Philip Reeve is a children’s author who creates vast, absorbing worlds. His ‘Mortal Engines’ quartet takes place thousands of years in the future, where moving ‘traction’ cities traverse the wasted plains. Most recently, Larklight took us to a Victorian age where space travel was possible. He has now turned his attention, in Here Lies Arthur, to that most fascinating of romances. I meet him in his publisher’s office – a mild, scholarly figure in a baggy brown suit. From a comprehensive school in Brighton he came, via illustration and alternative comedy, to writing.
How do you feel about the label ‘sci fi’, do you think it’s a derogatory term?
Well, for a long time I avoided it, but I’ve started to embrace it as I’m quite proud to be considered a sci fi author because it’s so unfashionable. It’s strange that people worry about boys not reading, even though the one genre that boys are most likely to be