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Luis
Posted on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 01:03 am:   

Welcome to the Night Shade boards, Mr Morgan! Looking forward to many interesting discussions here.

In the meantime, can you tell us what projects you have in the pipeline?

All best,
Luís
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Mastadge
Posted on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 06:21 am:   

http://www.richardkmorgan.co.uk/

Well, I loved ALTERED CARBON and thought BROKEN ANGELS was quite good as well, so I'm Really Looking Forward to MARKET FORCES, and looking forward almost as much to UNDER ANGELS' EYES.
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Cheryl Morgan
Posted on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 10:18 am:   

Hello non-relative, glad to see you here.
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richard
Posted on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 11:16 am:   

Hi everybody.

Thanks for the welcome, Luis, and thanks to Jeff VanderMeer for inviting me here in the first place.

Projects, pipeline. Well,Mastadge has pretty much stolen my thunder (and saved me the trouble) with the website address and titles of forthcoming work. Just to say that although Market Forces will be the next book out in the UK (March 2004), in the US Broken Angels (2004) will be followed directly by Under Angels Eyes (2005) (tho' that's unlikely to be the final title). There is more detail on both these books at the website, but I'll be more than happy to field any questions directly here - suffice it to say for now that Market Forces is not a Kovacs book, and differs somewhat from my other work in both style and subject matter.

Hi there, Cheryl - nice to see you too. Which side of the Atlantic are you physically on these days?
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Cheryl Morgan
Posted on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 11:29 am:   

I'm in California at the moment. Coming back to catch some rain in a couple of weeks. Novacon, Fantasycon, maybe.

And in true trans-Atlantic spirit I have the Liverpool game on one TV and the 49ers on the other.
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JV
Posted on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 02:24 pm:   

Hi, Richard--glad to have you here. I was struck in both books by the very specific level of detail you use. You really have a strong visual sense. You also have a knack for using technology effectively, extrapolating, etc. Not to mention kick-ass characters and plots. But I was wondering if you had any kind of art background, and where the rather joyous fascination with technology/technological toys comes from.

Jeff
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richard
Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 08:16 am:   

Well, thank you (blushes). Unfortunately. 's far as art's concerned, I'm crap - couldn't draw a realistic looking horse to save my life (tho' 14 years of teaching ESL taught me to bang out stickmen and situational sketches with some degree of skill or at least speed) I think the visual stuff comes from an obsessive love of cinema - I tend to see a lot of my work as scenes from a movie lit by Jordan Cronenweth.

The technology is harder to pin down - may just be a boy thing - certainly, despite my parents' best efforts I developed a standard male unhealthy fascination with small arms as a kid. Turned into quite the little expert(whence the Kalashnikovs)and even now, tho' I don't own any weapons or subscribe to Guns and Chicks Monthly,I still find I retain arms-related data with frightening facility. Pinker'd have a field day with that, eh????!!
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richard
Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 08:23 am:   

Ah - in all honesty I now have to confess to owning at least one weapon larger than a swiss army knife - it's a wooden Bribri war-lance, brought back from Costa Rica a couple of years ago, and why I bothered I'm still not sure - US customs at Miami certainly weren't too impressed, and the number of times I nearly broke it or had my own eye out with it on Gua Gua journeys along boneshaking unpaved roads in CR, you have to wonder. *Has* to be genetic.
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JV
Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 09:46 am:   

LOL! A Bribri war-lance. Now it all becomes clear...

Jeff
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richard
Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 04:58 am:   

...though it's true it's not exactly hi-tech. Still, I'm with Frank Miller on this (Dark Knight Returns) - one of the problems with hi-tech weaponry is that it's made the business of killing too clean and easy (viz Gulf War, Gulf War 2 and the recent rise of gang shootings in the UK right now) If we had to butcher each other with clubs and sharp sticks (and Bribri war lances), I think there'd probably be a lot less of it about. Guns are the labour savers of rage.

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Mastadge
Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 05:30 am:   

I'll admit it: I hate guns. It's cool in movies to see guys lugging around handheld gatling guns and so forth, but I truly despise the things.

I do collect swords, though. I've no interest in hurting anyone, but I find them beautiful and a lot of fun to swing around.
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richard
Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 10:57 am:   

Hi Mastadge,

Any of your collection from Japan? I hear you can sink your entire life savings into a single well-made katana - something to do with the metal folding technology, I seem to remember.
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Mastadge
Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 11:46 am:   

I'd like a Katana, but none yet. Mostly I have "cheap" ($100-200) swords that look nice on the wall (and are light enough to swing around impressively for more than a few minutes) but are not practical for use. I do have a nice claymore, though.

I can't afford the really nice swords. I doubt I'll ever be able to.
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Luís
Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 09:58 pm:   

Despite my dislike for weapons of all sorts, I can't help be fascinated by handguns and especially swords. A really well-made sword is an impressive sight. I have -- well, the family does -- three navy sabres, mostly ornamental and meant for ceremonial uses, in different sizes and states of disrepair.

Wouldn't mind collecting, but I'd rather blast my meagre savings on books. :-)

Best,
Luís
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Neal Asher
Posted on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 06:54 am:   

Just thought I'd stop by and say hello. Loved Altered Carbon and am looking forward to Broken Angels (I don't buy the trade paperbacks - lack of space). All the best and keep writing.
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richard
Posted on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 10:35 am:   

Neal - thanks, much appreciated. How are things typing out in the Polity universe at the moment?
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gary gibson
Posted on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 04:14 pm:   

Richard - I was just reading about your new book Market Forces, and wanted to say I'm very much looking forward to it, particularly after reading Altered Carbon.

By the way, I'm one of a group of writers in Glasgow who've either got novels out, coming out, or whatever, and we were trying to figure out a while back if we'd ever met you. If you haven't and you fancy getting in touch with some fellow genre writers in Glasgow, drop me a line at gary@barkinglemur.co.uk
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richard
Posted on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 03:36 pm:   

Many thanks Gary - I'll be in touch.
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Neal Asher
Posted on Monday, November 17, 2003 - 05:18 am:   

Another Polity book on the way to the publishers this week (Brass Man) but one coming out this March that's nothing to do with it (Cowl). All seems to be going well...
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richard
Posted on Monday, November 17, 2003 - 06:45 am:   

Gary - don't seem to be able to get you at the e-mail you've given me. Do you want to try me at tarnval@hotmail.com and I'll see if I can get a reply to go through?

Neal - good to hear you're on a roll. How did it feel taking a vacation from the Polity to write Cowl?
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Neal Asher
Posted on Monday, November 17, 2003 - 07:28 am:   

Wonderful. I think Banks has it right with zipping back and forth. Stops you getting stuck in a rut and hopefully goes some way towards preventing a publisher keeping you in a rut. There's also many ideas I'd like to explore to which the Polity universe is not amenable. There are also certain things in the Polity universe that are beyond correction (nothing else dates at quite the speed of SF). I expect you feel the same way in some respects. I'm finding that the more books I write in the same future the more I'm constrained by those books when I come to writing the next. What do you think?
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gary gibson
Posted on Monday, November 17, 2003 - 01:04 pm:   

Or, Neal, you could take the John Varley approach and stick in a foreword saying you really couldn't be arsed re-reading your old books to make them consistent with the new one set in the same universe (Steel Beach), so if this one doesn't fit the old stuff, tough. And then Arthur Clarke always said each of his 2001 sequels was set in a slightly alternate universe from the last, as they had to be since knowledge of the solar system had a bad habit of bounding forwards in between publication dates.

Richard - sent you a new email from barkinglemur@SPAMhotmail.com (take out the word 'spam' from the email before sending to it, someone told me this stops automated routines stripping emails out of web pages to sell onto spammers) - I forgot to mention in the email I just sent you that there's a regular sf writer's circle on at the Glasgow Film Theatre every second Tuesday, next one tomorrow, it starts off about eightish and we usually wander off to the pub about nine or half nine, thereabouts, round the corner. That's often your best chance of catching a few of us together in the one place. Or we can catch you elsewhen sometime soon?
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Neal Asher
Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 12:45 am:   

Hi Gary,
I'm still occasionally checking out your 'White Screen of Despair'.
I think the problem with the Varley approach is that it smacks of author arrogance and a contempt for the reader, if not down-right laziness. Start going that route and a writer is deserving of the contempt then of his potential audience. Many writers do go that way and then moan about people not buying their books or appreciating their art.
Tough. Though I don't think it happened to Varley.
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richard
Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 04:14 am:   

Neal - you're right about the constraints of an on-going series - I'm on my third Kovacs novel now, and it's starting to feel a little like writing historical fiction. Constant checking and research, even if it is only into the previous workings of your own imagination. But in a way that's fun. You can find yourself pinched but at the same time, if you think obsessively about the universe you've created (which I tend to), new pastures are constantly unfolding. Stuff that you generate as background hints and asides suddenly starts to look promising as the font for a whole new book.

Having said that, yeah, it is also great to step outside and do something different.

I'd agree about the Varley comment - does indeed smack of arrogance, and a certain amount of laziness too - if you can't be bothered to do the research, then why not just write about something else, unless you also can't be bothered to do any new imagining. In which case it seems suspiciously likely that you're just churning 'em out to pay the bills. Maybe this is just my own young (well new, I'm not that young actually) writerly arrogance, but I hope I never reach that stage. (Sounds a bit Whoish, doesn't it - sings: "Hope I die before I get old enough to own a trout farm and do Amex ads")
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Neal Asher
Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 04:46 am:   

You're right: there's fun and constraint and more and more of the world you can keep opening out. I always thought it interesting that, to Tolkien, Lord of the Rings stemmed simply from a magical ring (not hugely important) in The Hobbit.

Laziness and arrogance are unfortunately things writers can be prone to. From my own experience I can see how. We end up surrounded by people telling us how good we are. No one turns up to a reading or launch to say 'You wanker, I hated your book.' I don't think it's a problem to keep churning out books to pay the bills so long as we never come to think it's money for old rope. I suspect neither of us are at that stage, but maybe, a few more years down the line when a publisher knows that what we produce will sell on name only... I guess, at a certain level of notoriety, you become your own critic again. And you just have to hope you are a good one.

Is Broken Angels out in mass-market paperback yet?
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richard
Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 05:27 am:   

"No one turns up to a reading or launch to say 'You wanker, I hated your book.'" - heh, heheh.

Maybe someone (the Foundation for Authorial Integrity, Arts Council or lottery funded) ought to pay a small team of readers to do exactly that with hugely successful authors - it'd keep noses to the grindstone and, even better, let us know when we'd really arrived - Like getting on the cover of Rolling Stone, you now you've made it big when the FAI guys turn up to give you some abuse... Sounds oddly like something Orson Scott Card might have written.

Broken Angels MMP is out on December 4th (tho' I already had an author copy through the post last week, and very pretty it looks too!)
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Neal Asher
Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 07:53 am:   

Mmmm evil laugh. You're not a member of the FAI are you?

I'll see if I can persuade someone to buy Broken Angels for me for Christmas.
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Nicks
Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 09:22 am:   

Actually I've seen people turn up to book signings and totally insult authors. Won't tell you who because that would be very unfair.
So don't think you guys are safe...
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Neal Asher
Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 12:45 am:   

I never think I'm safe. But then neither should the insulter. Such a person may find they enjoyed reading the book much more than where I then inserted it.
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richard
Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 01:16 pm:   

Jesus, Neal - Cheryl was right about you! I thought she meant the violence in your books, but obviously she was talking about your PR technique :-)

Nicks, you're right, it's hugely unfair - that you won't tell us who. At least tell us what some of the insults were (so we can work on witty put downs).
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Cheryl
Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 02:13 pm:   

Neal is, of course, talking about placing the book so as to block the only exit from the shark tank into which he has just thrown the unfortunate fan.
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gary gibson
Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 02:39 pm:   

I've not heard any particular incidents of people giving abuse at book signings, but it seems obvious it must happen. Actually, now that I think about it, I was in Borders the other day flicking through some cd's in the music dept while some 'psychic' was talking about her book, and some guy in the audience couldn't stop laughing every time she started talking about the spirit world.

However, I've heard that one thing you're pretty much guaranteed to get once you've got a book out is at least one letter from some random reader telling you how really crap they think you are, hopefully balanced off by bucketloads of letters telling you you're great.

Nice chatting with you the other night, Richard, by the way. I may check out that climbing wall.
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Ducky
Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 10:10 pm:   

Why weren't the others laughing along with him?
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Neal Asher
Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2003 - 01:18 am:   

Richard, I can't help it. I was born in Billericay...

I think the author is likely to get the worst hammering when the reader has bought a book because of hype and then feels cheated. My own reaction is different. If I hated a book I just shuffle it off to the charity shop and keep my mouth shut. Any book requires a lot of work and mental application, and if other people like it, I don't think I have the right to spout on about why I hate it. On the other hand, if I like a book, I will say so. Which is in fact why I'm on this particular board.
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richard
Posted on Friday, November 21, 2003 - 05:09 am:   

Neal - yeah, know what you mean (about bad books, not Billericay - tho' I did have a girlfriend from there once) I try very hard not to express negative opinions about other writers, which is why I won't write reviews. Very hard to juggle that one.

Re the spirit lady, Gary, I think I was in Waterstones in Edinburgh when she was there last week. I was at the back, surreptitiously signing copies of Altered Carbon and Broken Angels while she held forth (to a packed house, damn her :-) ). Nobody laughed, they were all very earnest. Being psychic pays, it seems - but then if you are, I guess you already know that, right....
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Neal Asher
Posted on Friday, November 21, 2003 - 06:59 am:   

"It is part of prudence to thank an author for his book before reading it, so as to avoid the necessity of lying about it afterwards." -- George Santayana.
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richard
Posted on Friday, November 21, 2003 - 12:58 pm:   

Heheh - outstanding!!!
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Neal Asher
Posted on Monday, November 24, 2003 - 07:15 am:   

You liked that? How about this:
"A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped self-addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation for the editor." --Ring Lardner 'How to Write Short Stories'.

I've been checking out some quotes a friend passed onto me for use in a talk I have to give this week.
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Neal Asher
Posted on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 03:43 am:   

Just bought myself 'Broken Angels' as a christmas present - enjoying it immensely.
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nealasher
Posted on Sunday, June 26, 2005 - 11:55 am:   

Incidentally, rather belated I know, but I much enjoyed Broken Angels. Cheers.
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richard
Posted on Monday, June 27, 2005 - 07:43 am:   

Man, you sure had a long period of enjoyment out of that - best part of seven months!! :-)

Thanks, Neal - BA's one of the ones that a lot of readers had issues with, so all enthusiasm is gratefully received

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