Tuesday, October 14, 2014

David Mitchell

David Mitchell's new novel is The Bone Clocks.

From his Q & A with Scott Timberg at Salon:

Interesting. There’s a fair bit of science in your work. There’s a bit of religion. There’s a bit of myth and folklore. There’s sometimes what seems like spirituality, especially in the new book. It makes me think of an Arthur Clarke line where he said any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. I wonder if that phrase ever crossed your mind while you were working on this book. Is it science we’re seeing here? Is it religion? Is it myth? What is it you’re doing exactly?

It is a great line. I do remember thinking ‘You can’t get involved in the particle physics of fantasy.’ You can take it down to a certain level but if you get too involved in the particle physics then it’s not [useful] to continue. So I guess we have a branch of science that even its practitioners do not understand, that they may as well call magic. But that does have its own laws, like the laws of thermodynamics, like the laws of science, it’s just — I guess I know what those laws are but they never have to be stated in the book. So I try to keep character as part of the Venn diagram, with science and magic, and then in the middle they intersect.

We’ve heard over the years about your influences from other writers, from Japanese novelists to Ursula Le Guin to others; I wonder if film has been an importance influence on your writing, especially for “The Bone Clocks.”

I think film has been an importance influence on any novelist born from the 1940s onwards. It sort of altered how novelists edit things and it’s altered how we do dialogue. Something like “Game of Thrones” is...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue