Sci Fi & Contemporary Fiction


With The Wrong Reflection I really enjoyed doing something quite different from everything I've done before. The best part was the freedom to use metaphors drawn from contemporary life and from science, which one just can't do in a historical novel without sounding anachronistic. (All right, other people do it, but they do indeed sound anachronistic, and I notice, even if they don't.) 

 Dangerous Notes is my  second science fiction novel. I planned it to be about brains and consciousness, but it ended up being mainly about music.  I love classical music, and sing second soprano in the University of Warwick Chorus, with great enthusiasm and, alas, rather less skill.


The sci-fi element in these contemporary novels kept getting smaller, and The Somers Treatment isn't really sci fi at all, but a medical thriller.  I intended to write science fiction, but I kept trying to make it realistic, and in the end the more speculative element was crowded out.


By the time I did the next one, The Elixir of Youth, I'd about given up trying to do science fiction, though it has an invented medical breakthough at its center.  It has a lot of philosophy in it.  Some people really like this, though a reader on Amazon has absolutely slated it because of that.


Bloodwood was, to a large extent, written to please my second son Michael, who is very into saving the world.  Not that I object to saving the world, mind, and I greatly admire Mike's dedication.  I don't know why I had to give the main character terminal cancer.  It made the book painfully hard to write: I had to put myself in that uncomfortable place and live with it for months.  Usually I love writing, but this one was no fun at all.  On the other hand, I not only think it reads well, I'm very proud of it.  I think it works.  If I had to choose two of my books to show people what I can do, this would be one of them.