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" I am playing in a playground that's already been played in. I am always aware that a lot of the furniture in science fiction is second hand. "
" I'm not a morning person: I can't function until I've had a coffee - or several. "
" For me, the distant future and far-off galaxies is where it's at. That's where my imagination can really come out to play. "
" I couldn't ever write a straight crime novel: there'd be an intrusion of weirdness at some point. "
" One of the big breakthroughs I had as a writer was when I stopped agonising over every word. "
" When you're writing stuff that's already clotted with neologisms and trying to get across fairly abstruse concepts, you're already putting a heavy burden on the reader. "
" I always say that keeping abreast of science should never be seen as a chore. It should be something you do naturally. I don't sit there reading 'New Scientist,' putting post-it notes next to ideas. "
" I think I set myself on a course to become a scientist around about the time that Carl Sagan's 'Cosmos' series was on television, and there really was no going back for me at that point, and then I went on to study space science and then get my Ph.D., then go aboard and work in the European Space Agency. "
" I'm fascinated by steam engines and with Victorian engineering generally, and as a corollary to that, I'm fascinated by the idea of long-lived technologies. "
" We live in a science fictional world with things like cloning and face transplants, and things seem to be getting stranger and stranger. "
" I'm still bothered by the threat of nuclear war. "
" We've had science fiction novels where China is dominant; we've had novels where India is dominant, and I suppose it's all about getting away from that cliched old tired idea that the future belongs to the West. "
" I was never strong at maths, but I eventually got onto a university physics/astronomy course, and that led on to my Ph.D. and eventual employment. "
" If there's a story I absolutely cannot tell without faster-than-light travel, then I am quite prepared to accept it - even though I don't personally believe it is possible. "
" I think the danger with using the term 'trilogy' is that it sets up particular expectations in the reader's mind. "
" I don't know why, but American sci-fi writers seem to focus on the near-future, which has given us Brits a clear run at the most fascinating. "
" I watched 'Who' with a mixture of affection and exasperation through the eighties, always ready to cheer on the Doctor but seldom feeling that the series was playing to its strengths. Some of the adventures, revisited on DVD, turn out to be better than I remembered - others just as infuriating. "
" I prioritise story over science, but not at the expense of being really stupid about it. "
" When I look back at many of the moments of wonder, awe, or terror that I've got from science fiction, it's often been because I've been put in the head of one of the characters. "
" To be remembered at all is an achievement of sorts. "
" I despair of reality television, but I've never met anyone who watches it. Or people say, 'I watch it, but I hate it.' I've never met anyone who loves it. It's like, it's there, and we have to accept it. "
" Science fiction writers aren't short of ideas. You can read a book, and it sets off a chain of thought processes, so it becomes a response to other people's books. "
" I've never had much interest in spinoffery - the idea of writing in someone else's universe generally leaves me cold - but 'Doctor Who' is different. I've grown up with it. It's been part of my life since I was tiny, watching Jon Pertwee on a grainy black and white television in Cornwall and being terrified out of my mind. "
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" I'm not massively fond of right-wing nutters or war criminals. "
" Most of the time, when I get an idea that hinges on some science 'thing,' it will have been because of something I read or encountered months or years earlier rather than in the last few days. "