Monday, March 10, 2008

decided to go and see iain m banks and ken macleod as part of the aye write festival, where i took some blurry pictures

a book shop set up for the festival inside the library

where they signed after the talk


banks dominated the talk, he is so laid back and couldn't give a fuck. he quickly derailed all conversations. apparently they both went to the same school, greenock high, banks moving there to do highers. macleod was editor of school paper, and member of school writing group, which banks also joined.

banks considers walking the hills whistling, sitting in the pub drinking, and the like, being when he does his real work. the real thinking about writing. the sitting in front of the computer is just typing. which is related to why he doesn't blog, seems like a waste of ideas. macleod feels its a more difficult process, the blank page syndrome, like he said before reminds him of being a programmer. though, if banks could convince his wife about the drinking and hill walking technique he might give that a go.

banks used to use macleod as a sounding board for his novels. told story of how he turned up at macleod's parents house while he was helping his dad build a porch, told him entire plot of one of his science fiction novels, twists and all, then wandered off. but is willing to give macleod space, now that he has his own career. banks still credits macleod with making use of weapons work, which he also mentioned at the algebraist reading.

banks asked macleod whether he had ever considered writing a main stream novel. he said he would if he could come up with one. but everything he tried the SF always seemed to end up creeping in.

someone asked them about their favourite writers. banks listed off a list of classic SF writers, particularly praising aldiss, before raving about dan symmons. macleod did similar with neal stephenson, though, as he let slip, he hasn't read anything since cryptonomicon. then just as he was finished with that he remembered greg egan, and described egan as the single most scary writer out there. he said that science fiction writers read journals, he reads new scientist. hard core SF writers read the journals things like new scientist use as reference. but he suspects that egan actually sneaks into labs at night and steals the notes as they happen.

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