The Web: Computopia by James LovegroveCollected 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.

The Web: 2028I 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.

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• Filed under Books • 01/12/1998 •