I’m very happy to have Tobias Buckell on the blog today! Tobias is the author of the just-released Arctic Rising (plus much more), and graciously agreed to answer a few of my questions. Also, courtesy of Tor, we have a copy of Arctic Rising up for giveaway to one winner, so be sure to check out the details at the end of the post!
Please welcome Tobias to the blog!
Tobias, you’ve been a voracious reader from a young age and fell in love with sci-fi pretty early on as well! After successfully selling some of your short stories, what made you finally take the plunge and write your first novel, Crystal Rain?
I loved novels. They’re a larger canvas to work on, and it lets you get lost as a reader in a way that short stories don’t. I’d always wanted to write novels, so after selling enough short stories my mind began to focus on doing a novel… again. I actually started out trying to write novels in high school, but switched to short fiction mainly in order to finish projects and try to speed my learning curve up a bit. Short stories were great for that at that time for me.
Your latest novel, Arctic Rising, just came out! Were there any particular challenges you encountered while writing it? What type of research did you do for the book?
The research was comprised of a lot of clippings I’ve been taking over the past couple years regarding news stories and reports about things companies and militaries are doing right now in anticipation of the North Polar Ice Cap melting and become a theater of economic and political activity. Once you get enough research, you start to feel like the words have developed a gravity of their own and you just get pulled in.
How long did it take you to write Arctic Rising?
I started the book in late 2008, and finished it in late 2011, so about three years. Which is long for me. Part of that was dealing with some health issues that slowed me way down, but now that I have a handle on it things passed quicker.
What’s one of your most unusual writing quirks?
I prefer to write late at night so that potential interruptions are minimized. As a result I’m a bit of a vampire in my sleeping habits.
What are some of your favorite authors/books?
I really enjoy Alastair Reynolds stuff of late and am eagerly anticipating his next book. Favorites of all time are C.J. Cherryh, Arthur C. Clarke, and a lot of the cyperpunks of the 80s. Outside of genre I tend to read a lot of mystery or suspense. Le Carre, etc.
What are you reading right now?
Saladin Ahmed’s Throne of the Crescent Moon, a sort of Arabian Nights High Fantasy/Epic that is pretty awesome. I’m only a single chapter in, though, because my whole week exploded and I slept on the plane flight I was hoping to get deeply into it. I can’t wait to finish it though.
If you could have drinks with any writer (living or dead), and pick their brain, who would it be?
Arthur C. Clarke is the big name that inspired a lot of my love for the genre as a child. It was his book Childhood’s End that I read at six that cracked my skull open and hooked me on science fiction for life. It would have been amazing to have drinks with him.
When you’re not busy at work on your next novel, how do you like to spend your free time?
I have an increasingly creaky Xbox 360 that I play. I have a GameFly account and rotate in a number of games to keep current with what’s out there. I’m currently working my way through Skyrim, like many others.
Your web bio details your fascinating upbringing in the Caribbean. What was your favorite part of growing up in such a beautiful part of the world (aboard boats, no less!!)?
Well, being able to sail to new and beautiful locations, but still having the comforts of your home with you. I loved that. Spending a week or so sailing around the Virgin Islands during vacation, but still having my own room that didn’t change was great. I miss that. I live in a house now. It doesn’t go anywhere. It’s somewhat unnatural, I think. Humans are more nomadic than many of us maybe realize.
Is there any other news on upcoming events or projects that you’d like to share with us?
I’m writing a novel that I crowdfunded recently, a sequel to my third novel Sly Mongoose. Fans were pretty excited about seeing the series continue, and they can still pre-order copies via my website, if they’re interested.
Keep up with Tobias: Website | Twitter
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