Excerpts from the interview:

‘‘Like all writers, my own voice is a composite of everything I’ve read and everything I’ve loved, plus unique bits from my own life and career. I used to write in the styles of other authors I like a lot more than I do now. Lately I’ve gotten away from that. But I did have kind of a chameleon writing persona. Based on the idea or the characters involved, any story suggested equivalent past stories that I would then try to homage or pastiche. Dick Lupoff identified this very problem. He thought it was true of his own career, that he had bopped around among so many different styles and pastiches that his identity as a unique writer was lost in the shuffle.”

‘‘For short fiction, the rewards are so immediate and intense. Not fiscally, but the thrill of finishing a piece – especially in this era of electronic submission, where you get it out there, 24 hours later (if you’re lucky) it’s accepted, and a week later it’s online. That is so stimulating, it’s hard to resist. Maybe my thoughts just do turn towards the shorter works, though I’ve got a novel in progress.

‘‘I do have ideas that require the novel format. My latest two books from Pete Crowther’s PS Publishing may illustrate the range that I hope to encompass. A Princess in the Linear Jungle is the sequel to A Year in the Linear City (I finally did it!). That’s a very weird, Burroughsian… I won’t say ‘planetary romance,’ but it’s very pulpy, plot- and setting-oriented. I have to thank Pete for taking the other one, Roadside Bodhisatva, because it’s totally a mimetic novel about a runaway kid and his adventures on the road. I wrote it just to prove to myself that I could write something totally naturalistic. I will never be a mimetic writer full-time, because it felt like having one hand tied behind your back.”

‘‘This novel that I’ve got in progress is called Up Around the Bend is a weird, timeslip, utopian, alien erotic novel (it’s got a lot of the things that I like to write about in it). It has a kind of High 1970s motif, but it’s really warped. It starts out post-apocalypse, so you know that it’s science fiction. It seems like the apocalypse starts in 1972, but how can it be 1972 and 2011 and post-apocalypse all at the same time? Hopefully, there’s a rationale that makes sense eventually.”

‘‘My other current project is a non-fiction thing called The 101 Best Science Fiction Novels, 1985 to 2010, coauthored with Damien Broderick. I still think of him as the senior partner, because he’s a little older than me and has been doing them even longer. Each book has 800 to 1200 words of essay attached to it. I did 50 and Damien did 51 (that’s why he got senior-partner credit). It’s some of what the field accomplished during the last 25 years, though I haven’t quite drawn any conclusions yet. If you look at what we’ve done over the last 25 years, it is amazing. By and large, the readers can find whatever they want to.”