Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Breakfast of Champions Interview - Guy Haley

"GH: Well, it’s been inspired by pretty much every book that has ever been written about Mars. Not that I’ve read them all. Edgar Rice Burrough’s Barsoom gets name-checked a lot when people talk about Champion of Mars, but surprisingly I’ve never read John Carter’s adventures in the original form. I have, however, been thoroughly exposed to them second-hand through geek culture – comics, pastiches, homages and the like (Moorcock’s Warriors of Mars is a key example). Other pulpy, SF adventures of the early 20th Century like Flash Gordon have a lot to answer for too.
That sort of fallen, high-tech yet primitive society you see in Barsoom fascinates me; it’s a synthesis of fantasy and SF, planetary romance, and I love both. All these early dreams of the Red Planet were based on the faulty astronomical assumption that the planets were formed in order, from the outer planets in. According to this, Mars must be more ancient than Earth, and its societies therefore correspondingly older too. We know now obviously that this is not true, and that Mars does not possess intelligent life, but those tropes established by Burroughs – hearkening back to heroic mythology – are so interesting. So, the book began to take shape about nine years ago when I wondered how a society like that could come about now, as it almost certainly did not exist in the past. There’s that element of vast epochs, only we’re looking into the far future, and not into the distant past. I was also looking for a way to “justify” a sort of "

4 out of 5