Dec 23, 2018
In this episode, we're joined by author Charles Stross who talks about discovering his love of sf when he was 5 and started reading Andre Norton's books at his local library. By the time he was 15, he'd read everything in the genre. Charlie also reflects on how growing up in Britain of the 1970s — a place he describes as a "malfunctioning society" — affected his perception of the American speculative fiction he read. He also discusses the shift that took place in British culture in the 80s, and how that steered him towards a career as a pharmacist — at least until he shifted to computer science and then technical writing.
Charlie tells us about his development as a writer, from his beginnings at age 12, to his first attempts to get published in his teens, to selling stories in his 20s, including a novel. He goes on to discuss how working as a pharmacist and in computers gave him insight into how organizations of different sizes function (or malfunction), leading to an understanding of bureaucracy as a villain. He also talks about his ideas around artificial intelligence and the Turing Test, and its relation to the Fermi Paradox.
And Charlie also shares some details about his new novel, The Labyrinth Index, as well as an upcoming book, Invisible Sun (in the Empire Games series), and a space opera story called Ghost Engine that's in the works.
Our conversation took place in October 2018 at the Vancouver Science Fiction, Fantasy & Games Convention (VCon).
You can learn more about Charles Stross and his stories on his