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Have you thought about writing your own screenplay for your novels?
Tried it with the first draft of The Wasp Factory; hated it. Never again.
Do you think that mankind is becoming more civilised?
Well I should hope so, otherwise there's not much point, is there? Actually, I suppose it's our civilisation that developing and maturing; we, of course, still carry the barbarian within us.
Do you own an anorak?
No, but I have a fine selection of jackets, thank you.
How would you like to see your science fiction books filmed, if at all?
With a very, very, very big budget indeed. The one I'd most like to see done is Consider Phlebas; if they kept in the sequence where the megaship hits the giant tabular icceberg, the fist-fight under the giant hovercraft, the bit where the Clear Air Turbulence escapes from the GSV, and the final train wreck, I wouldn't even mind if they changed it to a happy ending!
Are there any movies in the pipeline?
Yes, but they're a long way up the pipeline and there's lots of places where they could leak out before they reach the end. Complicity has been optioned, so has The Player of Games, The Wasp Factory is still legally entangled, people have expressed in interest in making a film of Espedair Street and Against A Dark Background and The Bridge and Whit may become TV series. But don't hold your breath on any of those.
How do you think the 90's will be remembered?
I have no idea; I get the answers to this sort of question from Sunday supplements like everybody else, so we'll all probably have to wait until December 1999 to find out.
How do you describe the new novel, A Song of Stone?
Well, see, there's the Nice hopper and the Nasty hopper. In the Nice hopper recline books such as Espedair Street, The Crow Road and Whit. In the Nasty hopper are unplesant pieces of work like The Wasp Factory and Complicity, lying festering in their own depravity. It is my sad duty to record that A Song of Stone has fallen - with a resounding thud which entirely and ominously belies its relative lack of bulk - into the Nasty hopper. Aside from that, it's got a lot of elemental symbolism in it, it's a bit flowery about the linguistics (guv), it has a vaguely North European setting with the implication that the story is taking place during the second half of the Twentieth Century, it out-bleaks Complicity, and that's about all I'm going to tell you.
What does the famous "M" stand for-literally and metaphorically?
It stands for Menzies (the family's real name, as it turns out...but it's a long story). Metaphorically? No; it's definitely Menzies. Metaphorically would just be silly, now wouldn't it?
What do you think is the most useful definition of science fiction?
I don't know, but I bet John Clute does.
If you have to live for one month as a character in a novel, which novel and which character would you choose?
Hmm.Probably one of the minor Culture characters in a Culture book; being a utopia, it's hard to have a bad time in the Culture. Of course, this reflects a purely sociological interest on my part and has nothing to do with the drug glands and minutes-long orgasm. Would I lie to you?
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