Extra Content – 1997
This was a word used in the “Torture Garden” play, to denote the type of artificial information system that can propagate itself. Since the play was abandoned, it had been a word in search of a story. I’d had this idea of doing a third Vurt novel set after the time of Pollen. I’d written about fifty pages of this, abandoned it, gone on to write Automated Alice. After that was done, I came back to have a look at the story. The only bit that really excited me was this throwaway line about these people in a pub playing this strange National Domino game. I thought, well maybe the novel’s about that, about the game, and the game uses the Nymphomation system to propagate itself. Based on the National Lottery, of course, and the attendant wave of obsession. At the same time, I’d come up with the mad idea of carrying on Automated Alice’s story, into the future, and the two ideas came together. It became a book about the origins of the Vurt feathers, and Alice’s role in that creation.
I was doing a reading in Manchester one time, and a woman asked me what I was working on at the moment, and I told her about this idea of a first Vurt novel. And she said, “Oh, you mean it’ll end with the first line of Vurt?” And I said, “Erm, yeah!” So, it does. All four books connect in weird ways, a web of connections. There will be one last Vurt book, but what form that will take, and when I write it, nobody knows. For the moment I feel like moving away from the overtly Science Fictional elements of my work. Maybe write something a bit more real, a bit more character-based. Something about music. I have lots of different kinds of books to write, I never want to feel trapped in any particular genre.
As Joe Crocus says in Pollen : Open all channels-connect to everything.
by Jeff Noon
Interview with Chris Mitchell for www.spikemagazine.com