5 minutes with Ian McDonald

5 minutes with Ian McDonald


ian-2Ian McDonald is a science fiction writer (mostly) living in Northern Ireland, just outside Belfast. Rory McIlroy used to carry his club past his house on the way to practise and Ian never even noticed. First novel: Desolation Road (Bantam Spectra 1988)—think South American magical realism on Mars. Most recent: Luna: New Moon (Gollancz 2015)—first of a trilogy. Think Game of Thrones on the Moon. Or Dallas. Or The Godfather, depending on your age.

Twitter @iannmcdonald


What was the last book you read?

The Gradual, by Christopher Priest.


How did you by it?

Despite us having the same publisher, I did buy this. From Big South American River.


And what did you read it on?



What TV series are you obsessing over right now?

Stranger Things on Netflix. The Eighties retro is remorseless and spot on. Looking forward to Luke Cage, same network. The Marvel superhero universe really finds life on television.


What do you like about your job?

The absence of a dress code.


Which is your favourite bookshop or ebookstore – and why?

No Alibis bookstore, Belfast. A truly legendary shop, Dave is a legendary owner and it occupies Belfast literary culture like a diamond in a knuckle duster.


Go on, let us know your musical guilty pleasure.

Bossa Nova.


Which great novel have you tried to read – but failed?

The Catcher in the Rye. Six attempts, six fails. I may be the wrong age.


What was your first job?

Escorting an African girls choir on tour around Ireland. Yes, they were from Uganda.


What piece of advice would you give first-timers at the Fair?

Be wise in your choice of footwear.

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