north americaeurope
alastair reynolds

interview 05:05

[DGN] You've managed to publish one pretty hefty novel every year, for the last few years. Is this a pace you think you can maintain?

[AR] Probably not (laughs). I'm in two minds about big books. I write big books, but I also write really short stories as well. I try and write across the whole spectrum of length. I think for 'Revelation Space' and the books that followed it it was the right choice to go for a large canvas and cram as much into it as possible. I genuinely had no idea 'Revelation Space' was such a long book when I wrote it. I did it on a typewriter for my first draft.


[DGN] An actual typewriter?

[AR] Yeah. A manual typewriter (laughs). So there was no word count facility. I had a rough idea it was more than a hundred thousand words but no idea how long it really was. Then I typed it into an Apple Mac, but I did it chapter-by-chapter with each chapter being a separate document. So, again, I didn't have an easy way of figuring out how long it was. When we finally composited the whole thing and put it into a single document it was two hundred and forty thousand words. Just enormously longer than I had ever imagined. That wasn't my conscious desire to sit down and type a quarter of a million words.


[DGN] That was just the length of the story you had to tell.

[AR] Yeah, it just worked out that way.


[DGN] Thanks very much for your time Mr. Reynolds, it's been a pleasure speaking to you.

[AR] Anytime.


dragonsworn would like to thank Mr. Reynolds for being so cooperative, and for sharing some of his valuable time with us. If you haven't yet read any of his works, we invite you to read our spoiler free primer for an introduction to a fantastic world of science fiction. Once you've worked through that, head right along to our reviews of the novels. For more information, straight from Mr. Reynolds, drop by his website and visit our links section. In addition, we invite all our readers to drop by our message boards on inspiration for some friendly discussion concerning our feature, or just about anything in general!