I’ve been a bit quiet here because there’s been so much going on, so I thought I’d post this – a snippet of me reading from The Blind Giant. Feel free to download it and share it around, that’s the idea. I should probably have tacked on an ident, but I didn’t – I’ll do that next time, but it feels kinda tacky, and this is a species of experiment. (i.e. if no one remotely cares, I probably won’t do much of it!
This special edition of Book Talk features three interviews recorded on location at Edinburgh International Book Festival last month.
Kate Summerscale, author of the phenomenally successful The Suspicions of Mr Whicher discusses the results of her success and her new book, another fascinating piece of historical non-fiction, Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace.
Angelmaker author Nick Harkaway talks about how being the son of John Le Carre meant being raised in ‘a house full of stories’, as well as going into detail about his own fiction writing.
Lastly, debut novelist Natasha Soobramanien explains her fascination with islands and describes how years of life experience shaped her novel Genie and Paul.
Musician and author Nick Cave thrilled a rapt audience at iTunes Live: London Festival ‘09 with a reading from his new book, ‘The Death of Bunny Munro’. The Australian rocker discussed the origins of the story as a screenplay and the dark and twisted road down which the title character drives.
Will our future be happy? Will we control our technology or will it control us? Writers Nick Harkaway and Simon Ings warn that we should not accept everything on offer. Ben Marcus’s new dystopian novel imagines what might happen if it all goes wrong.
We’re in an age when technological fact is stranger than fiction – so why are so many novelists devoting themselves to exploring the frontiers of thought? Nick Harkaway explains why it’s the novelist’s job to imagine the future, and how "an act of taking the brakes off the imagination" could even help the world to make the right choices as we hurtle into the future. Simon Ings, editor of Arc, a new magazine devoted to imagining the future, explains the importance of speculative thinking and the sadness of the modern world.
And Ben Marcus talks about the worst case scenario of his new novel, The Flame Alphabet, which imagines a dystopian future where adults are poisoned by the speech of their children, and in which words and writing, and even making signs, also become fatal.