The Influences on
Here are a selection of my stock answers to the number one question I get asked:
I buy them on the internet.
Tell me more about this thing you earth people call ideas?
Ideas? I've got your ideas RIGHT HERE!
This is a continuation of the blog started here and continued here.
First the Fallacy of the Media Specific Influence
Michael Moorcock's hipster agent of Entropy Jerry Cornelius exerts an insidious influence over the Rivers of London books, so subtle is it that it wasn't until I picked up my copy of The Final Programme that I realised its extent. Sometimes when I'm turning one of my books over in my mind I catch a glimpse of a figure in harlequin's motley capering through the dust sheeted rooms of my memory. I can't say for sure whether J.C. was a direct inspiration for Punch's role in Rivers of London but I strongly suspect he's responsible for blowing the head off the Hare Krishna guy.
This was one of those books that impinged upon my childhood by dint of lying around the house and then exerting a strange fascination on me when I was barely able to read. This is something we may lose as books shift into the electronic cloud - that wet afternoon discovery that intrigues despite our inability to understand it. Edward Gorey's Doubtful Guest radiates a wonderful melancholy humour as the Doubtful Guest imposes itself on a grand Edwardian family whose good manners prevent them from throwing it out. The Edwardian tone, the palpable sense of menace, the silence - now who does that remind me of....
There's a whole London sequence in the third of William Gibson's sprawl trilogy that has stuck with me ever since I read it. I like the sense of bustle, of an alien city giving up secrets, of its exoticism - made all the more sweeter because it's talking about my home town. That snow smothered landscape returned to me when London got its first proper snow in years and fed through into several sequences in Whispers Under Ground.
This post has got way longer than I planned for so tune in next week for At Last The Truth! We're Going To Need A Bigger Truck!