Culture club

 I miss Iain M Banks.

I started writing this as a quick G+ thing. But there was more to say. So here it is.

This Guardian article kicked it off.

Though it was only a ‘top 5 listy’ article, it made me wonder why I was so obsessed with Banks’ stuff and how it feeds into the stuff I write.

I think I’m an optimist and I think he was too. A sarcastic, dark, bitter, funny optimist, but I think he thought kindly about our potential.

And utopias. What things might be like if we did them right, thought a bit more, were kinder. I like the idea of writing utopias because as Laurie Penny says ‘Dystopia is too easy’. Especially these days. I guess my ambition is to write a good one. But where I’m currently at is: where do utopias get started? What starting actions get us to the tipping point? The tipping point the other way has been written about so much and frankly, I don’t want to spend two hours a day writing in that world.

In a way, the world set out in Dark is an attempt to put unfamiliar beings*, in an unfamiliar place, then to tease out through adversity, what parts of the ‘best of folk’ might have enough traction to stick in a society.

That’s still ok to do. Dream, I mean. Even though it feels like the ultimate indulgence in this day and age. Maybe in the darkness is the best place to dream?

*(They say write what you know, so clearly, I know loads of sentient guinea-pigs living in darkened human colony worlds.)

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