Wed, 21 January 2009
Many of this interview's topics were made possible only because of Alan's longstanding enthusiasm for traveling to places tourists rarely go. He seeks the places where wildlife is still unspoiled; and where the ancient ways that predate writing still exist. He knows they are fading rapidly, and wants to see them before they are gone forever.
Topics include: how cell phones are changing even the third world with amazing speed; primitive cultures accepting technology, and leapfrogging passed the intermediate technologies; the rise of ebooks overseas, as well as how traditional publishers may watch their income evaporate when people buy ebooks online directly from the authors, which would cut publishers out of the loop; how policing oceanic piracy is forcing the naval ships of nations which are normally enemies to cooperate, and how this may build relationships of respect: a precursor to trust.
He also shares some personal anecdotes: about writing movie novelizations such as Aliens 1, 2 and 3--and why he didn't write number 4; how he met Diana Rigg (who played Emma Peel on The Avengers) as well as Julie Newmar (who played the original Catwoman on Batman); his trip with James Gurney (author of Dinotopia and illustrator for National Geographic) who joined him on travels through Malta, Tunisia, Morocco, Dakar and Gibraltar.
He also described his intention to travel to the Western Indian Ocean, which is part of the area threatened by the pirate's that have been in the news so much lately for hijacking cruise ships and oil tankers and holding everyone aboard hostage, sometimes for many months.
Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the January 21, 2009 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 64 minutes]
While most of his novels involve worlds he has created himself, such as those in his Commonwealth series and Spellsinger series, and those in his various trilogies such as The Damned, The Taken and Icerigger, a portion of his time is spent writing novelizations of successful movies and TV shows. Examples include: the first three Aliens movies, The Chronicles of Riddick, Outland, Clash of the Titans, Starman, The Thing, Alien Nation, Transformers, The Last Starfighter, and the first Star Wars novelization, which he co-wrote with George Lucas.
The quality and extent of this body of work won him the 2008 Grand Master award from the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.