Random Idea Generator

So when I'm not pretty much glued to the computer screen following all the information (and disinformation) about the upcoming Scottish Referendum, I'm getting busy on doing all the things I usually do about this time of year when a book is finally out and another, as yet unpublished, is going through the submission process with my publishers: working out my taxes, cycling around Taipei (and there'll be a lengthy post coming up about that soon), and, most especially, coming up with ideas for new books.

It's true that the ideas for several of my books have come to me in what I guess you'd call moments of inspiration. One hit me the other day, and after two days I had maybe five, six thousand words of notes on the idea, all of them flowing fairly freely. Another one I've had for a couple of years, sitting on my hard drive, but I'm currently expanding that from a very bare-bones sketch to something rather more full-bodied.

I'm a big fan of what I guess you'd call free association - or at least, that's what I think it is. If I've got any kind of an idea I think is worth pursuing, I open up a new document and start typing pretty much everything that comes into my head. It's all out of order, and disconnected, with a very great number of random thoughts and ideas that go nowhere. But the advantage of the process of essentially typing as I think is that the process of putting the words down itself generates ideas. Once you have enough ideas down, the whole thing starts to achieve what I guess you might call a chain reaction. To be more precise, the mind starts to draw connections between those different random ideas, and a picture gradually emerges - of a situation, a dilemma, a society real or imagined, of characters and names.

So I don't know if that's useful or relevant or interesting to you, but it's one way to generate ideas, and it's the one that's worked just fine for me through ten books, including the one I just finished and that will appear next year. 


That Time Of Year Again

...when I have a new book out. Extinction Game is "officially" released today, although of course a number of you probably got your hands on the hardback already. The ebook, if you're one of the many who preordered, will likely be ready to download.

In the meantime, I've been busy finishing the sequel to Extinction Game, which focuses on a new character quite different to the Pathfinders in the first book. It also answers some of the questions I left deliberately open in the previous volume, while asking some new ones.

So far, the reception has been pretty positive. Here's some reviews.

From Blue Book BalloonIt is a compelling story, difficult to put down and pretty much action packed throughout. Gibson evokes a deep sense of unease.

From Amazing Stories: Extinction Game by Gary Gibson is not your ordinary post-apocalyptic adventure.

 From Horror Cult FilmsThe adrenaline-pumping panic of the characters jumps from the pages, with the urgency and hectic fight for survival delivered in what feels like real-time. Gibson certainly does a good job in putting you in that time and place with Jerry and almost leaves the reader breathless themselves.

From Upcoming4.me: I've simply stormed through it with that same sense of wonder and excitement that accompanied reading of his other work. What more can you wish for?

From For Winter Nights: Extinction Game is not at all what we’re used to from Gary but his dexterity with thrills, adventure and moments that make the jaw drop is put to good use – the result is a ferocious pageturner.

From BCF Reviews: Gary Gibson was a new author to me, but when I was offered a copy of Extinction Game to review, something caught my attention, and so I agreed. I wasn’t sure how quickly I’d get to it, but I took a quick peek, and was soon hooked.

You can read an excerpt from Extinction Game at Tor.com, although the Kindle sample you can download is actually longer.

I also wrote a lengthy piece both about the book and some of its influences at Tor.com: My Favourite Apocalypses, or How To End The World for Fun and Profit.

Chicks That Read have also run an interview with me.

And, finally, Extinction Game is the Book of the Month for Australian bookseller BookTopia