Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Paul Cornell talks about his Saucer State

Paul Cornell is a writer who is prolific, well considered by critics, and fans of Dr. Who consider him one of the best for novelizations of Dr. Who.

He has written a series, Saucer Country which had some attention from critics for quality and developed a small but core audience.  And then DC/Vertigo canceled it.

With the world fascinated by UFOs and Aliens, I couldn't understand why it got canceled.  And then IDW, who has a broad audience, offered a new series called SAUCER STATE.

Here I chat with Paul about his work and what to expect from it.  His answers are in Alien green.

Saucer Country struck a tone with a group of readers, but was ultimately canceled before running its hoped for length.  Does Saucer State attempt to do anything differently?

We know we're heading for the finishing line, after the second 6-issue mini, so we're being crisper and a bit more urgent, but I think that quality was always there.  There's a dirty great cliffhanger at the end of #1 which turns everything on its head and defines the rest of the series.  It changes everything.


American culture has grown rather skeptical of the Government's attitude towards UFOs.  Is that because they see the truth with their own eyes, or is this, like a conspiracy theory, fed by other factors such as generalized distrust, fear, and even hope for something more exciting?

Well, I'm partial to a particular theory about this, which the plot of Saucer State refers to, so I'm not going to give away spoilers!  

What is your stance on the existence of such things as UFOs and Aliens?

I try to keep a Fortean, not-believer, not-sceptic, attitude about this stuff in the real world.  It's interesting, a small part of it is real, but I don't think that reality has much, if anything, to do with aliens.  

Currently, it could be argued that UFO's and Aliens are becoming more popular in google searches, in television shows, in actual discussions.  How do you create a story that harvests that interest without portraying that subject using tropes and cliche?

Well, Saucer State is about UFOs *as* a mythology, so we take on the fact that these are tropes and then investigate the nature of those tropes and the reasons for them.  The Greys have actually gone away a bit as modern monsters.  Though, not, obviously, for the people still being abducted by them.  

As you, the person, not the entertainer/writer, Was Roswell an alien crash?  Why do you think so?

No, it wasn't.  It was the crash of something, probably from White Sands.  The violence to locals that followed was shameful, but the way the USAF used the event to write some UFO mythology of their own was kind of inspired.  

Will doing the series for IDW allow more freedom than at DC/Vertigo?  Why or why not?

Exactly the same, honestly.  

What do you predict will happen if tomorrow President Trump says, the US is announcing that we've made contact with aliens, and have now a working agreement with them to learn more about their world?

I think the odds against that happening are very, very, long.  

Do you have plans for works about other cryptids, aliens or other not normal things?

Not as we speak.  I kind of want to punt away from this topic once I've said all I have to say in this series.

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