.
My parents were hippies, and the story is that they went through a dictionary looking for a beautiful word to name me. They nearly called me Banyan, but flipped a few pages on and reached "China," thankfully. The other reason they liked it is that "china" is Cockney rhyming slang for "mate." People say "my old china," meaning "my old mate," because "china plate" rhymes with "mate.
I don’t like allegory.
I do, however, feel reasonably strongly the sense that the job of a piece of argumentative scholarly non-fiction is not the same as the job of a piece of fiction.
In the deepest places, where physical norms collapse under the crushing water, bodies still fall softly through the dark, days after their vessels have capsized. They decay on their long journey down. Nothing will hit the black sand at the bottom of the world but algae-covered bones.
Socialism and SF are the two most fundamental influences in my life.
When I’m writing a book, generally I start with the mood and setting, along with a couple of specific imagesthings that have come into my head, totally abstracted from any narrative, that I’ve fixated on. After that, I construct a world, or an area, into which that general setting, that atmosphere, and the specific images I’ve focused on can fit.
…where’s the skill in being a hero if you were always destined to do it?
Every book I write, the first thing I have to do is get into the voice, and the voice varies from book to book – that’s part of what’s interesting to me.
I’d never understood the injunction not to regret anything, couldn’t see how that wasn’t cowardice.
I differ with myself then agree, like the rock that was broken and cemented together. I change my opinion.
You can’t see the future, there’s no such thing. It’s all bets. You’ll never get the same answer from two seers. But that doesn’t mean either of them’s wrong.
I couldn’t tell if I was perspicacious or paranoid.
A trap is only a trap if you don’t know about it. If you know about it, it’s a challenge.
No one ever got into science fiction for the sex or prestige. They got into it because they love it.
Remember the movements that don’t look like moving.
Old stories would tell how Weavers would kill each other over aesthetic disagreements, such as whether it was prettier to destroy an army of a thousand men or to leave it be, or whether a particular dandelion should or should not be plucked. For a Weaver, to think was to think aesthetically. To act – to Weave – was to bring about more pleasing patterns. They did not eat physical food: they seemed to subsist on the appreciation of beauty.
Anything for gold and experience.
What I always try to do in all my books is to make the stories such that if you don’t agree with me politically or you’re not interested in the thematics, the story will still keep you turning the pages.
I’m a very friendly socialist.