Britain is relatively compact and much closer to the borders of the U.S.S.R. than anywhere in North America.
Fiction is the study of the human condition under imagined circumstances.
Generating ideas isn't some mystical talent that you have to be born with: it's a skill you can develop.
I have a low taste for urban fantasy and paranormal romance.
If you're going to write for a living, you should find something fun to write.
My books are published by Hachette. My books have been blacklisted and blocked on Amazon on multiple occasions.
Novels are one of the few remaining areas of narrative storytelling where one person does almost all of the creative heavy lifting.
History is another country and might be full of fascinating incidents and places to go visit - but as a destination for emigration, it has some problems!
I am a lazy, cynical, middle-aged guy who has long since come to the conclusion that most historical periods really sucked, for most people, most of the time.
I don't do villains often enough. There are two approaches: give them sympathetic, reasonable motivations for doing the most unspeakable things, or get inside heads that are interestingly broken.
I suspect political fiction is at its best precisely when it doesn't preach, but restricts itself to showing the reader a different way of life or thought, and merely makes it clear that this is an end-point or outcome for some kind of political creed.
I tend to work on the principle that much humour relies on cognitive dissonance - on the foreground not matching the background, on the protagonist's response to a situation being inappropriate, and so on.
I think that if there's one key insight science can bring to fiction, it's that fiction - the study of the human condition - needs to broaden its definition of the human condition. Because the human condition isn't immutable and doomed to remain uniform forever.
I write more for the children of the computer revolution, who are also interested in speculation and exploring the human condition, but approach it from an information perspective.
It turns out that the killer application for virtual reality is other human beings. Build a world that people want to inhabit, and the inhabitants will come.
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