Snapshots: Justina Robson interviewed

What are you working on now?
Two hard SF short stories and two novels: one is a kind of post-tech space opera and the other is a space opera romance from an idea I basically nicked off Tricia Sullivan but don’t tell anyone that part.

What have you recently finished?
Shh…don’t ask that!

What’s recently or soon out?
I’ll be in this year’s Technology Review SF collection, all being well, and I am writing a short piece for ARC, the new magazine edited by Simon Ings.

Describe your typical writing day.
Mess about on any of the following for a couple of hours: email, facebook, twitter, Star Wars The Old Republic. Do domestic chores badly. Exercise for half an hour at some point in the morning. Make cup of tea no 5. Open up writing projects. Feel the usual cocktail of fear and resistance. Distract self by reading something. Start writing. Get stuck. Switch project. Repeat writing process from cocktail point. Manage a few hundred words. Late at night manage some more. Thousands of words on a good day. Tens of words on a really bad day. Read something. Write some more later.

What would you draw attention to from your back-list?
Living Next Door To The God of Love. Just because I like it.

Which other authors or books do you think deserve a plug?
Tricia Sullivan, Nalini Singh, Ellen Kushner, Geoff Ryman, Adam Roberts

If you were to offer one snippet of writing advice what would it be?
Don’t critically compare your writing to other people’s. Study their work and learn from it, then do your own thing.

So… the easy one: what’s the future of publishing? How will writers be making a living and publishing in five or ten years? What will readers be reading?
Publishing will still be making paper books and ebooks will be a large market on various devices. I expect a lot of authors will sell to publishers and also self publish on eformats as well. I don’t know what readers will read but given the e-devices’ ability to conceal completely the nature of what one is reading I would hope people will venture into a greater diversity of reading – so that for instance very highly gendered artwork choices on cover art will no longer be a put-off.


Justina Robson writes SF and Fantasy in varying degrees of toughness, hardness, softness, squidginess and other -nesses. She enjoys keeping up with popular science and roleplaying games in which she can pretend to be all the things she presently isn’t. She has two children and a grumpy, idle cat which covers the house in hair and has just destroyed her last computer by throwing up into the airvent and thus onto the mainboard.

Justina wrote the chapter ‘Aliens: our selves and others’ in Strange Divisions and Alien Territories: the sub-genres of science fiction (edited by Keith Brooke, published by Palgrave Macmillan, February 2012).

Buy stuff:

About Keith Brooke and infinity plus

Keith Brooke is a writer of science fiction, fantasy and other strange stuff, and editor and reviewer of same. He is also the publisher at infinity plus, an independent imprint publishing books by leading genre fiction authors. View all posts by Keith Brooke and infinity plus

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: