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‘I didn't set out to write a novel about the future...'

12 February 2024

‘I didn't set out to write a novel about the future. Most of my novels have been set in the past, which for me is the space of the greatest mystery and enlightenment. The future, if I thought about it, seemed by contrast thin and predictable. We know that people will be hotter, more opinionated and less well-informed; but in 30 years' time, I thought, they're also likely to still be preoccupied by money, sex and how their football team is getting on.

So my new novel, The Seventh Son, didn't start out as "future-fi" or "near-fi", let alone as sci-fi. But the future crept up on me as I wrote, in terms intriguing, and sometimes more comic, than I'd imagined...

The challenges of this new book lay ultimately not in understanding "the science" or picturing what life will feel like 30 years from now, enjoyable though this was. The hardest thing was trying to imagine the inner life of a young man who is human, but in a different way from the rest of us...'

Sebastian Faulks, author of his new book The Seventh Sun, Birdsong, Charlotte Gray and 17 other novels and anthologies, in the Sunday Times