Guest Post: “On Worldbuilding” by Simon Morden

mordens-authorpicOne of the joys of writing novels over writing for the screen is that your budget is infinite and your imagination is unfettered. You don’t have to worry about the cost of the number of suns your planet orbits around, nor about the practical effort required to have half a dozen alien races, none of whom conform to a basic upright and bipedal morphology, appear repeatedly and interact with your human characters.

In Down Station, when I blew up London – which in and of itself is a somewhat technical task, involving setting fire to the Underground and melting the streets around Mayfair – I needed somewhere for my survivors to run to. That somewhere was Down, which has more in common with Tarkovsky’s Solaris and Julian May’s Pliocene Earth than it does C.S. Lewis’ Narnia. I wanted Down to be both eerily familiar and surprisingly different: you can, of course, read the Books of Down and not worry about what happens under the bonnet, but as the author, that’s exactly what I had to do – open it up and tinker with the engine until I was happy with how it all worked. Continue reading

Upcoming: THE WHITE CITY by Simon Morden (Gollancz)

MordenS-TheWhiteCityUKHot damn, that’s a nice cover. The sequel to Simon Morden‘s Down StationThe White City is due to be published in the UK by Gollancz October 27th, 2016. Here’s the synopsis:

LET’S FACE IT, NONE OF US DESERVE TO BE SAVED.

Since escaping London’s inferno, Mary and Dalip have fought monsters and won – though in the magical world of Down, the most frightening monsters come from within. 

Now they hold the greatest of treasures: maps that reveal the way to the White City, where they can find the answers they’re looking for, and learn the secrets of Down. 

But to get there they must rely on Crows, who has already betrayed them at every turn. As they battle their way towards the one place in all of Down without magic, they must ask themselves how far they will go to find their way home. 

After all, if there’s one thing the White City offers those brave enough to enter, it’s more than they bargained for.

It’s unfortunate that I couldn’t get into Down Station — the design and artwork for both of these books is superb. C’est la vie.

Upcoming: DOWN STATION by Simon Morden (Gollancz)

MordenS-DownStationUK

How cool is that cover? Simon Morden‘s Down Station is due to be published in the UK by Gollancz on February 16th, 2016. It’s sounds pretty interesting (and a tad weird, but in a good way):

A small group of commuters and tube workers witness a fiery apocalypse overtaking London. They make their escape through a service tunnel. Reaching a door they step through… and find themselves on a wild shore backed by cliffs and rolling grassland. The way back is blocked. Making their way inland they meet a man dressed in a wolf’s cloak and with wolves by his side. He speaks English and has heard of a place called London — other people have arrived here down the ages — all escaping from a London that is burning. None of them have returned. Except one — who travels between the two worlds at will. The group begin a quest to find this one survivor; the one who holds the key to their return and to the safety of London.

And as they travel this world, meeting mythical and legendary creatures,split between North and South by a mighty river and bordered by The White City and The Crystal Palace they realise they are in a world defined by all the London’s there have ever been.

Reminiscent of Michael Moorcock and Julian May this is a grand and sweeping science fantasy built on the ideas, the legends, the memories of every London there has ever been.