This hasn't been the best of times. My father, John, was diagnosed with cancer earlier in the year. That was bad enough, and given his age, he was 80, we knew the prognosis was never favourable. Unfortunately half way through his chemotherapy treatment, about a month ago, he passed away. It was all very sudden, which from one point of view was the right thing. I know he certainly wouldn't have wanted a debilitating illness that dragged on and on as these things can do. Despite being 80 he was staunchly independent right up until the last few days.
More than anyone he was responsible for me becoming a writer. Not by pushing me career-wise, but just by being tolerant of me during those interminable dark years in my twenties when I didn't have a clue what I was going to do with my life. That patience and understanding finally paid off, allowing him to see Judas Unchained make the Times bestseller list the other year, and when I eventually produced his grandchildren who thrilled and captivated him from the moment they were born. I shall miss him to a degree which even leaves me at a loss for words to describe.
All this happened at the time Dreaming Void was published. I didn't do much by way of public appearances, but I did keep reading the guestbook entries. Although you didn't know it , those of you who wrote in with your observations and encouragements helped me get through a difficult time. I thank you all for the nice things you said about the new book.
So with all that you can imagine the writing has taken a back seat recently. However, normal service is slowly resuming, and I've now started chapter three of the Temporal Void. It might be delivered a little later than hoped for, but I still think I should manage to finish by Easter next year.
What else happened?
Felix started walking - well, crashing in to things, anyway. Apparently he believes walls should just get out of his way. And he really likes the Night Garden show. For non UK readers: behave or we'll give it to your TV stations.
Watched: Blades of Glory. Yes.
Started to watch: Heroes, series one. Yes yes
About to watch: Battlestar Galactica series three. Can't wait
Waiting for the DVD: 24 series 6. There goes the whole week
I had some nice reviews for Dreaming Void in The Guardian and Starburst and Death Ray and SFX as well as several online blogs and sites. I didn't make the Times top ten this time, (bubbling under at 14) but I did get to number four in the Waterstones new fiction list, which put me on the shelf in all of their stores. That same shelf had JK Rowling at number one, of course; and good old Katie Price was number three. Ah, the joy of knowing your betters!
There's an interview in the current SFX, which actually managed a photo of me looking not too bad - thanks guys. And you can catch a podcast at
Like everybody, when I hear a recording of my own voice I immediately exclaim: I don't sound like that. But according to Mrs H, yes I do. Oh dear.
I'm also planning on going to the Utopiales festival in Nantes France, at the start of this November. And it now looks like I'll be going to Conjunction in New Zealand for Easter 2008: http://conjunction.sf.org.nz/
If you're at either of them, please say hello.
And although I don't do spoilers, for everyone in the forums who's trying to guess who Aaron is/was: you're coming at it from the wrong angle. It's what's in his subconscious that counts.
Peter F. Hamilton