Robot 6

From Astrophysics to Kate Bush: Six questions with Paul Cornell


Thirty-six questions. Six answers. One random number generator. Welcome to Robot Roulette, where creators roll the virtual dice and answer our questions about their lives, careers, interests and more.

Joining us today is Paul Cornell, writer of comics like Wolverine, Saucer Country, Action Comics, Demon Knights, Stormwatch, Captain Britain and MI: 13, Doctor Who, Knight and Squire, Dark X-Men, Wisdom and many more. He’s also written prose, like London Falling, British Summertime and many Doctor Who novels, as well as TV shows like Robin Hood, Primeval and, you guessed it, Doctor Who. You can listen to him talk about science fiction on the podcast SF Squeecast and follow him on Twitter.

Now let’s get to it …

London Falling by Paul Cornell (U.S. cover)

London Falling by Paul Cornell (U.S. cover)

6. If you weren’t working in comics, what would you be doing?

Well, I’ll take that as ‘if I wasn’t writing at all’, because ‘I’d be writing books and TV’ would be a very dull answer. I think I’d probably have gone back to science. I dropped out of an Astrophysics degree at UCL and had to support myself by writing. Who am I kidding? Would you like fries with that?

7. What is the strangest thing you have in your house?

Cuddly Captain Britain? Fan letter from Kate Bush? My wife’s rather gothic hooded cloak she uses when she’s presiding at funerals?

13. Where did you grow up? Tell us something about where you grew up that we may not know.

I grew up in Wiltshire, in the vale under downland with a chalk hill figure, barrows and an iron age hill fort.

21. Who has been the biggest help or motivator in your career?

Probably Steven Moffat.

26. What is your best childhood memory?

Writing my first fan fiction stories around Christmas, covering side after side of the notepads Dad used to bring home from his insurance company.

32. Is there a particular song, band or style of music you listen to when you work?

I don’t listen to music while I work, but my favourite musician is Kate Bush. (Which makes that fan letter all the more lovely. Did I mention that?)



Paul Cornell – you sir are a legend. All my favourites – Doctor Who, Captain Britain, comics and Kate Bush. I salute you sir!

Deborah (greenspace01)

April 14, 2013 at 12:20 am

Are you descended from the people who made the hill fort, the chalk drawing, and/or the barrows?

I want to know what the fan letter was for from Kate Bush….Paul, please divulge?

Thanks, all! It’s impossible to tell if my roots are in that area. My mother’s family certainly goes back a long way there. And the Kate Bush fan letter was about my Doctor Who episodes. Cheers.

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