When I was writing it, way back in 1994, I wanted to produce a vivid and crammed portrait of a near future in which biotechnology was the principle agent of change, but not the only agent of change. I used the present tense to make it seem as immediate as possible. I set it in London, Paris and Albania because at that time most of the future seemed to be occupied by America and Americans. I wrote it from the point of view of people at the edge of a conspiracy to effect a liberating transformation, who see and understand only parts of the story in which they are caught. I had tremendous fun writing it, and after it was published it won the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, and that gave me the final push to quit my job and start writing full time. So I’m extraordinarily pleased that Alex Sharkey, Morag Gray, Milena, First Rays of the New Rising Sun, and company have been given a new lease of life.