Chris Beckett Interviewed by Ian Whates

1. The two book deal you’ve recently signed will see the reissue of your novel The Holy Machine. Will the second book also be a reissue or something new?

The second book is still up for discussion and I’m not sure at this point. Could be either a new book or a reworking of an existing book.

2. Do you feel more comfortable writing in the short format or at novel length?

I honestly don’t think I have a preference. There are pros and cons of each. Shorts have a satisfying tightness, but novels allow one to linger and expand and unfold things.

3. When you set out to write a new story, what are you trying to achieve?

Difficult to say but these are my immediate thoughts:

To solve something in my own mind, to solve an aesthetic problem (for example I might have several disparate elements in my mind which I find myself wanting to combine into a single piece of work), to turn a piece of raw experience into a satisfying shape, to take an idea or an observation about the world and make it into something that isn’t just abstract but has a life of its own and is inhabited.

4. Could you ever see yourself writing mainstream fiction?

In principle yes, but in practice I’m not sure I even will because I find that conventions of SF allow me to make my stories more vivid and fun. For example: why write a mainstream story in which a character struggles with his inner demons in his head when you could write an SF stories where the same characters struggles with those demons outside of his head, on the well-lit stage of the story itself (see my story

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