In Their Own Words: Charles Stross on ‘Saturn’s Children’
Like him or loathe him, it’s impossible to ignore the impact Robert A. Heinlein has had on science fiction. 2007 – the year I wrote Saturn’s Children – was the 100th anniversary of his birth. So how better to mark it than by writing the sort of novel that Heinlein might write, if he was alive today and about 43 years younger? (I’m 43. Subtract my age from his, and you get 57 – the age at which he was writing The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, arguably the most solid of his later works.)
Lots of writers seem obsessed with re-writing Heinlein’s 1950s young adult novels, the gateway drug that got them hooked on SF. I decided to look at his later work, at a time when he was trying to tackle bigger and more complex themes, but before his obsessions ran away with him. Which is where Saturn’s Children comes from: it’s an attempt at re-imagining Heinlein, as if he’d lived in the age of the internet and manga, of global warming and greenhouse Venus. It’s also an adventure yarn and a romance and a cautionary tale, and it doesn’t take itself, or its source material, too seriously.
Saturn’s Children, the brand new novel from Charles Stross, is out now in the UK.
You can find our more about Charles’ writing over at his official website, www.antipope.org/charlie/.