I've been quiet lately because I've been in London, getting a life, trying not to break my neck on the icy pavements, and having a meeting with my UK editor. It's surprising how exhausting and time-consuming having a life can be, and it tends to take up moments that might otherwise have been spent blogging. (Who knew?)
There is, unsurprisingly, nothing new to report on the work front. I'm elbow-deep in the middle of "Rule 34", contemplating what I might do next — it's due to hit my editors' email inboxes no later than July — so sounding out my UK editor's opinion of various ideas is of course par for the course at this point. I will confess, however, to being slightly itchy about how little far-future/wide-screen SF I've been writing recently. I've done (and am doing) four novels in a row that are set in alternative versions of the present day (or within 15 years' time), and it looks likely that at least one of the next two books I write will be alternate-present as well. The time opera "Palimpsest" (sort of like a space opera, only with time machines) made a bid for freedom between two Merchant Princes episodes, but I managed to hold it back to novella length by writing the first third of what really wants to be a full-length book. That (and the century-later sequel to "Glasshouse") are bubbling close to the top of the stack of stuff I want to be writing — subject to the constraints of earning a living. And of course there's the possibility of revisiting the Merchant Princes universe. But at the end of the day I have to eat, and so to some extent what I write is constrained by what my publishers' marketing departments think they can sell.
Straw poll: what would you like to see me write next? (Bearing in mind that anything you vote for now will be written in 2010-2011 and won't see print before 2012 ...)