Time to Cut the Cord with the Stone Age: my essay on The F-Word

The UK contemporary feminist website The F-Word has published my essay today: Time to Cut the Cord with the Stone Age.

I’m really delighted to raise the issues of future reproductive technologies in this forum. This is the subject matter I delve into in my latest 47North novel, Dreams Before the Start of Time.

So timely too. It’s now official in Nature – news was circulating last week – that scientists in the US have successfully used CRISPR gene editing on human embryos to delete the gene for a heritable heart condition. All experimental at this stage, but bound to be highly controversial.

No doubt this major advance will be discussed next week at my panel at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki: Human Reproduction in Science Fiction. See my events page.

And now I really must pack my bags for Nine Worlds and Worldcon 75! Hope to see some of you there.

Interview at BSFA/SFF Annual Meeting, and a Conversation with Author Irenosen Okojie

Two brief updates that I’m really chuffed to share with you.

I’m really honoured that I’ll be a special guest of the British Science Fiction Association at their AGM and mini-convention on 17th June at Imperial College, London. Author Stephanie Saulter will be the special guest of the Science Fiction Foundation. The day’s mini-convention events – interviews and a panel discussion – are open to all. Tempted to come along? Here’s the latest information.

Irenosen Okojie, winner of a Betty Trask Award.

The Ada Lovelace Conversation #3 — Irenosen Okojie

As the Arthur C. Clarke Award’s  ‘interviewer in residence’ — what a great title! — I took the opportunity to chat with author Irenosen Okojie about her wonderful short story collection, Speak Gigantular. We discuss our varying approaches to fiction writing and where we find playfulness in the process.

This exchange proved to be a brilliant learning experience. I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as we did! Read the Ada Lovelace Conversation #3 with Irenosen Okojie here.

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RELEASE DAY: Dreams Before the Start of Time

I can hardly believe I’m typing this: my THIRD novel is published today — Dreams Before the Start of Time.

This near-future novel suggests what it will mean to be a parent, a child, a family when science offers new ways of conceiving and giving birth — when artificial wombs free women from the pain and dangers of childbirth, when eggs can be created from stem cells, when a man can create a baby without a woman, and a woman can create a baby without a man. How will these breakthroughs affect relationships and the status of motherhood in society?

In other words, as a writer of speculative fiction, I give myself license to imagine both the intended and unintended consequences!

Dreams Before the Start of Time, published by 47North, received a boost pre-release, receiving a starred review from Publishers Weekly. And today, release day, I’m thrilled to bits to read this review on From Couch to Moon.

Here are snippets of early reactions to the novel: Read more

Novella Release! The Enclave from NewCon Press

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The limited edition, signed hardback! I love it!

All three formats of my first novella, The Enclave, have now been released by NewCon Press: eBook, limited edition hardback and paperback!

I’ve always stated that I’d never write a sequel to A Calculated Life (47North). And I haven’t done so! 

The Enclave cuts across the world of A Calculated Life with a cast of new characters. I felt strongly that I had far more to say about the lives of the unenhanced, fully organic population living out in the enclaves. And it was immensely rewarding for me to return to that world.

It’s a standalone novella (a smidge over 20,000 words). If you’ve read A Calculated Life, I hope you’ll enjoy the occasional echo from that novel.

If you’re tempted to read the novella… you have the choice of a splendid limited edition, signed hardback (or paperback) from the NewCon website here. Or a Kindle eBook here.

Many thanks go to Ian Whates at NewCon Press for inviting me contribute to this wonderful series of four novellas, including works by Alastair Reynolds, Simon Morden and Neil Williamson. Art work by Chris Moore. Read more

A Conversation with Matt Hill, Author of Graft—Finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award 2017

Matt Hill's novel Graft is a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award 2017.

Matt Hill’s novel Graft is a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award 2017.

It’s incredibly timely to post this conversation—originally published by Strange Horizons under the title Manchester, A Tale of Two Dystopias—because of two exciting events:

Last week, the Philip K. Dick Award announced that Matt’s novel Graft is a finalist for the 2017 Award. Many congratulations, Matt!

And in two weeks’ time, NewCon Press will publish my novella, The Enclave, written in the world of A Calculated Life—itself a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award in 2013. You can pre-order the Kindle eBook or Paperback/Limited Edition Hardback 🙂 Read more

UPDATE: Full Cover for Dreams Before the Start of Time and more…

A slightly belated Happy New Year, everyone! I hope I’ll be blogging more often this year—posting more conversations with some of my favourite authors and offering updates on writing projects. 

Last year was a full-on writing year, which meant I kept a very low profile. I seemed to spend the entire year flitting on-screen between Scrivener and a variety of news streams as I tried to make sense of the political shifts on both sides of the pond. How to respond? Probably through writing fiction!

During 2017, I’ll be out and about talking about my upcoming novel, Dreams Before the Start of Time (47North), and my novella, The Enclave (NewCon Press). Pre-ordering is now on for both titles in all formats.

Publishers Weekly ‘Most Anticipated’

Dreams Before the Start of Time is one of Publishers Weekly’s most anticipated titles of Spring 2017. I couldn’t hope for a better start! Read more

Cover Release: The Enclave from NewCon Press

My first novella-length piece of fiction—The Enclave—will be published by NewCon Press in February 2017, as part of a series of four science fiction novellas. Chris Moore has created a stunning piece of art that spans the series.

theenclavecoverfinal

I’ve lost count of the number of readers who have asked for a sequel to A Calculated Life. I’ve resisted the pressure because the novel feels complete to me! However, last year I mooted the idea of a companion piece that would cut across the world of A Calculated Life, set in the enclave outside Manchester, which featured in the novel.

Well, here it is! The Enclavea standalone novella. It will be published in excellent company, as follows: Read more

The Enclave: a novella set within the world of A Calculated Life

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The Enclave is set within the world of my debut novel A Calculated Life, finalist for the Philip K Dick Award and the Kitschies Golden Tentacle.

I’m thrilled to tell you that I’m working on a novella, The Enclave, which is a companion piece to my first novel, A Calculated Life. This SF novella will be one of four in a series including works by Alastair Reynolds, Simon Morden—such fabulous company!—commissioned by independent publisher NewCon Press. The fourth novella in the series will be announced in due course and all four will be published individually and later slip-cased to form a set. How exciting!

Since I completed A Calculated Life (47North), I’ve felt an itch to write a story set within the same world, one that weaves across the narrative rather than forming a sequel. So I’m excited to revisit life in the enclaves—home to society’s underclass late in the twenty-first century.

I’ve been radio silent in recent weeks for a good reason: I’ve been editing my third novel, Dreams Before the Start of Time. It’s a multi-generational story of two families spanning into the next century, and it will be published in April 2017 by 47North. In this novel, I imagine the impacts of likely advances in human reproductive technologies. It’s a standalone novel. However… one the main characters is Toni Munroe who appears in my second novel, Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind. Read more

A Conversation With Speculative Fiction Author Nina Allan

Nina

Nina Allan’s Desert Island book is Iris Murdoch’s The Book and the Brotherhood. “There is something exalted about her work, a sense of heightened reality that shines a light on ordinary objects and occurrences and reveals their hidden magic – and madness.”

Award-winning author Nina Allan had fifty published short stories to her name before she wrote her first novel, The Race. This debut novel was shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke Award. Her novella Spin won the BSFA Award for short fiction, and the French translation of The Silver Wind won the Grand Prix de L’imaginaire.

I’m delighted that Nina joins me today in a conversation about the writing process, touchstone influences and our writing quests!

Here goes—

ANNE: Recently I read Stephen King’s On Writing and although he gives great advice throughout, I was curious about one of his comments on the subject of theme. He feels that the theme of a novel is something that emerges in the first draft or after the first draft, and can then be enhanced in subsequent reworking. But for me the theme, or concept, comes first, before I start outlining and plotting a piece of fiction. How do you view the importance of theme? Does it vary from one writing project to another? Read more

Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind makes The Guardian’s Best SF of 2015

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 19.35.12It’s that time of year! And I’m delighted to let you know that The Guardian has included my recently released novel, Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind, in “The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2015.”

Critic Adam Roberts begins his annual round-up: “As per that ancient Chinese curse, SF and fantasy have been living through interesting times.” What follows is a  balanced summary of this year’s debate about the future of the genre.

If you’re looking for some good reading for the holiday season take a look at Adam Roberts’ reading highlights of the past 12 months.

Elsewhere, I’m also very chuffed that Charlie Jane Anders at io9 has included my novel in “All the Science Fiction and Fantasy Books You Can’t Afford To Miss In December!”

Again, there’s plenty of books to choose from in io9’s recommended new releases.

Happy reading!