The State of the Art

I'm most excited that my adaptation of Iain Banks' 'The State of the Art' is going to be broadcast this week, at 2.15pm on Thursday 5th., on BBC Radio 4, as an Afternoon Play.  It'll be available afterwards, internationally, on the BBC's IPlayer, and I'll post a link to that as soon as it's up.  It forms part of BBC radio's SF season, details of which can be found here:

It seems like we recorded it an age ago.  It was in the week when the whole Captain Britain/Gordon Brown thing erupted, and I had to nip up one floor, from the recording studio in Manchester to a news studio, to do interviews.  The director/producer is the wonderful Nadia Molinari, who's got a likeable team in place, and almost her own rep company, so we're lucky to have, for example, Brigit Forsyth in a very small role, when she might be the lead next week.  I got quite attached to the technicians and sound effects people, and found that, unlike in TV, a writer has a place to sit and stuff to do at a radio recording.  Sir Antony Sher was charming, precise, thorough, creating a Ship voice that's a bit beloved headmaster, a bit affronted theatrical, but is entirely, wonderful, the voice Iain put on the page.  Nina Sosanya was very enthusiastic, interested to be involved, and provided a Sma who's got this wonderful, brittle outrage to her.  And what can I say about Paterson Joseph?  He's very charismatic in person, asks brilliant questions, tends to give several different readings, many of which one hadn't thought of but make perfect sense.  It was a pleasure to spend that time with them, and, with Nadia offering spot on direction and editing, that we've come up with something of which I'm very proud.  Do let me know what you think.  

I was remiss in the last blog, in not mentioning, in my account of Gally, the three sisters who presented me with their own award statuette, for Best Doctor Who Episode Ever.  It may not be a Hugo, but it's every bit as welcome.  

I'm interviewed by the I, Fanboy team, in this, their latest video from the New York Comic Con.  It begins with Jim McCann being even more eccentric than usual:

Alex Fitch has just interviewed me for his internet radio show, talking about The State of the Art and a lot more.  You can find it here:

And my mate, and distinguished author, Sean Williams, has now put the entire manuscript of one of his fantasy novels on the internet, for free.  You can find that here:

Oh, and for those who've asked, yes, that Twitter was right: I killed off a central team member of MI-13 the other day.  Had to be done.  Phew, now I can get back to having my only day off for a long time past and a long time to come. I think I'm just going to lie on that sofa and read comics with the cricket on.  And then possibly fall asleep.  Do have a listen on Thursday.  Cheerio!

11 Response to "The State of the Art"

  • Josh Says:

    Well, now I'm going to spend the next few months worrying about all the MI:13 characters that I've come to love. I keep trying to think which character I'd be least sad to see go but the answer is none of them. I am however, glad to hear from the iFanboy interview that Doom will return and I'm hoping that means that we'll see either more Cabal members or the Dark Avengers (will the formation of H.A.M.M.E.R be addressed? it is a global force after all). All I have left to say is keep up the great work you're doing for Marvel and I hope to see you back on Doctor Who when that returns!

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    Yes, we'll address the HAMMER thing. (Which is global only in the sense of a global reach, not over sovereign nations.) We'll see how the Mighty Avengers fit in too.

  • no_originality Says:

    Oh how casually you announce the death of a key character!
    Similar to Josh I know have to try and decide who I'll miss least (which, damn you and your characterisation, is none of them).

    Glad to see Doom is coming back, I really like how Leonard Kirk draws him; being prone to doodle myself- Doom's mask is not an easy thing to draw well, especially draped in shadow like this issue called for.

    Its been a while since I looked forward to a comic every month!


  • max Says:

    Finally got issue 8 today so now am catching up.

    Just had to write mid-way through reading becauuse of the line "Step away from the pensioner"

    Gold. Pure Gold.

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    Thanks, you two.

  • Mart Says:

    Hope the play goes down well, it was our radio pick of the day in the Scotsman.

    Dunno if you've heard the Comic Book Queers podcast, but there's a highly entertaing discussion of the latest ish of Cap & Co on their 87th episode, about 35 minutes in.

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    That is indeed a podcast of genius. Can you tell them, if you're on their forum, that I really love their take on Cap? And I share their Jac love.

  • Alex Jamieson Says:

    I don't think I can stand anyone to go...I'm sure it'll be a great story, but I'll surely miss the victim when they're gone (which I guess is the point!).
    I've got a theory as to who might be the victim, based on what now, in the newly established context of an approaching death, feels like foreshadowing.
    Mr Cornell, are we allowed to post our speculations here? Obviously I wouldn't expect you to confirm or deny...!

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    Of course, speculate away! I won't say anything.

  • Alex Jamieson Says:

    Great! Well here goes...

    I think that the character who is going to die is Dane.
    I feel that things are coming to a head in the Dane/Faiza storyline based on last issue and the preview for next week's.
    He has told her that she will one day step up and become the knight. I believe that day may soon be coming.
    We have already seen that Faiza's family are under attack. If she loses her mentor (and loved one?) Dane as well, she will be tested even more. I'm sure she is worthy of the challenge though(if undeserving of the tragedy), and perhaps it is her response to this that she finally 'becomes the knight'.

    I also think the unspoken feelings between them feed very well into a tragic death scene...I love the heartwrenching drama, and I know that Mr Cornell excels at writing it!

    What does everyone else think?

  • no_originality Says:

    Dane had been my thinking as well, due to most of the reasons you've mentioned. The only thing I thought may save him is his status as a relatively well known Avengers character.