Some time ago, I had this idea…
I wanted to write a book about the end of the world. But since my previous book, A Private Little War, was such a grim and blood-soaked death-slog all full of war and insanity and biplanes and toast (read it and you’ll see what I mean), I also wanted it to be, you know, fun. Because who says the end of the world has to be all awful? There are certainly people out there who would find a complete breakdown of all the systems of control to be a rollicking good time. Anarchy, lawlessness, general weirdness? Who doesn’t yearn for that every now and then?
Further, I didn’t want to go with any of the standard end-of-the-world tropes. Which meant no zombies, no gestalt ecological catastrophes which conveniently affect every biome on earth, no lone wanderer trudging through the wasteland. My apocalypse was more like a kind of psychotic wish fulfillment: What if we suddenly got everything we’ve ever wanted in our science-fiction-saturated world? What if there was nanotechnology and genetically engineered monsters and giant robots and dinosaurs and airships and time travel and, basically, everything, all at the same time?
That was the nut of the idea for Tales From The Radiation Age. And once I had that, all I had to do was sit down and write it. Which I did–one episode (read: chapter) at a time, every two weeks, for six straight months.