McAuley & Morton

I found the event on twitter and was glad I went.

McAuley & Morton - courtesy of @gollancz

McAuley & Morton – courtesy of @gollancz

Sat in comfortable chairs in front of an eager audience with a glass of red wine, there was no reading from the book as I have seen at other events. It was really just a great chat between two authors who are very well versed in their subjects. All it needed was a big gothic fireplace behind them with a roaring fire to make it comfy.

McAuley & Morton Books - courtesy of @gollancz

McAuley & Morton Books – courtesy of @gollancz

Paul started outlining some of the reasons and inspirations for why Austral is set in an Antartica without ice. And this started the cascade of topics which came thick and fast. After several glasses of red wine I tried to recall them all on the tube coming home. Here are just some of them:

Big ways we could reverse climate change.

Reintroducing mammoths & its difficulties.

To do this you would need to use a modern elephant. Then a member of the audience chipped in with their witnessing of an attempt to artificially inseminate an elephant. BTW did you know an Elephant is able to regrow it hymen came another factoid.

Did you know there was an author who wrote a book about mammoths and has eaten mammoth meat?

Apparently there is lots of mammoth ivory still lying around. Some folks make a living from digging it up.

Mammoths would be good for global climate as they get rid of forests, which in cold climates actually give off heat. There was an aside about goats and then the idea of having to breed trees capable of roosting mammoths.

An abandoned money making idea of a bespoke gin with ingredients from every continent. There is the problem problem of not much grows in Antartica. “Could use kelp.” The logistical challenges of getting Antarctic kelp to a distillery in London, so idea abandoned.

An annotated version of Frankenstein worth having (this one I think: Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers, and Creators of All Kinds.) The perils of replicating Frankensteins experiment within a modern university funding framework. “You’ll have to stop referring to it as a monster.”

Is Jeff Bezos actually a modern day Pharaoh?

Back to the book. Inspiration for Austral location from a trip though Norway. There was also mention of a map of Antartica without the ice.

Would that tall actress make a great person to play in a film. What’s her name. “Gwendoline Christie” came the answer.

There were some questions from the audience and then event came to an end. I’m a shy sort, so when I got my book signed, I asked my question to both Paul & Oliver.

“I’m a PM for my sins and I know how hard a big project can be to organise: funding, buy in, logistics etc. So is there something that everyone could do or stop doing to help paper over the cracks until the best big solution to climate change is put in place?”

The answer was in two parts. Firstly stop flying and driving fuel powered cars, but that isn’t practical, so the second answer was stop eating meat or eat something that wasn’t derived from large gas producing herds, e.g. Lab meat or some other substitute.

Interesting answer. One I’ve heard before from many sources. Vegetarian or otherwise. To implement that voluntarily would have quite major impacts for farming, culture, the landscape, even the clothes that we wear. Note to self: must look into what would the full impact of that be. Would it make an good short story?

Looking forward to reading both books. They’ve gone on my book backlog. I’m still getting through the ones I picked up at the Adam Roberts and Jeff Noon event. Must read faster.

( Images: @gollancz )


Joe Emtigoe is the pen name of Joe Molloy, who is a freelance technical consultant, project manager and writer, based in London, UK.

Joe is in the middle of writing his first novel called "Heartless Sun".

Kim Stanley Robinson has a new story: “Oral Argument”

Kim Stanley Robinson, the author of Red, Green & Blue Mars, new story “Oral Argument” Read it @tordotcom #scifi

Source: Tor Books

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Joe Emtigoe is the pen name of Joe Molloy, who is a freelance technical consultant, project manager and writer, based in London, UK.

Joe is in the middle of writing his first novel called "Heartless Sun".

Generation Ships – Stop the world I want to get off

NASA-Apollo8-Dec24-EarthriseIf you are wanting to opt out of the cradle of humanity, there really isn’t a viable option at the moment. Our attempt to move humans elsewhere has been thought about in great detail in a variety of scientific thought experiments and of course, science fiction stories. It is however still not a reality.

The reasons for throwing all of your possession in a transport vehicle and clearing off somewhere else range from finding a better life to avoiding famine, plague, disasters or conflict. Maybe there is better resource availability or more freedom. Of course it could just be pure greed that is motivating you. Earths capability to support the current population growth and resource usage is slowly but surely moving towards the no return tipping point.

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Joe Emtigoe is the pen name of Joe Molloy, who is a freelance technical consultant, project manager and writer, based in London, UK.

Joe is in the middle of writing his first novel called "Heartless Sun".

Philip K Dick Award 2013 winners announced

By Pete Welsch from Washington, DC, USA (Philip K Dick) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0) or CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsLost Everything by Brian Francis Slattery has won the 2013 Philip K. Dick Award with Lovestar by Andri Snær Magnason getting the Special Citation.
The other nominees were:

I’m looking forward to having a read of these. Based on last years winner (The Samuel Petrovich Trilogy by Simon Morden, of which I have read Equations of Life and enjoyed immensely), I’ll start with the winner. Any suggestions for the next one?


Joe Emtigoe is the pen name of Joe Molloy, who is a freelance technical consultant, project manager and writer, based in London, UK.

Joe is in the middle of writing his first novel called "Heartless Sun".