Inside the House of Rumour: watch Jake Arnott’s take on science fiction, history and “realism”

6 Jul

In June 2012 novelist Jake Arnott talked to Arc’s editor Simon Ings about his novel The House of Rumour, an esoteric and sometimes disturbing reimagining of science fiction’s Golden Age.

Jake, best known for period thrillers The Long Firm and He Kills Coppers (both made into widely praised TV dramas), hadn’t intended to write such a large book, “but then I went on holiday and read Roberto Bolaño’s 2666. Big mistake.”

Some mistake: Mark Lawson in the Guardian called The House of Rumour “The Da Vinci Code rewritten by an author with the gifts of characterisation, wit and literacy.”

For Jake, engaging with science fiction and the occult is simply a new kind of realism. “I kept coming across strange coincidences. My last book was about Aleister Crowley. I also came across this strange notion of a British Intelligence plot to lure Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess to Scotland. There’s also this idea of quantum theory as being all about uncertainty, that one event can appear to be a multiplicity of events depending how it’s observed. For a writer, that’s important: we are the observer.”

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