Friday, January 27, 2012

Loony Tunes

Bloody hell, it’s pouring out of me. It’s 3.25PM as I write this and I’ve done my 2,000 words despite having taken an 8-mile cycle ride and despite twittering like a canary. I think this might be due to the constraints I had to write under with The Departure, Zero Point and Jupiter War. In those books I was writing about the near future and necessarily had to limit myself to technology that was a few steps back from A C Clarke's Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Further constraints of course kicked in with the later books because they had to relate to the previous ones. The whole story was set in our solar system too so I couldn’t let myself go with weird ecologies nor could I march in any acid-spitting monsters, or creatures with multiple stages of life, or giant tentacled fish.

Now it’s different. Now I have the feeling I experienced most with The Skinner, in varying degrees throughout the other books (the next one I felt it most being Brass man). That feeling is fuck it, I want to get really weird, I don’t want constraints, I’m going stick down every bizarre idea that comes to me, run with it and try to weave it all together. This is why Tuppence, Dr Whip and Harriet are now on the scene. These are, respectively, the captain of an ancient prador cargo-hauler who we see in avatar form but who is also something … monstrous; a pale tall doctor who was once adjusted by Penny Royal and who never takes off his sunglasses; and an exotic dancer who has transformed herself into a troodon dinosaur, and likes eating people.

Feeling a bit loony today.


Bob Lock said...

Tuppence, I like that for a name, brings back memories, but I wonder how many will know what it derives from and furthermore how many others will know what it means in slang? :)

Neal Asher said...

Depends which slang definition you're talking about, Bob. There are a few of them.

Why should I worry. I've already done The Voyage of the Sable Keech which, if you're scottish, should be something black and smelly travelling down a sewer!

Laszlo said...

Weird and loony? Fuck, keep it up Neal.
To be honest, i noticed in previous blog posts everyone commenting how the first book of yours that hooked them was Gridlinked. I have to out myself and admit that for me it was The Skinner.
Gridlinked was the first book I bought of yours, browsing in the bookstore. Somehow it just didn't grab me. Then one day having nothing to read, trip to the store again, saw your selection again, thought i'd give it another chance after reading the back cover for the Skinner. The weirdness, the creatures, this whole new world with shit that can eat you to the bone yet you're still alive. I was blown away.
Needless to say i revisited all your other titles, got hooked on the Polity and the rest is history.
So yeah, please keep the insanely weird coming!!!

Bob Lock said...

LoL! Did you find out after you published the Keech or before? That's so funny!

Unknown said...

Loony is good. Carry on Asher!!

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

' exotic dancer who has transformed herself into a troodon dinosaur, and likes eating people.'

sounds like an evolution tangent from one of the 'enlightened' lizard volker from Silverberg's "Son of Man".

i like it weird. i'm in the same (whelk chomped) boat with Laszlo. i cant stand normal. finishing Clarke's "A Fall of Moondust" -basically if they were in a pressurized submarine it would've been an even more normal crisis story. kept waiting for something really messed up to happen. like the horrible ending where rescuing didn't add up to tourism profits. goodbye semi-interesting passengers.
please disfigure, strangecleave, and surreal the fuck out of your hapless characters.

is Penny coming to a bookmorgue before "Jupiter War"? slobbering here..

Neal Asher said...

Laszlo, I do love it, I just have to control it. The weird and loony got out of hand with Voyage and ended up having to slaughter a number of plotlines.

My first birthday in Crete, Bob. A a couple there (the wife was scottish) gave me a birthday card detailing the plot of the book involving a turd going on a journey. First time I'd heard of a scottish 'keech' though of course it is pronounced differently.

Vaude, perhaps that's just another sub-genre. Call it space thriller. I find I tend to get bored when writing that stuff but it is necessary to 'frame' the rest. Sorry, Zero Point and Jupiter War are next for publication.