Prior to becoming a professional writer, I worked for an environmental agency, but left shortly after other members of staff attempted to levitate a local bridge as a protest against road traffic.
Following this, I worked as a graphic designer for a printing firm that turned out to be run by a gang of convicted forgers, hastening my departure, and then for a small publishing company otherwise notable only for producing a Freddie Mercury impersonator well-known on the Scottish cabaret circuit. Until recently I resided in Taipei with my wife, and the only lunatic I answer to these days is the one I see in the mirror.
All of my books are published primarily by Tor UK, an imprint of Pan Macmillan books in London, and have been translated to Spanish, German and Russian. Audiobooks have been made of all but the first two. I am represented by John Jarrold of the John Jarrold Literary Agency, and any enquiries about rights should be directed there.
Tor UK have a web page for me with links to interviews and articles: http://www.panmacmillan.com/author/garygibson
What inspired you to write Extinction Game?
It was just one of those sudden ideas you get out of nowhere. In this case the idea came when I was washing the dishes, possibly in an unconscious attempt to escape the horror of having to wash the dishes. But as the plot developed I did find myself drawing on my memories of a number of post-apocalyptic and related novels, non-fiction books and movies I’d seen or read over the years, particularly Vernor Vinge’s book Marooned in Realtime and Jared Diamond’s in-depth analysis of what causes civilisations to die out, called Collapse. There are a few shout-outs to some of those influences in the novel itself, most notably an old Fritz Leiber story called A Pail of Air.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Honestly, I just put one word in front of the other. If I have a style, I’d probably label it “unconscious”. I think of writing as an exercise in problem-solving. On one level it’s about creating a story that makes sense and characters who feel real, on the other it’s about writing sentences and paragraphs that are clear and lucid in their meaning. On some level or another, all of these primarily consist of one form or another of problem solving.
How did you come up with the title?
Originally I wanted to call it Touring the Apocalypse, but as my editor pointed out it was a wee bit light-hearted sounding for what was at times quite a dark story, although I’ve tried to alleviate it with humour. I think when it started I’d been reading a lot of John Kessel, who’s always had a fairly satirical approach to the genre, but as is often the case, how I originally envisioned the story and how it turned out are quite different things. When you start trying to figure out the actual mechanics of your narrative, as opposed to how you imagine the story prior to that process, is when your story begins to evolve and change into something like its final shape. “Extinction Game” was one of several possible titles I suggested to Tor after the book was completed.
Is there a message in your novels that you want readers to grasp?
There’s no one message, beyond to try and be nice to each other and spend a little more time looking at the stars and realise maybe all those things you think are problem aren’t really, not in comparison to the vastness of the cosmos. Whether or not that comes across to the reader is another matter.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Honestly, no one. Experiences differ, but in my case I figured out what I needed to figure out through my own hard work and years of writing prior to publication. I often think the best thing I’ve done in relation to other people’s advice is usually to ignore it and things work out pretty well. It’s when I take their advice that things seem to go wrong.
What book are you reading now?
I just finished reading Makers by Cory Doctorow, How Music Works by David Byrne, and Surface Detail by Iain M. Banks. I’m about halfway through rereading Turn Off Your Mind: the Daedalus Book of the 1960s, by Gary Lachman, a former member of Blondie. It’s all about the influence of occult thinkers ranging from Crowley to Hubbard on 60s pop culture. I don’t take any of it the least bit seriously, but it’s all great fodder for that 60s-set novel of black magic, rock music and cults I’ll never get around to writing. Following that, I’ll most likely reread Lewis Shiner’s novel Glimpses, which I heartily recommend.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’ve never been much of a fantasy reader, but I fancied a change and picked up the first of Lev Grossman’s Magicians trilogy, which I thought was magnificent and actually addressed a lot of the problems I usually have with fantasy. Whether he’s a “new” writer or not is another question. Ann Leckie is much talked about, and I’ve picked up her first novel, but haven’t yet read it. Gaie Sebold is another fantasy author doing some interesting stuff. I’ve also been reading and thoroughly enjoying Ian Sales’ quartet of literary hard sf novellas, although I’ll have to make a small disclaimer in that I do know him. His first novella won the British Science Fiction Association award, so it’s not just me that rates his work.
What are your current projects?
I just completed a sequel to Extinction Game, which has a working title of The Deeps. That, however, may be susceptible to change. At the moment I'm putting together synopses and outlines for future projects for Tor to take a look at.
Finally do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I’m behind you.
Thank You To Gary Gibson For Answering My Questions
What An Awesome Interview!
Now This Interview Is Apart Of #NetGalleyMonth So Here We Go Again
Giveaway Time, There's Even Chance To Win A Hardback Copy Of Extinction Game By Gary Gibson
Thanks For Reading Lovelies
Chicks That Read
I'm a bookwhore, yes I said it, I have no shame, I will wander off with any old book I'm not even a little bit ashamed. Twenty Seven, Mum, SEND Teaching Assistant, general beauty hoarder and lover of the Irish.