What’s on your bookshelf?: Citizen Sleeper’s Gareth Damian Martin

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Hello reader who is also a reader, and welcome to Booked For The Week – our new Sunday feature where we ask a selection of cool industry folks questions about books! You know books, right? They’re a bit like RPS articles, but heavier and smell a bit nicer. This week, it’s Citizen Sleeper and In Other Waters‘ creator Gareth Damian Martin! Cheers Gareth! Mind if we have a nose at your bookshelf?

What are you currently reading?

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Gogmagog by Jeff Noon and Steve Beard is my current read, it’s a wonderfully fecund weird fantasy in an alternate post-war London (Ludwich) where the river is the ghost of an ancient dragon and the protagonist, an ancient plant/human hybrid witch, must travel through it by boat. It’s incredibly rich and witty, can strongly recommend it!

What did you last read?

As I work on Citizen Sleeper 2 I’ve been going back through William Gibson’s stuff as his writing is a key influence on that game. I just finished Virtual Light, and it was even better than I remember. Gibson’s prose is so thick with detail and world building and he has an incredibly sharp observational style. Reading it always makes me excited to write! Plus I have once again fallen in love with bike messenger culture thanks to it. I have a couple more books on my stack (Messengers, Ultimate Rush) so maybe I’ll one day turn that love into something…

What are you eyeing up next?

Pink Slime by Fernanda Trias is top of my list right now, its a Uruguayan novel about a strange city in the grip of a plague—I read a few pages in the bookshop and fell in love with it immediately, but I’ve got a lot of Citizen Sleeper research reading I need to get through first!

What book do you quote from the most?

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I’m not much of a quoter but I think William Gibson’s turns of phrase most of come to mind, especially from Neuromancer, I always have “bright lattices of logic unfolding across the colorless void” rattling around in my head for some reason! Bits of Cormac Mccarthy also come to me at random times. I love stylised prose.

What book do you find yourself bothering friends to read?

Stages of Rot by Linnea Sterte is a graphic novel that I own 5 copies of expressly to lend and gift to people when I need too. Its a gorgeous ecological fantasy that is so sumptuous and emotionally rich that I find myself thinking of it and going back to it all the time. It’s impossible not to fall in love with it.

What book would you like to see someone adapt to a game?

Personally I have always wanted to adapt Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast (or perhaps more realistically the slimmer and more adaptable novella, set in the Gormenghast world, Boy In Darkness) but in terms of other people adapting things—I think I’d LOVE to play something set in one of Jeff Vandermeer’s worlds. An open world take on Annhilation. A survival game in the wastelands of Borne. Or best of all, a Dishonored-like set in the glorious mycological city of Ambergris. Just thinking about it makes me excited!

We thought Gareth had covered all the books already, but it turns out there’s loads of them, so pop back next week for another cool person telling us about their favourites. Book for now! (still working on that one.)

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