As part of our online science fiction festival, #BFIVoyager, we asked authors, directors, bloggers and experts of all different kinds, to share their thoughts on sci-fi. Here is author and scientist Mark Lawrence talking about what sparked his love of sci-fi…
Tell us about yourself
I’m a research scientist working on topics that fall under the layman’s umbrella term Artificial Intelligence. I was briefly able to describe myself as a rocket scientist. I also write books that are marketed as fantasy but contain quite heavy doses of science fiction.
Tell us about your latest book
Prince of Fools is set approximately a thousand years into our future and many centuries after a devastating nuclear war. The population have a medieval level of technology but their world is dotted with relics of our own society some fifty years from now, with machine intelligences operating in the background. Against this backdrop a cowardly and self-absorbed prince tries to avoid becoming involved in the big picture. And fails.
What sparked your love of Sci-Fi?
Your favourite Sci-Fi film (s) and why?
Alien, Aliens & Silent Running – tension, adrenaline, emotion.
Your favourite Sci-Fi book (s) and why?
The Mote in God’s Eye – I loved the creativity and strength of the ideas in Niven and Pournelle’s work.
A Fall of Moondust – hard sci-fi appeals to the scientist in me and sparks my imagination about the possible. This kind of story makes us reach rather than sit back and wonder.
The Golden Torc – the blend of sci-fi and fantasy in May’s work really hit a chord with me and I’ve taken a similar route in my own writing.
Greatest Sci-Fi film moment?
I just love the ‘tears in rain’ speech by Roy Batty / Rutger Hauer in Blade Runner.
Sci-fi or Science Fiction?
I’ve never believed there to be a difference. If ‘magic’ exists then that’s just the way the universe is and the people who study it are scientists. There will be rules to it or facts about it – it will be subject to experiment. How is that not science?
Want to join some of the finest science fiction writers, screen-writers, designers and scientists for this weekend’s virtual #BFIVoyager sci-fi festival? Sign up free here!