Toby Litt going sci-fi for next book

Toby Litt's next novel is going to be a sci-fi.  Going to be called, simply, Journey into Space, its title is a natural progession into alphabet J, from the title of his present book, I Play the Drums in a Band Called Okay.

Why sci-fi, one'd ask? (Why not? Jeanette Winterson wrote one for her last novel, called Stone Gods, which I enjoyed tremendously because she still stuck to her imitable way of writing simple sentences. This is opposed to the way most veritable scifi fiction are written, all verbose, long sentences, lots of technical details to plough through.)

Anyone who has ever read more than one of his books would realise by now that he never repeats the last genre. He tried thriller for Corpsing, even chick lit with Finding Myself. He went totally literary with Ghost Story, which is not really a ghost story as such. His last excursion into the new was into manga. His Hospital reads like a fantastic comic. Just imagine a Japanese-style violent manga comic - with no pictures, just words. And it works a treat, too.

Back to why sci-fi. Or better still, why write like this, differently, for every new book? The answer is in a Guardian interview recently, about why he writes.

Asked What advice would you give to new writers?, Toby offers: 'Don't write what you know. You don't know what you know. Surprise yourself.'

I have already been taking this advice even before reading that response. People have always been exhorting me to write about my experiences. They say, put it in writing. Yeah, unless I'm doing an autobiography or memoir.


  1. Ted Mahsun says

    Scifi! I shall be awaiting this with much interest!

    Leon Wing says

    u know, as you also like Japanese fiction, you should give hospital a go, too. It's so manga!!

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