Best Quotes by Alastair Reynolds

We live in a science fictional world with things like cloning and face transplants, and things seem to be getting stranger and stranger.

Alastair Reynolds

Ideas have a certain gestation period that can’t be forced.

Alastair Reynolds

Most of the time, when I get an idea that hinges on some science ‘thing,’ it will have been because of something I read or encountered months or years earlier rather than in the last few days.

Alastair Reynolds

I despair of reality television, but I’ve never met anyone who watches it. Or people say, ‘I watch it, but I hate it.’ I’ve never met anyone who loves it. It’s like, it’s there, and we have to accept it.

Alastair Reynolds

Science fiction writers aren’t short of ideas. You can read a book, and it sets off a chain of thought processes, so it becomes a response to other people’s books.

Alastair Reynolds

I’m still bothered by the threat of nuclear war.

Alastair Reynolds

For me, the distant future and far-off galaxies is where it’s at. That’s where my imagination can really come out to play.

Alastair Reynolds

I watched ‘Who’ with a mixture of affection and exasperation through the eighties, always ready to cheer on the Doctor but seldom feeling that the series was playing to its strengths. Some of the adventures, revisited on DVD, turn out to be better than I remembered – others just as infuriating.

Alastair Reynolds

We’ve had science fiction novels where China is dominant; we’ve had novels where India is dominant, and I suppose it’s all about getting away from that cliched old tired idea that the future belongs to the West.

Alastair Reynolds

I think I set myself on a course to become a scientist around about the time that Carl Sagan’s ‘Cosmos’ series was on television, and there really was no going back for me at that point, and then I went on to study space science and then get my Ph.D., then go aboard and work in the European Space Agency.

Alastair Reynolds

I’m always a little bit cautious around invented terminology because so much science fiction is off-putting to the uninitiated. You open up the first page, and it’s full of all these made-up words.

Alastair Reynolds

One of the big breakthroughs I had as a writer was when I stopped agonising over every word.

Alastair Reynolds

When you’re writing stuff that’s already clotted with neologisms and trying to get across fairly abstruse concepts, you’re already putting a heavy burden on the reader.

Alastair Reynolds

I couldn’t ever write a straight crime novel: there’d be an intrusion of weirdness at some point.

Alastair Reynolds

When I look back at many of the moments of wonder, awe, or terror that I’ve got from science fiction, it’s often been because I’ve been put in the head of one of the characters.

Alastair Reynolds

I’m not a morning person: I can’t function until I’ve had a coffee – or several.

Alastair Reynolds

I’m not massively fond of right-wing nutters or war criminals.

Alastair Reynolds

To be remembered at all is an achievement of sorts.

Alastair Reynolds

I am playing in a playground that’s already been played in. I am always aware that a lot of the furniture in science fiction is second hand.

Alastair Reynolds

I prioritise story over science, but not at the expense of being really stupid about it.

Alastair Reynolds

I always say that keeping abreast of science should never be seen as a chore. It should be something you do naturally. I don’t sit there reading ‘New Scientist,’ putting post-it notes next to ideas.

Alastair Reynolds

If there’s a story I absolutely cannot tell without faster-than-light travel, then I am quite prepared to accept it – even though I don’t personally believe it is possible.

Alastair Reynolds

I think the danger with using the term ‘trilogy’ is that it sets up particular expectations in the reader’s mind.

Alastair Reynolds

I was never strong at maths, but I eventually got onto a university physics/astronomy course, and that led on to my Ph.D. and eventual employment.

Alastair Reynolds

I’m fascinated by steam engines and with Victorian engineering generally, and as a corollary to that, I’m fascinated by the idea of long-lived technologies.

Alastair Reynolds

I’ve never had much interest in spinoffery – the idea of writing in someone else’s universe generally leaves me cold – but ‘Doctor Who’ is different. I’ve grown up with it. It’s been part of my life since I was tiny, watching Jon Pertwee on a grainy black and white television in Cornwall and being terrified out of my mind.

Alastair Reynolds

I don’t know why, but American sci-fi writers seem to focus on the near-future, which has given us Brits a clear run at the most fascinating.

Alastair Reynolds

It’s true that my stories seem to deal with the end of the world. I’ve often been called the high priest of gothic miserablism, which is slightly unfair.

Alastair Reynolds

I’m a wishy-washy ‘Guardian’ reader, but the last thing I want to do is force a political agenda down people’s throats. It’s not central to my work, unlike, say, China Mieville, who’s very politicised.

Alastair Reynolds

I always like Iain Banks science fiction stuff and William Gibson’s cyberpunk stuff from the 1980s.

Alastair Reynolds

The first time I read a crime novel – I think it may have been an Elmore Leonard book – it took some time for me to realise how the genre worked. There were about 20 characters on the first page, and I wasn’t used to this. I started to enjoy it when I saw that was how crime books worked.

Alastair Reynolds

There are similarities between historical novels and science fiction. Being thrown into the Napoleonic Wars is just as much of a different world as space.

Alastair Reynolds

In crime, I like Ian Rankin and James Lee Burke. As for historical books, I enjoy Bernard Cornwell, Patrick O’Brien, and C. S. Forester – anything with battleships!

Alastair Reynolds

Like everyone else, I read newspapers and ‘New Scientist’ and try to put my finger on the trends which we can just see emerging now that are accelerating and might take off.

Alastair Reynolds

I come at it from a different angle of attack with each novel, searching for the technological texture the story demands. There isn’t a recipe; it’s more of an instinct.

Alastair Reynolds

Sitting here at the beginning of the 21st century, we’re only 200 years into the industrial revolution. We don’t have an enormous dataset to draw on, so whatever shaped curve we’re on, we’re only at the beginning of it.

Alastair Reynolds

You have to be able to invest in your own creations, to suspend your own disbelief in order to be able to write them. We all have to draw the line somewhere.

Alastair Reynolds

What works for me is simply to read a lot of stuff throughout the year – not with a particular story or theme in mind, but just because you never know what might be useful or interesting in the long run. I much prefer to just absorb a lot of stuff and let the old unconscious chew down on it over time.

Alastair Reynolds

There is so little SF drawn from modern scientific thinking, in any discipline, that I’m much more cheered by the successes than the failures, most of which are forgivable.

Alastair Reynolds

There is enough material in the Kuiper Belt to build anything out there. We could gobble up all the little asteroids, filtering out all the volatile materials, leaving us with bits of rock and using that to make some incredible structures.

Alastair Reynolds

Dreams of warp drives and hyperspace are just that – dreams.

Alastair Reynolds

From apparently superluminal radio sources in deep space, to the neutrinos that were supposed to be arriving ahead of schedule at the Grand Sasso experiment in Italy, every apparent exception to Einstein’s ultimate speed law has turned out to be a phantom.

Alastair Reynolds

It’s a novel experience to have one of my books read by a reading group.

Alastair Reynolds

My mother was a part of a reading group, but they would never come near science fiction because they think it’s not for them.

Alastair Reynolds

Science fiction can be very relevant, could be good literature.

Alastair Reynolds

Doctor Who’ is part of my science fictional DNA. You could take it out of me, and I’d probably still have ended up being a writer, but almost certainly not the same one.

Alastair Reynolds

My early memories of ‘Who’ are clouded by time and confused by repeats and reissues. I have no direct recollection of the first two Doctors and none at all of the first season of the Pertwee era. By the last two seasons of the Third Doctor, I was properly hooked.

Alastair Reynolds

I’m not actually that bothered about the ‘science fiction-ness’ of ‘Doctor Who.’

Alastair Reynolds

I’ve always been attracted to Pertwee’s portrayal of the Doctor as dashing man-of-science, charming, sceptical, and rational.

Alastair Reynolds

Above all else, ‘Doctor Who’ still seems to me to offer near-infinite scope for the writer. It must be the least constraining of televisual properties.

Alastair Reynolds

Daleks scared the hell out of me, to the point where I wouldn’t go round to another boy’s house because he had Dalek wallpaper in his bedroom.

Alastair Reynolds

As a science fiction writer, it’s hard to think of a more stirring theme than the origin and ultimate destiny of life in the universe.

Alastair Reynolds