I’ve just published a long in the works interview with space opera master Alastair Reynolds over at Futurism. We discuss science, astrophysics, philosophy, science fiction, his upcoming novel Elysium Fire . . . and what’s in his space opera writing pipeline.
Below is an excerpt:
I’m not one for detailed road-maps but a few of the things I’d like to get around to, and probably will (I’m slow, but I do get there in the end) include the Revenger follow-ups, a new Dreyfus emergency, and a book which would dovetail around Absolution Gap, for which I have a title, the protagonist and the hazy sense of a story arc. I’ve also said that I’d like to return to the universes of House of Suns and Pushing Ice, if the will is there. In the longer run, as much as I enjoy revisiting established settings, I obviously hope to be forging ahead with fresh, standalone books that owe nothing to any predecessors and also trying to challenge myself by working in different modes.
The one thing I would say is that I’m nowhere near feeling burned out or creatively exhausted with space opera, and I still feel excited when I think about books I might one day make a start on, even if all I have in mind is a scene or a character. I still don’t think I’ve written a really “big” multi solar-system space opera yet, with the scale and depth of Dune.
As for short stories, there are always a few new ones in the works, either waiting to be published or due to be delivered. In the last year I’ve done short stories in both the House of Suns and Revelation Space universes, which are a good way of rebooting those imagined worlds in my head, getting back into the narrative mindset which would allow a novel.
In the longer term, I’ve been writing these “Merlin” stories since about 2000 and there’s 80,000 words of them now. The current thinking is I could do a few more and then cobble the lot into some sort of novel-shaped book, which I’d very much like to do.
I rarely think very far ahead, though. I’d certainly like to do a Dreyfus short before long, as I feel that could be a good way in to the longer books, if I can come up with an idea.
Head on over to Futurism to read the entire, and quite long, interview.