Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Michael Cobley

Michael Cobley was born in Leicester, England, and has lived in Glasgow, Scotland, for most of his life. He has studied engineering, been a DJ and has an abiding interest in democratic politics.

His books include the Shadowkings dark fantasy trilogy, and Iron Mosaic, a short story collection. Seeds of Earth and The Orphaned Worlds, books one and two of the Humanity’s Fire sequence, are his first full-length foray into space opera.

Cobley's latest Humanity's Fire novel is Ancestral Machines.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. His reply:
I am currently reading the A Song Called Youth trilogy by John Shirley (aka the Eclipse Trilogy). I bought the omnibus edition of this a short while back and have at last buckled down to reading it. Essentially, it's a cyberpunk, near-future story set in a dystopian world suffering from the consequences of political and international conflicts not too different from certain embryonic clashes we are seeing today. I had a copy of the first part, Eclipse, back in the late '80s but never came across the other 2 books so when I learned of the omnibus I got my order in fast. Re-reading it now I can scarcely recall my first reading, and it feels curiously unlike what I was kinda expecting. But the unapologetic grappling with political aspects, and its bravura drawing together of disparate plotlines has kept my attention right through to the grandstanding climax at the end of part one.

My early short stories were heavily influenced by the cyberpunk writers, and I was long-ranging my short story efforts in the direction of a big, gaudy cyberpunk novel (whose putative title was going to be Ironheart Valve, or something similar), but personal experiences, relationships etc, drove me down the fantasy path and I ended up writing the Shadowkings trilogy, a dark heroic saga. And after that I found myself caught up in the space opera resurgence coming out from the likes of Iain Banks, Vernor Vinge, Ken Macleod, Dan Simmons etc. But my love of cyberpunk has never dimmed, and one of these days I am definitely going to write that grand and gaudy euro-cyberpunk novel which'll probably end up selling really well in Poland and the Czech Republic or somesuch.
Visit Michael Cobley's website.

The Page 69 Test: Ancestral Machines.

My Book, the Movie: Ancestral Machines.

--Marshal Zeringue