Rivers of Lon­don Cap­i­tal Comic

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

Sand Fox­glove Sum­mer, Ti­tan’s Rivers Of Lon­don spin- off comic high­lights one of Peter Grant’s smaller as­sign­ments. With au­thor Ben Aaronovitch de­scrib­ing Body Work as “a story about haunted cars”, next month’s first is­sue fit­tingly opens with a man drown­ing af­ter his ve­hi­cle plunges into the Thames at Put­ney.

“It’s more com­pli­cated than that but I don’t want to spoil any­thing,” teases Aaronovitch, who will co- write the five- parter with An­drew Cart­mel. “The sub­se­quent sus­pi­cious death in­ves­ti­ga­tion un­cov­ers what the rest of the po­lice like to call, ‘ weird bol­locks’. This be­ing a Rivers Of Lon­don case, it soon es­ca­lates into a life and death strug­gle in a junk­yard and a sur­pris­ing con­nec­tion to a pre- war Folly case.”

Claim­ing that he is “quite ruth­less” with their ap­pear­ances, Aaronovitch in­sists that the nov­els’ sup­port­ing cast will only show up as and when they are re­quired. “If there are no on­screen au­top­sies then Doc­tor Walid isn’t go­ing to be fore­grounded,” he notes, ex­press­ing ad­mi­ra­tion for artist Lee Sul­li­van’s de­pic­tion of his much- loved char­ac­ters. “The first thing you have to ac­cept when writ­ing comics is that the art is stylised. Lee isn’t aim­ing for photo- re­al­ism; he likes his char­ac­ters tall, thin and gaunt. Peter, Nightin­gale and Guleed don’t look ex­actly how I would have drawn them; they ac­tu­ally look much bet­ter than that!”

Ac­cord­ing to Aaronovitch, he and Cart­mel have al­ways been de­ter­mined to em­bark upon an orig­i­nal tale rather than adapt an ex­ist­ing novel. “It’s a very dif­fer­ent medium to prose, and there are things you can do in comics that you can’t do in books, such as vis­ual gags and strate­gi­cally placed splash pages,” he rea­sons. “So in­stead of fight­ing the medium, we thought it would be bet­ter, and cru­cially more fun, to play to the medium’s strengths.”

Ag ent Carter’s first sea­son fi­nally air­ing on UK TV from 12 July on Fox. Sea­son two will move the ac­tion to LA.

Justin Molot­nikov di­rect­ing a two- part tale for Doct or Who se­ries nine, while Steven Mof­fat has con­firmed he’ll re­main as showrun­ner un­til at least se­ries 10.

Vot­ing f or t his year’s David Gem­mell Awards i s n ow o pen. Pick your favourite from the short­list at www. gem­mellawards. com, un­til the polls close on 17 July. Prizes will be pre­sented at the Nine Worlds event on 8 Au­gust.

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Game Of Thrones i s f an­tasy.

What would you write as

Robo­teer The out­come of mankind’s first in­ter­stel­lar war hangs in the bal­ance. Within weeks, Earth’s op­pres­sive new gov­ern­ment will fi­nally crush its for­mer colonies. But one ship on a se­cret mis­sion stands to make all the dif­fer­ence. Its job: to sneak across hu­man space to dis­cover the se­cret of the ter­ri­ble new weapon in Earth’s hands.

Though the star­ship Ariel is over a mile long and teem­ing with robots, its hu­man crew are crammed in a shielded cabin just me­tres wide. Will KunoMonet is re­spon­si­ble for run­ning a ship com­prised of the most dan­ger­ous and del­i­cate tech­nol­ogy that mankind has ever de­vised. He is the Robo­teer.

How long did you work on i t?

’ s cover blurb?

It took about nine months to write, orig­i­nally, though I tin­kered with the ideas and plot ex­ten­sively be­fore that. Get­ting it no­ticed took a decade.

Did your day job help you come up with the con­cept?

Ab­so­lutely. My back­ground was in AI re­search and by the time I wrote Robo­teer I’d worked ex­ten­sively on hu­man- com­puter in­ter­ac­tion. What as­ton­ished me was the way ma­chine in­tel­li­gences were al­ways por­trayed as log­i­cal and supremely in­tel­li­gent when the re­verse is likely to be true. Emo­tional pro­cess­ing un­der­pins em­bod­ied in­tel­li­gence, and hu­man- level rea­son­ing is ex­tremely hard to at­tain. That means we’ll have dim, emo­tional robots be­fore we have cold, smart ones, and hu­man in­ter­ven­tion will have to make up the dif­fer­ence. I wanted to write about a fu­ture that re­flected that re­al­ity.

Which SF/ fan­tasy au­thors would you like to be com­pared to i n a dream re­view?

Iain M Banks, Neal Stephen­son, Dan Sim­mons, Fred­erik Pohl and Jack Vance.

Lee Sul­li­van has brought the char­ac­ters to life in svelte fash­ion.

Lamb has been com­pared to Alastair Reynolds and Peter Hamil­ton.

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