Sunday, May 4, 2014

Daryl Gregory

Daryl Gregory was the 2009 winner of IAFA William L. Crawford Fantasy Award for his first novel Pandemonium. His second novel, The Devil's Alphabet, was nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award and was named one of the best books of 2009 by Publishers Weekly. His short fiction has appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, and The Year’s Best SF.

Gregory's new novel is Afterparty.

From his Q & A with Andrew Liptak for SF Signal:

Andrew Liptak: Afterparty takes place in a reasonably near future US where computer and pharmacological technology has reduced the cost for manufacturing drugs. How did you come to a story about this?

Daryl Gregory: I like how you asked that: How did I come to this? And now all I can hear in my head is David Byrne shouting, “Well? How did I get here?”

It’s a tricky question to answer. For every novel of mine there’s a long chain of half-baked ideas, plot requirements, mistakes, and in-the-moment improvisations that lead to whatever story ends up on the table. Sometimes I’m just grabbing stuff from the fridge and throwing it in the skillet. After it’s published, I can’t quite remember all the steps in the recipe, but I’ll take a stab at it.

When I started brainstorming this new book, I knew I wanted to write about neuroscience and religion. Over the years I’d written several hard SF stories about weird questions in consciousness, but it felt like it was time to tackle the subject at length.

So, I needed a character whose brain gets modified to experience “the numinous,” that ecstatic feeling that you’re in touch with a higher power. But for that kind of rewiring, you have a couple narrative options: Disease, Drugs, or Disaster (AKA, head trauma). I love writing about neurological diseases, but I realized that if I used drugs, I could construct a fast-paced thriller, and I’m a huge fan of crime novels. I worship at the church of Elmore Leonard.

All the science needed to construct such a drug is possible now, if you have a reasonably-equipped lab, and you get lucky. But I knew I wanted the story to...[read on]
Visit Daryl Gregory's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Afterparty.

The Page 69 Test: Afterparty.

Writers Read: Daryl Gregory.

--Marshal Zeringue