Friday, November 04, 2005

Hello, Mike--Goodbye...

Mike Coney died this morning at about 4 a.m.. Thankfully, it was not as painful and difficult a process as had been feared. Science Fiction has lost an intelligent and lively writer.

A few weeks before he died, I interviewed Mike--that interview is currently with a publisher awaiting acceptance. For the moment I will offer this small excerpt here.

Mike: The whole matter of the Celestial Steam Locomotive arose out of boredom with standard SF, which up to that point, I had written. It was an attempt to write a story in which absolutely anything could and did happen, driven only by the mentalities of the people involved. I felt it succeeded in these terms but I don’t consider it an easy book to read and I have had a few adverse comments on it from people who simply don’t know what I was getting at. This was why I went on to write Fang, which I knew would be much easier for the reader to follow. I think it’s very easy for a writer to get too clever for his own damn good and to forget that his business is to entertain his readers. I’ve seen it happen to many other writers and now I could see it happening to myself. It was not what I wanted. The subsequent story on the website, The Flower of Goronwy is an attempt to return to the style and characters of my earlier books including Susanna and adding a touch of spice by the use of a truly horrifying heroine, Mistrale.

Casey: If you were to write a novel now, what would it look like? What theme, what setting, what mood would it strike?

Mike: If I wrote a novel now I think it would turn out to be like Flower of Goronwy. In fact, I think it has done.

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