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Mamba Lev
Posted on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 02:44 pm:   

Great to get some news on the website, however tentative, about upcoming projects.

I'm really looking forward to Woken Furies - I didn't expect it might be longer than the previous Kovacs novels, but I'm taking this as a good sign.

It will be interesting to see what happens with regards to a Market Forces film - I think of my own version of it everytime I see a Saab. I also keep thinking of Christopher Eccleston as playing Faulkner - I'm not sure why...

The new novel ideas seem interesting, especially 'Land Fit for Heroes' - having recently read 'Perdido Street Station', I'm seeing the potential of the dark side of fantasy, where before I had little interest.

One quick aside regarding AC - how do you suggest your neurachem system works? I initially imagined it was purely chemical and triggered by training and reflex, as adrenaline might be, but reading closer there are suggestions of implants (especially as neurachem capabilities can be scanned for by others). Am I missing something? Thanks.
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richard
Posted on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - 02:29 pm:   

Hi Mamba - I always envisaged neurachem systems as being cyborganic, rather than purely organic, but the point is that by this stage of development in the biosciences, the difference between tweaked organic systems (bioware in the truest sense of the word) and nano-engineered implants would be very hard to define. On the bioware side, I assumed biotechnicians would have learnt to grow a wide range of cellular modules from molecules that we now would consider, for want of a better word, "artificial". At the same time the nanotech guys would have learnt to "grow" an awful lot of *their* necessary hardware from organic materials, rather than build it in the conventional sense. In other words the two fields will have converged to the point that differentiation between them would be difficult verging on meaningless. That said, certain neurachem systems are better (and pricier!) than others;Khumalo systems are grown in entire, as part of the cloning process. Down at the lower end of the market (Ryker's sleeve for example) there might well be a lot of (relatively) invasive nano-surgery.

Eccleston - not a bad call for Faulkner, now I come to think of it - he'd do the desperation well. Not sure if he's still young enough, though.
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Mamba Lev
Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 07:55 am:   

Thanks Richard, that does clear up the issue. It's good to know that you have thought about the practicalities of your future, even if they are not explored in painstaking detail within the novels. I tend to enjoy that kind of speculative science fiction though - where lengthy and unneccessary detail is thrown out in favour of assumption that these technologies just work. I think it lends an authority and authenticity to invented science - in other words, makes it seem as though it has been around for hundreds of years, and doesn't require the pages of in-depth description that some authors write as if they were producing a scientific thesis.

And yes, I suppose Eccleston is getting on a bit now - in that case, I'm unsure who would be suitable in the role. Any preferences of your own?
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oxymoron_02
Posted on Friday, January 21, 2005 - 12:57 am:   

Judging by the dates here I may be too late to get a response. I came across this page by searching "Neurachem", I was hoping to find something written by the author himself and here it is!

I first read Broken Angels on impulse when I went on holiday last year. I saw it in a shop and thought it looked quite good. I'd finished it within two days of my holiday, and instantly wanted more. Only then did I realise I'd read the second book (I'm stupid) and it took me a while to find Altered Carbon (which I just finished ysterday after receiving it for Christmas). I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, and I was greatly satisfied that my experience of Broken Angels was in no way interrupted because of my reading the books in the wrong order (I had assumed, in retrospect,that I would find that I had not understood certain things correctly).
I wonder, is there any relevant art for the Martian beings or spacecraft?
And now I hear there's another called Woken Furies! I can't wait to read it (after finding it, I can't say I've ever seen it anywhere).

A great hats off to you Mr. Morgan, just one question: Writing in first person perspective is quite rare (in my personal experience). Why do you choose to do so?
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richard
Posted on Friday, January 21, 2005 - 04:20 am:   

well, it's good to hear BA works as a standalone - it was certainly always intended that way.

first person narrative? it's always been my favourite for the sense of immediacy it gives (why it's used so much in crime fiction, I suspect) and also the level of human fallibility it introduces. Although, you sit on Kovacs' shoulder, you learn pretty quickly that he's not necessarily a totally reliable narrator, and there are a great many things he doesn't know or never ties up. Did Schneider betray them all? Kovacs thinks so, and the facts seem to bear it out, but you never really know. What exactly happened between Miriam Bancroft and the Kovacs copy? Our Kovacs can make guesses and so can we, but neither he nor we will ever really know. I prefer this level of uncertainty, not least because it's the same thing we habitually face in real life, but also because Kovacs acts in a fairly questionable fashion a lot of the time, and I don't want to give this blanket approval by making him out some kind of moral omnipotent.

3rd person is definitely easier - you don't have to work so hard to bring all the necessary elements of plot under one character's gaze - you can flit off whenever you like or need to and deal with material your central character doesn't have access to. and there are times when that's not only convenient, it's central to what you're doing - most of Market Forces could have been told first person, but there were a number of (mostly small but) vital scenes that absolutely needed to take place with Chris out of the way; in these cases, I *did* need to be inside other characters' heads, so I had no other option - one thing I really truly hate and despise is the technique of telling a mostly first person story and then interspersing it with 3rd person, god's-eye sections to help out plot - for me, that shatters the narrative integrity and ruins the story for me. I think it's a matter of discipline, you choose one or the other option and then work within its constraints.
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oxymoron_02
Posted on Friday, January 21, 2005 - 09:48 am:   

Wow. My deepest thanks for a truly swift reply!
I write small stories myself (just for online purposes), though I am attempting a larger one at the moment. Yes, third person is easier for letting your readers know things that you couldn't explain away from a first-person perspective, I'd never thought of it that way. Though I have never attempted a first-person story, so my direct comparison of experiences s non-existent, thankyou for your explanation.
I must admit, I almost didn't expect a reply, since I saw the last post was dated almost a month ago.

Just two more silly little questions. Are you a UK author? I live in the UK myself, and after so many years of reading American-English online, your spellings leapt out at me instantly. I realise I could probably find this out online, but I've typed up the question now, and that 'Delete' key is just so far away...
And also, do you have some sort of affinity with the Japanese culture, and if so, do you like anime?
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Adam
Posted on Monday, February 28, 2005 - 04:50 am:   

Wow - only 17 days before Woken Furies comes out!
I'm planning on reading the whole thing that weekend.

Richard - what are your views on reading a book in one or two long sittings? I find it a totally different experience, more akin to watching a film. Continuity is greater, and the rise and fall of pace more apparent. You become totally emmersed for two or three solid days. The downside is that it's over all too soon, and you don't have the same anticipation or reading a portion of the novel each day for a fortnight...
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richard
Posted on Monday, February 28, 2005 - 01:07 pm:   

Hi Adam - I try to get the best of both worlds and read in big chunks, say two or three hours at a time. That way you've still got the anticipation, but you can still immerse yourself fully as well. I hate tube-stop reading (ten minutes on, stop, ten minutes on, stop...) and generally won't read anything on public transport except newspaper articles or Nick Hornby novels. At the same time I find if I go beyond three hours or so, I get attention attrition - I find myself reading with less attention and speeding up in an attempt to get through more of the book, rather the way you gobble down a doner kebab or a decent burger - "MEAT, MEAT!!!"

It's also good, I think, if you can lay a book aside a few times and give yourself time to absorb the ideas and images that you're being fed. If you CAN, that is, and there have been times when I haven't been able to - Louise Welsh's Cutting Room being a case in point, and most of Lawrence Block's Matt Scudder books too.
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Tim Akers
Posted on Monday, March 07, 2005 - 06:53 am:   

Market Forces was just reviewed by Entertainment Weekly. They liked it. They don't review a lot in the genre, but it's good national exposure on this side of the pond. So...yay!
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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Monday, March 07, 2005 - 09:45 pm:   

That entertainment weekly review was... welll... Odd. I know it was a capsule review in their "Sci-fi 101: We happy futurists" section... but...

************
Chris Faulkner is a rising star at a corporation taht funds small wars around the globe. But making partner will mean risking his life and losing his soul. WEIRD SCIENCE: Chris' morning commute entails challenging company rivals to deadly highway duels refereed by a DMV-like "Driver Control." LOWDOWN: Forces is turbo-injected with moral ambiguity, wag the dog political scenarios, nd action seqences fit for a bruckheimer moive.
A
******************
I wonder what they mean by Wag the dog political scenarios? Well, at least they didn't say it was a leftist rant by someone who hates America and Freedom and Democracy.
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Tim Akers
Posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2005 - 06:37 am:   

EW's sci-fi reviews always amuse me. I'm usually pretty sure that they've read the book, but I'm not sure it's necessarily the same book that I've read, or even the book that was written. Either way, I think that the exposure is nice.
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richard
Posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2005 - 03:39 pm:   

Yeah, I like the bit where it says:

"A"

:-)
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richard
Posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2005 - 03:46 pm:   

I think Wag the Dog was that movie in which government fixers Robert de Niro and Anne Heche hire washed up Hollywood producer Dustin Hoffman to fake a war with Albania in order to win a Presidential election (and then they have him quietly murdered because they can't trust him to keep quiet about it) - I never saw the whole thing, which is why I'm unsure of the title, but the last hour and a half that I caught was outstanding - it had exactly the same amoral tone as MF, but was, I think, infinitely bleaker because there wasn't any sound or fury and you're left with the thought that these people are ALREADY running your country - whereas MF humbly submits that if you don't watch it, they soon will be
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Lou Anders
Posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2005 - 04:53 pm:   

Yes, Wag the Dog was the title. It was co-written by playwright David Mammet and based on the book American Hero by Larry Beinhart. It was one of my favorite films of recent years, and you should definitely watch the whole thing. But shame on you for spoiling the ending!
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Tim Akers
Posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2005 - 07:52 am:   

It was a good movie, but maybe what worries me more is that EW can only talk about our genre in the language of movies. I really wish literature would take over again as the prime mover of science fiction. le sigh.
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Mastadge
Posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2005 - 08:18 am:   

The term "Wag the Dog" didn't come from the movie. From wordorigins.org:

The phrase "the tail that wags the dog" dates to the turn of the century. In 1907, it appeared in Von Arnum's Fraulein Schmidt. F. Scott Fitzgerald used it in 1935. The meaning is quite obvious, the subsidiary part is controlling the major part. In its most current usage, the case is of the media creating the crisis instead of the crisis generating media interest.
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Tim Akers
Posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2005 - 09:02 am:   

Ah, this is true. So maybe it's just sad that when I hear the term, the first thing I think of is the movie? How ironic.
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JJA
Posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2005 - 09:35 am:   

Well, when Jeremy transcribed the review, it wasn't exact; in the printed version, Wag the Dog is captialized correctly as a title and italicized, so they were indeed referring to the movie.
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Jerem Lassen
Posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2005 - 02:52 pm:   

Actually, I was familiar with the movie. I just didn't think that it had any PARTICULAR relavance to Market Forces, other then perhaps the amoral tone that Ricahrd alluded to.

sorry, I usually feign pop-cultural ignorance, but this wasn't such a case.
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richard
Posted on Thursday, March 10, 2005 - 08:17 am:   

might also have been the sense of cold manipulation that suggested the comparison - the idea that things held dear in the public eye like national pride and geopolitical commitment are just so much raw material for entirely cynical behind-the-scenes motherfuckers to work with

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