Meet Mark Lawrence (@Mark__Lawrence) – #BFIVoyager

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…

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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?

I guess that would be my father’s collection of Arthur C Clarke, Asimov, and E.E Doc Smith books.

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?

Follow Mark on Facebook and Twitter. Prince of Fools is out now.

 

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!

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