Collected with five other stories (by Maggie Furey, Stephen Baxter, Ken MacLeod, Pat Cadigan and Eric Brown) set in the same universe, in Web 2028.
Computopia is/was a piece of work-for-hire and my first attempt at something for younger readers. The six authors involved in the second Web series – The Web 2028 – met one afternoon at the Orion offices to brainstorm an over-all plot arc for the six books. A quick toot of my own trumpet here: I suggested we inflict an alien invasion on the world of the Web, and the idea was immediately and enthusiastically adopted.
I wrote the book in two weeks, which is incredibly quick work for me, although I’d have some way to go to beat Steve Baxter, who did his in four days. I thought it would be fun to take the idea of the Web – an all-encompassing cyber-environment – and use it to satirise the whole IBM/AppleMac conflict, so I created a rival to the Web, the Net, and fitted an adventure plot around this concept.
I enjoyed the process of writing for kids. I found the need for absolute precision of language liberating. I want to do more work in this vein, and indeed I have a concept for a series which, I’m afraid, I am not prepared to divulge at this juncture.
- The Web: Computopia [Orion Childrens, December 1998] – ISBN 978-1858816425
- The Web: 2028 [Gollancz, November 1999] – ISBN 978-1857988703
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• Filed under Books • 01/12/1998 •