ON THE STEEL BREEZE, published in September 2013, is my eleventh published novel. Or my twelth if you include HARVEST OF TIME, my Doctor Who book, which also appeared in 2013. This ambiguity helpfully enables me to avoid ever writing a thirteenth novel. Not that I am in any way superstitious or – touch wood – intend to become so in the future.
My novel-length books to date are, in order and date of UK publication:
* REVELATION SPACE (2000) BSFA and Clarke shortlist. Gothic space opera with slower than light travel and speculation about extra-terrestrial intelligences.
* CHASM CITY (2001) BSFA winner in 2002. A hardboiled pursuit/revenge thriller set in the RS universe.
* REDEMPTION ARK (2002) More fun with killer aliens.
* ABSOLUTION GAP (2003) BSFA shortlist. End times approach; religious lunatics appear. Contains moving cathedrals and speculation about braneworlds.
* CENTURY RAIN (2004) A murder mystery in 1959 Paris opens a can of worms for struggling PI and jazzman Wendell Floyd. Space opera, parallel worlds, jazz, etc. A personal favorite of mine, although I’ve sworn there will never be a sequel.
* PUSHING ICE (2005) Clarke shortlist. Near future space exploration and first contact, and a wild ride into the deep, distant future for the crew of the mining vehicle Rockhopper. Perhaps my most Clarkean book to date. I have always said I would return to this universe one day and I still hope to do so.
* THE PREFECT (2007) Crime and punishment in the RS universe. A crisis for Prefect Dreyfus in the near-utopia of the Glitter Band. Will there be more? I always meant to write more about Dreyfus and perhaps I will, but the hard thing is constructing a crisis sufficiently serious to merit his involvement, but which does not conflict with events in the sequence set later in time.
* HOUSE OF SUNS (2008) Clarke shortlist. Six million years in the future, starfaring clones, tensions between human and robot metacivilisations, King Crimson jokes. This was a very enjoyable novel to write, especially after the claustrophobic THE PREFECT and I think it shows. Again, I would like to return to this universe but I have no fixed plans for when that will happen.
* TERMINAL WORLD (2010) Wales Book of the Year finalist. Steampunky action on a dying world, with a mystery under the skin of things.
Of my books to date, five are set in the same universe. The reading order isn’t that critical, in my view, but it probably improves things to read REVELATION SPACE, REDEMPTION ARK and ABSOLUTION GAP in that sequence. The other related books, CHASM CITY and THE PREFECT, as well as the collections DIAMOND DOGS, TURQUOISE DAYS and GALACTIC NORTH, can be read at any point (or in fact, not read at all).
CENTURY RAIN, PUSHING ICE, HOUSE OF SUNS and TERMINAL WORLD are all unrelated standalone novels. I have vague intentions to return to the universes of PI and HOS, but nothing firm, and I don’t intend to return to the worlds of CR or TW, much as I’m fond of those books.
My next set of books is a three book sequence beginning with BLUE REMEMBERED EARTH (2012) and continuing with ON THE STEEL BREEZE (2013). It’s a sort of trilogy, tracing the members of a spacefaring African family across many centuries of future history, but with only tenuous connections between the books. My intention is that individual volumes each function as a well-formed standalone novel. I am now working on the final book in the “Poseidon’s Children” sequence, with the title still to be decided.
I’ve also written a Doctor Who novel, HARVEST OF TIME, about which I say a bit more here.