Apparently Ian Banks hates research. I quite like it, as it happens. It's when you have that germ of an idea and the story is all wonderfully fluid and full of potential, and almost as if you are a fisherman tickling your trout, you can ease up to it and play in the shallows without frightening it away, lulling your narrative into a false sense of security.
Without boundaries it could go anywhere, people you have yet to
meet but will one day know as well as your friends are still
nothing more than abstract swirls of metaphor and device.
The odd thing is, or maybe it's not odd at all, but this thing is
sometimes scenes come through to me so sharp and clear that I can
see, taste and feel them before the research bit. These are both
appealing and dangerous - the more I see them, the stronger the
desire to find out more, but the danger is that I become too hung
up on retro fitting the research to the ideas at the risk of
creating a false picture.
But let's not get too hung up on this yet, let's just collect the
scenes - the terrible date with the Dentist from Munich with
'eyes like grey marbles rolling round a cream-wear plate', and the
first meeting with Jenny ' so feline one had the impulse to scratch
her behind her ear, so beautifully deformed that even her missing
hand made one feel burdened to have been born with two' - and see
what back ground the research paints for those thoughts.
And now a plea, if anyone had history book about with Weimar
republic, then I would be most grateful for the loan of them, and
will treat all with the utmost respect.