As well as taking the time to chat to us about Railhead and his other work, Philip Reeve has written this fascinating blog post about the Spindlebridge, which forms a key part of the story of his new book. As a science fiction fan from a young age, I found Railhead a wonderful adventure and a very interesting take on space travel, and this article gives a bit more insight, without any spoilers, into the world of Railhead and the amazing way in which the characters travel.
Mr Ai has been sent to observe the inhabitants of the snow-bound planet of Winter. An androgynous people, like animals they enter phases of sexuality and can be both mother and father at different times in their lives. To Mr Ai they seem alien, unsophisticated, confusing. But during a long tortuous journey across the ice, he finds himself losing some of his progressional detachment, befriending one of their outcasts, and reaching a painful understanding of their true nature. But will he ever learn to see them as they see themselves?