"Where have you been all my life, Warren Fahy?" A few days later I received an email from Warren thanking me for the enthusiastic review. While we've never met, we've chatted via email sporadically ever since. And Warren has been a great friend to this blog over the years, frequently giving us exclusive scoops, such as the conversation below.
**A warning first--there is info below about the newly
(re)published Pandemonium that could definitely be considered spoilers for the novel. Read on at your own risk.
Susan: Hey, Warren, congratulations on the long-awaited hardback publication of Pandemonium! For years, this book has been almost mythical. It's great to finally hold a copy in my hands, and what a great job Tor did putting this book together design-wise. Do you want to comment on the book's path to publication?
Susan: I've been really curious what changes might occur between the self-published version I read two years ago, and this latest "Big 6" edition. In order to really compare the two, I had my Kindle read the old version aloud while my eyes followed along in the new hardback. It was fascinating! Believe me when I say, there isn't a single page without changes, but they're basically cosmetic. There's absolutely no doubt that this is a more polished draft. How much work went into updating the novel? It's obvious that you were still thinking of clever lines and adding telling character details. When is a book done? Is it ever done? Are you still thinking about how Pandemonium can be improved?
Warren: Oh, you’re tickling a lot of nerves there! Yes, it’s very hard to let go because as an author
Susan: I'm a huge fan of these two books, Fragment and Pandemonium. With Fragment, you really left the door open for a sequel. Pandemonium, however, doesn't have that obvious open door. Do you think you will return to this world, and if so, when?
Warren: I will return, and the pressure from Hollywood is pushing me to do that next, I’ve recently been told. I’m working on the third book in the series, SYMBIONT, right now, as well as another unrelated thriller called AFTER, appropriately enough, but the sequel will be in a totally different ecosystem unrelated to the first two books. Some of the same characters, though, including Nell and Geoffrey, of course. Someday, I think it would be very interesting to revisit Pandemonium and see what the collision of worlds has wrought...
Warren: No comment. Well, I’ll elaborate, actually. These books are like designing Disneyland. There is so much involved that has to be created before the writing of a novel can begin that it is hard to say exactly when it will be done. I expect to finish a draft within a year, though!
Susan: I know there's a film version of Fragment in the works. Can you give us an update on where it's at? What has your involvement with the project been?
Warren: Hollywood has been an interesting experience. It’s been circuitous as well, I’m afraid. The project was going in a direction for quite a long time that would not have borne much resemblance to the novel – in fact, to such a degree that you couldn’t really get away with saying “Soon to be a major motion picture” on the cover, which of course was a no-go for everyone. I didn’t know what was even going on for 2 years before I hooked up with Lloyd Levin (Boogie Nights, Field of Dreams, Hellboy, The Watchmen), who looked at my screenplay and loved it. He optioned the rights and we’ve finally locked down the screenplay last month. Now we’re looking for the right director to bring the audience someplace they’ve never been before, and that takes a certain kind of genius, to breath life into the design and motion of a whole new and menacing alien world. And it takes balls of steel to do something new in Hollywood, even though I think audiences are desperate for that magic Hollywood window to point in that direction and show us what we have never imagined before. Avatar, I think, proved that six times over. But it will take someone special, and we’re looking for him or her right now.
Susan: You have several other self-published works available for sale on various platforms. Would you care to tell us about them? Are you now planning on publishing any of those novels with Tor? Or will you be self-publishing future titles?
Warren: I did put some of my work out there since I wanted to bridge the gap between books that inevitably resulted from switching publishers and I needed to pay the rent! I thought it was a good way to diversify myself, too. I think time will tell where they end up, but I’m glad they’re out there. Plus, they defy categorization. They don’t really fit on bookshelves. As for future titles, time will tell there, too. I have a few in the vault. There’s a great freedom in publishing work yourself that’s pretty irresistible but there are obviously a lot of advantages to the traditional route, as well, especially when you have a publisher who respects your work.
Susan: Clearly you have interests beyond science and thrillers, and you're comfortable writing across many genres. Can we expect to see more science thrillers from you, or are you ready to move on? What's on the horizon?
Warren: The next two books are science thrillers, but I might simultaneously publish some books in other genres, as well... We’ll see!
Thanks so much, Warren! I love it when we have these conversations.
Readers, if you can't get enough Warren Fahy, I highly recommend checking out the essay he contributed to the Powell's Books Blog recently, Fragments of Pandemonium. It's a non-fiction look at some of the science behind his novels, and it's absolutely fascinating! Another terrific place to visit is his website, which is chock full of the real science behind his books and more great art like the illustrations