introducing readers to writers since 1995

October 19, 2004

Interview Roundup: From Northern California to Baghdad

by Ron Hogan

The Davis Enterprise checks in on Kim Stanley Robinson, making me feel bad that I haven't even held a copy of Forty Degrees of Rain in my hands yet, let alone started reading it. He explains how his science fiction career is linked to his childhood:

"It felt to me that (science fiction) was how to best express what Southern California was about," he says. "Even though it was in symbolic terms, this sense of rapid change and history spinning out of control. ... It was the way Southern California felt... When I was a kid, Orange County was orange trees, and I was reading Huckleberry Finn and thinking I was in Hannibal, Missouri. As a kid, I was pretty wrong about where I was in time and space. Science fiction was a correction. I saw trees get ripped out and replaced by freeways and condominium culture. Science fiction helped me understand it."

After reading the article, though, I'm a bit more interested in his present, where he gets together with other Davis writers like Karen Joy Fowler and Sean Stewart so they can write in the same room without any distractions...Meanwhile, Jordan Rosenfeld of AlterNet chats with Ben Marcus about the "new American short story," like for example what exactly that's supposed to be, which is anything it wants to be, as long as it meets this criteria: "I wanted it to be memorable, to transport me, to consume me, devour me and completely engage and fascinate me, as well as trouble and confuse me. I wanted to be overcome by stories in different kinds of ways."

Robert Birnbaum sits down with Jon Lee Anderson about how "I have been a journalist who’s been in war, but I don’t like the moniker or... all the attendant sort of paraphernalia that comes with being a war correspondent." And I've been sitting on this link for far too long: Bob Sassone of Professor Barnhardt's Journal had a talk a few weeks ago with Will Christopher Baer about how his first two novels are being brought back into print as the third one, Hell's Half Acre, is finally released. I've been sitting on the books themselves way too long, too, and I should really do something about that soon.

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