Justina Robson's 'Five Things About Your Work In Progress' (SPOILERS!)

In March of next  year we’re publishing Justina Robson’s new book The Glorious Angels. I’ve just finished editing the book and had talked to Justina telling her how excited I was by it – it’s strange, original and compelling. And quite brave I think. Justina is one of the most skilled and thoughtful of the current generation of SF writers and I’m really proud and thrilled that we’re publishing this new novel from her. So when I spotted on Facebook that she had been tagged by the excellent Tricia Sullivan with a meme called “Tell us Five Things About your Current Work In Process” it seemed the most natural thing to ask Justina if we could publish her response and steal the meme for the Gollancz blog . . .


‘Five Things About Your Work In Progress’ (SPOILERS!)

1. I’m doing the final edit on a novel set in an SF world which doesn’t even have a name, possibly because nobody there ever thought they needed one to distinguish it from any other worlds. It’s called The Glorious Angels and features a society of techno-mages who make their discoveries …backwards by digging up relics and figuring out how they work.

2. I started it 3 years ago and I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to finish. I wanted originally to write a society in which females were ‘by nature’ the top of the social hierarchies and it took ages of soul searching and researching to grapple with all the issues in there. What emerges isn’t really meant as a manifesto or a conclusion on that or anything btw, it’s just what came out in the wash, so to speak. It’s not a ‘what if women ruled the world’ book at all. It is its own odd thing.

3.So many characters in the book end up realising they have been the willing or unwilling pawns of other characters – I’m thinking this is a long term theme in my work now.

4. It’s full of all the girl cooties you can imagine, seriously: romance, female gaze, family matters, ‘alien’ queens who eat their mates, handsome men in sexual thrall to independent and powerful women, there’s even a ball where people dress up and stress about shoes.

5. My favourite character is a teenage girl who really probably has something like Asperger’s: Isabeau Huntingore writes critical tracts about her esteemed educators, values personal experience and the scientific method over all and is immune to social criticism. She also makes a city fly. There’s nowhere that’s not cool.