Photo: Ceridwen (cc)
China Miéville is one of the most important writers working in Britain today. The author of ten novels of "weird fiction"—as well as short stories, comics, non-fiction, a roleplaying game, and academic writing on law and ideology—his 2011 science fiction novel Embassytown was acclaimed by Ursula K le Guin, among others, as "a fully achieved work of art" busy "bringing the craft of science fiction out of the backwaters".
We share the same British publisher, Pan Macmillan, and so—ahead of the publication on May 24 of his newest book, Railsea, a fantastical novel set in a world whose "seas" are an endless web of railway lines—I spent an hour with him discussing fiction, fantasy, giant moles, and the limits of contemporary geekdom. Read the rest
Born in 1966, raised in Galway on the west coast of Ireland, and now resident in Berlin, Julian Gough has been many things: lyricist and singer for cult Irish rock band Toasted Heretic; author of the novels Juno & Juliet, Jude: Level 1 and most recently Jude in London; poet, playwright and polemicist. Julian and I met around five years ago, when I was an editor at Prospect magazine and he had just won the 2007 National Short Story Award. We’re now both full-time writers and have stayed in touch ever since, sharing a love of genre fiction and video games, fascination in the future possibilities of narrative, and sporadic despair at the state of contemporary literature.
This conversation took place in December 2011, prompted by one of the most unusual commissions of Julian’s writing life: his invitation to write a story to end the indie gaming masterpiece Minecraft in time for its official launch at Las Vegas in November 2011. Read the rest