Introducing IF THEN is running a brief interview I did with Niall Alexander on the back of the acquisition of my new novel IF THEN by Angry Robot. In it, I explain briefly why there is such a gap in time between first publication of The Red Men and the 2015 publication of IF THEN. I also discuss the image that inspired the novel, and why I wanted to imagine the First World War as science fiction:


Basically I wanted to re-experience the war as a science fiction event, as a monster of technology with an inhuman agency. And I wanted to write post-austerity SF about a disenfranchised and redundant middle class being maintained by an algorithm. Because that was my experience at the time. And wandering the South Downs I had a keen sense—almost a vision, among the sea fret—of a newly-dug trench appearing in the Downland. Science fiction combines the cognitive reasoning impulse with the irrational, dreaming, will-to-strangeness. So I went along with this vision of a long-lost war being recreated by a non-human agency. There comes a point where you just have to get on your hands and knees and crawl deeper into the rabbit hole.


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