FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Is Conventions of War the last Dread Empire book?I don’t know. I conceived the series as a long one, but whether there are more books depends strongly on the publisher. Publishers are most impressed by sales. So if each of you could just go out and buy 10,000 copies…In the meantime, you might be able to sate your hunger for Dread Empire stories by checking out “Investments,” a novella set a few years after the events in Conventions of War. The story can be found in the collection Between Worlds, and has been reprinted in Gardner Dozois’ Year’s Best Science Fiction.
- When will you write a sequel to Hardwired?In point of fact, I already have, at novella length. It was called “Solip:System,” and was published both as a 900-copy limited edition by Axolotl Press in 1989 (with history’s ugliest cover art, I should add), and was reprinted byAsimov’s magazine in September 1990.
The story begins a few minutes before the conclusion of Hardwired and continues with a different protagonist, the downloaded computer personality Reno. The story is intended to show how the world of Hardwired evolved into that of Voice of the Whirlwind.
I’m pleased to report that “Solip:System” is now back in print! It’s part of a new collection Frankensteins and Foreign Devils, out from NESFA Press. Check out the table of contents, or click on this link to NESFA Press to order a copy!
- Will there be a third book in the Metropolitan sequence?But really. I’ll get back to Aiah and Constantine as soon as I can.There will be eventually, but the editor of the first two books was fired, and his whole line cancelled. (This had nothing to do with me, I hope) Writing the third book will involve getting the first two back from the publisher and then packaging them with the third. This will take a while, and in the meantime I need to eat, so I’ve sold other books elsewhere.
But really. I’ll get back to Aiah and Constantine as soon as I can.
- Does the title of City on Fire make any reference to the Ringo Lam film of the same name (the source for Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs) or the song in Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeny Todd?No, not really, though I like both the film and the song. I just thought City on Fire was a great title.
- Is Metropolitan science fiction or a fantasy, or some combination of both?It’s a fantasy.
- Will you write a sequel to Aristoi?I’m tempted by the idea, but there are other books that need to be written first.
- Will you write a sequel to [fill in the book here]?See above.
- What does `mataglap’ mean?Mataglap is an Indonesian word meaning “dark eye” or, probably, “dilated eye.” It is an indication that someone is about to go berserk and start killing people at random. I applied the word in Aristoi to a berserk form of nanotechnology that devoured the planet.
- What is the significance of the word `reno’ in Aristoi?This is a reference to the character of Reno in Hardwired, but it doesn’t mean that the world of Aristoi evolved from that of Hardwired. It is an indication that in the future world of Aristoi, the novel Hardwired is very popular, indeed a classic, and that artificial intelligence programs, particularly those endowed with a personality, are called `reno’ after the character in the novel.I can dream too, you know.
- Why don’t you write more short stories?It’s impossible to earn a living writing short stories. I have to write novels in order to afford to write shorter works.
- In that case, why do you write short stories at all?I really love writing short stories.
- Do you agree with Petrus Aureoli that to say that the intellect apprehends an object “by means of a universal concept” does not mean that there is a species intelligibilis in the Thomist sense which acts as a medium quo of knowledge?That’s my current theory.