Paolo Bacigalupi and Pump Six

I just interviewed Paolo on Amazon. Here’s some Q&A I wasn’t able to include in the feature. This was originally a Conversations with the Bookless interview, but then I discovered–hey, he had a book coming out…

On picking the stories in the collection…
Are you kidding? In the last twelve years, I’ve written less than a story a year. This is all of them! Seriously, I’m not a fast writer. It takes me a long time to work out a story and what I want to do with it, so this collection is everything I’ve ever published, plus one new story, original to the collection.. They’re arranged chronologically, from “Pocketful of Dharma,” my first short story sale, when I was just figuring out how to tell a story, all the way to “Pump Six”–where it apparently doesn’t get any easier, and I’m still figuring out how to tell a story.

On his fiction…
I’ll often take an environmental topic and then extrapolate it to the logical extreme. When I wrote about genetically-modified crops in “The Calorie Man,” I created a world where agribusiness has grabbed monopoly control over the world’s food supply through the use of patents on genetically-modified sterile grains–i.e. grains that don’t bear fertile seeds in their second generation. I then take the reader on an exploration of a world where every aspect is defined by who has calories and who doesn’t, who can afford to buy or grow calories, and who can’t. The story’s kernel (no pun intended) came from the GM crops debates we see today, but with my writing I get to take the issue to an extreme that I hope illuminates various aspects of the technology and its implications for society. Stuff like this is fertile territory for me, enough so that I’m actually working on a novel in similar territory. There’s a lot of stuff to unpack.

7 comments on “Paolo Bacigalupi and Pump Six

  1. I bet that, just below the cut of that photo, he has his arms folded.

  2. He’s holding samurai swords.

  3. And behind him is a hamster dressed all in black holding nunchucks.

  4. Nadine says:

    …and drooling through its fangs, muttering ‘Braaaaaaains….’.

  5. You guys have got to loosen up. You’re way too freakin’ serious!

  6. Nadine says:

    Zombie rodents are v. serious business, Jeff.

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