Interview: Gary Gibson, author of Marauder

The writer discusses his influences and writing the Shoal Sequence

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Interview: Gary Gibson, author of Marauder

How would you describe your work?
My work gets compared to writers like Neal Asher and Peter Hamilton but, in my head, I’m trying to write like Greg Bear and other American hard SF writers I grew up reading – but then, Neal and Peter probably read the same stuff.

Is your new novel Marauder connected to your previous Shoal Sequence (Stealing Light, Nova War and Empire of Light)?
Yes, but only peripherally; the more I write in a particular setting, the easier it gets to come up with new ideas for stories set there, plus I don’t have to worry about creating everything from scratch. That in turn lets me focus more on the characters and the story.

How does Marauder compare with your previous works?
It features strong female protagonists, partly because there’s a relative dearth of them in the genre, and partly because that’s a feature of the Shoal books as a whole. It’s space opera, with big spaceships and planetary battles and explosions, but thematically it’s about love in all its aspects, from the romantic to the deadly. How far, for instance, will you go for someone you love? Whether it’s set in the present or 500 years from now and halfway across the galaxy, it’s those same human foibles and emotions, failings and triumphs, that fuel my writing.

You’re Scottish and write space opera. Are you the new Iain M Banks?
Banks was an influence to some extent, but no more than a thousand other similarly brilliant writers. I’d rather be the old Gary Gibson than the new anyone else, though.

Is there any book you’d really like to write?
Top of the list would be a 1940s noir set around the making of Casablanca, and a novel about Godzilla, monster movies, and North Korea.

Marauder is published by Tor on Thu 12 Sep.

Gary Gibson: Marauder

The local author launches his new book.

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