Q&A time again. My thanks and best wishes today to Edward Z, who asks: Is any of the stuff about nanobots in Tim actually true, or are nanobots in general just a completely made up concept used only for literature and film purposes? I know there is nanotechnology, but actual nano robots?

Hey Edward! Sorry it’s taken me a few days to get back to you, I’m hard at work on the next book. Glad you liked the sound of that, by the way – I’m excited, too!

Nanobots are, at the moment, entirely fictional – or as far as we know (secret experiments notwithstanding!) at least! HOWEVER: the ideas that fed into (Tim’s nemesis-!) Professor Mallahide and his talents are most definitely based on real things, and the work of two men in particular.

One is K. Eric Drexler. The current state of play about the feasibility (or otherwise!) of nanobots is nicely summarized in a Wikipedia article about him, here.

Another is Hans Moravec. Mallahide’s ideas about the essential crumminess of the human body as a means of carrying us around in the world (ideas I happen to agree with) were definitely inspired by Moravec. Here’s a link to his page on Wikipedia. His interviews are always good fun, too, full of all sorts of mind-bending notions: here’s one that I dug up from Google just now.

I’m not a scientist. Far from it. I just want to write fun stories, so the big impetus with me is less to do with what human technology is currently or actually capable of, and more to do with the magical and inspiring question of ‘WHAT IF…?’ And of course, I’m not the only one. There’s already quite a solid tradition of nanobots in fiction: PREY, by Michael Crichton, is tremendous fun, and BLOOD MUSIC by Greg Bear is absolutely amazing.

Anyway, if you fancy some follow-up reading, the above should be enough to get you started. 🙂


Comments? Suggestions? Questions? Me and THE WEBSPHINX would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at the Tim, Defender of the Earth Guestbook for current or Tim stuff, or The Black Tattoo Guestbook for Black Tat stuff. First (or demon-!) names only, please. 😉