Une interview de 2013
|“My most recently published novel, Terminal World, was partly born out of a frustration with steampunk. I like the aesthetic of clanking, steam-driven machinery, but a couple of years ago I read a book on the history of the airship, and one of the things I took away from that was the fact that airships were a good idea for about 20 years: they existed in a niche period where we could build petrol engines powerful enough to move airships but still too heavy to be used in airplanes. Although they look very nice, poetic, and romantic, airships couldn’t carry much and they were very cumbersome to operate. In the real world, they had no military applications once the biplane was invented. |
“In steampunk, you get this situation where we kind of jam at Victorian-level technology. Why would that happen? So I started to think about what it would actually take, in a science fiction context, for a society to get stuck at a certain technological level. In Terminal World, even though people knew there might be technology beyond what they were using, they couldn’t do anything about it, because of the Zones which limit them to a certain level of technology. (Of course, there are echoes of Vernor Vinge there.) I thought I’d have some fun crossing from one technology to the other, particularly if things break down and don’t fix themselves again.”
“In science fiction there is this big ongoing debate about optimism vs. pessimism and utopianism vs. dystopianism. What I was interested in doing was writing a book or a series of books that really looked at space flight from a new (for me) angle. To get rid of all stuff in the previous books: no bad guys, no cyborg factions trying to kill each other. Let’s just make it very believable, if you like.