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Space Opera Author Neal Asher Makes It Up As He Goes Along

Illustration for article titled Space Opera Author Neal Asher Makes It Up As He Goes Along

Acclaimed author Neal Asher talks about his writing habits and how he develops stories, in a new video interview. He has a ferocious work ethic: he aims to write 2,000 words a day and 10,000 words a week, and approaches writing just like any other job. (As he says on his website, "I’ve been an engineer, barman, skip lorry driver, coalman, boat window manufacturer, contract grass cutter and builder. Now I write science fiction books... As professions go, I prefer this one: I don’t have to clock-in, change my clothes after work, nor scrub my bollocks with detergent.")

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But he doesn't write huge synopses or character bios before he starts a novel. "For me, the writing process is the same as the reading process. I want to know what happens next," he says.

Other stuff that's interesting: how politics creeps into his stories (by osmosis), how he writes about future technology (extrapolate from today's advances), and his earliest influences. Oh, and what it's like to be compared to Iain M. Banks and John Scalzi. Perhaps most surprisingly, Asher says science fiction books used to be way, way better than movies, but the movies have improved a lot in the past couple of decades. Definitely worth checking out if you're an aspiring writer, or a fan of Asher's books. [Sci-Fi-London]

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DISCUSSION

The Polity books are great! Asher is edgier than Banks and he creates the best Scary Monsters.