Genevieve Cog­man

For­mer role­play­ing game writer turns fan­tasy au­thor

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red alert - The In­vis­i­ble Li­brary is pub­lished on 15 Jan­uary.

How would you sum up The In­vis­i­ble Li­brary?

It’s a story about an in­ter- di­men­sional li­brary, the peo­ple who work for it and the ex­cit­ing times they have ac­quir­ing books. It also in­volves dragons, a Sher­lock Holmes, gi­ant robots and other fun stuff !

How did you set about build­ing the world?

It started with a character be­ing sent to get a book and run­ning into var­i­ous other char­ac­ters. Then, after I started get­ting more into the story, I ac­tu­ally started to con­dense the whole thing into a def­i­nite plot rather than just “run around be­ing chased”.

What are the risks and re­wards of Li­brary work?

The risk is you quite of­ten get told to pur­loin a unique book which may have an owner who doesn’t want to hand it over! On the re­ward side you get to hang out in this in­ter- di­men­sional li­brary. Imag­ine be­ing able to read not only all the books your favourite au­thor wrote in this world, but all the ones they wrote in other worlds as well.

Could the Li­brar­i­ans, the­o­ret­i­cally, en­ter our world to re­trieve The In­vis­i­ble Li­brary?

I sup­pose it’s one of those things the Li­brar­i­ans would dis­cuss. Is there a world where some­one is writ­ing a book that is their own story? But you can’t prove it un­til some­one finds a copy!

Which au­thors would you like to be com­pared to?

In my wildest day­dreams it would be nice to be men­tioned up there with Terry Pratch­ett, Lois McMaster Bu­jold, Ur­sula Le Guin, Charles Stross, Paul Cor­nell… loads of au­thors. It would be lovely to have peo­ple say I’m that good.

Genevieve Cog­man’s book is also avail­able in vis­i­ble li­braries.

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