Thursday, May 5, 2016

An AMA ...(ASK ME ANTYHING) ... public online session with Paolo Bacigalupi on a recent May 27, 2016 "reddit" post



paolo bacigalupi AMA Author

 
The Water Knife is his latest novel. It's a .......near-future ''thriller''....... focused on drought and climate change in the American southwest.



FIRST QUESTION followed by 138  others:

Yay, I've loved ''Ship Breaker'' since I first read it, and now I seem to reread it every year!
Can I ask - what's your writing process - do you secrete yourself away to write in solitude or do you madly hammer away in the proverbial coffee shop?
I'm going to be greedy enough to ask another - what is the one book, not your own, that you want other people to read?







paolobacigalupiAMA Author ANSWERS:


I'm glad you liked it!
 
My writing process... If I'm honest, it's all over the map. But in general, I've found that if I start my day by not checking email or going online to facebook or twitter, and stay entirely focused on the idea that I'm waking up and diving into the writing, that I get going early, and then can write very comfortably for hours.
 
In general, when I'm drafting a book I like to write for three or so hours in the morning, and hopefully create around 2000 words. I don't necessarily keep those words, but the act of showing up and messing with the story gets my brain going enough that inspirations will start to percolate up.
 
Overall, the question of being in a coffee shop vs. being isolated doesn't matter so much as whether I'm avoiding being online. The online world is too distracting. Right now, as spring comes on, I've been doing more and more writing on my back porch, so I have a view of the hills, and my vegetable garden. That's really my absolute ideal. Sitting outside, with a presspot of coffee, my writing, and a nice view. Bliss.
 
 
I'm always bad at choosing just one book, but one that really struck me a while back was David Michaels nonfiction book Doubt is Their Product. It was astonishing and infuriating and informative.
=============







[–]darktask15 指標1 天前


You're the second writer who has told me the importance of getting up and getting something down on paper, Alexander McCall Smith is the other, and I highly recommend his work.
I looked up Doubt is Their Product- it does sound provocative, I'll add it to the list, thanks!
The only thing missing from your back porch writing sessions (which sound so blastedly idyllic) seems to be a dog, get on that pronto







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]24 指標1 天前


LOL. I have a kid. He skateboards around my chair while I'm writing.





載入更多留言 (1 回覆)








[–]otakuman11 指標1 天前*


Aspiring writer here. When did you start writing the windup girl, and how long it took you to finish? I'd love to hear some general advise.
Also, have you ever had to cut any scenes from the novel? Did the sexual scenes made you fear you'd get censored by the publishers?
Edit: What parts were the hardest to write? The easiest? How did you come up with the story?
永久連結
embed







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]31 指標1 天前


It took me about three years to write the Windup Girl, and it went through several different versions and drafts, with significant rewrites.
 
Re: cutting:
As far as cutting scenes, sure, I've cut whole scenes when they don't serve the story. With Windup Girl I cut around 10k words from the openings of a number of chapters because I discovered that they slowed the story. But I don't really worry about sexual content or censorship because of it, and don't cut scenes for that reason, and haven't been asked to.
Given that you're an aspiring author, I would say that it's okay to cut scenes and sections, and being willing to do so can make your story so much better. The most I ever cut was when I was writing The Drowned Cities. With that book I wrote an entire draft, 90,000 words, and then threw it allaway, because it wasn't very good. I only kept one sentence, because it turned out that once sentence was the only thing that was really genuinely interesting. From that seed, I built a new draft.
I think that the moment when I learned that it was okay to throw a lot away, and to focus only on the most interesting parts of my stories was the moment when I really started to break out as a writer. Before then, I was always precious about my words, but a little dishonest with myself about whether the story was really aggressively interesting and ambitious. You need to really blow people away to break in. You need to convince them, and that's a difficult task.
More generally, in terms of advice, all the authors I know who have broken through and become professional full-time writers are people who went through long periods of trying things, failing at them, learning from them, and returning to try again. The people who master the try/fail/learn cycle and have the stamina to keep going seem to break through. Learning is critical. Learning that you have to get better is critical. I have four novels that I wrote that no one would buy, but I learned a lot from writing each one. It's a long process.
永久連結
embed
上層留言







[–]otakuman6 指標1 天前


Thank you SO MUCH for answering!
 
I've been writing/drafting this novel for 2 years, but it's got so huge and complex that I ended up moving 90% of it aside as material for a sequel (more than 300 pages), we could say it's a trilogy in the works now :-P
I can't complain, tho, the world that I ended up creating is just fantastic, and I love how the whole story is turning out. Now the real challenge is getting the first book done.
Thanks for the advice, and wish me luck!
永久連結
embed
上層留言







[–]lazy-lemur3 指標1 天前


I'm late! WHICH SENTENCE did you keep???
Edit: I loved that book.
永久連結
embed
上層留言







[–]Un_Clouded2 指標1 天前


I must now ask what that "one sentence" was
永久連結
embed
上層留言









[–]spacepiraatril13 指標1 天前


How many nightmares have you had since starting Water Knife?
Do you feel like it'll reach folks who can't stomach Abbey (and other Western conservationist non-fiction authors), but need to understand how important water is?
永久連結
embed







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]24 指標1 天前


Actually, once I write a book I generally stop feeling as anxious about that particular topic. Writing the book puts all my fears and nightmares down on the page, so I don't have to carry them around in my head anymore. It's cathartic.
As for reaching readers, I do sort of hope that because it's written as a thriller that it will reach more readers than it would if it were either a more solemn environmental novel, or a more clearly and explicitly values-driven one.
永久連結
embed
上層留言








[–]Kodachrome1615 指標1 天前


Love your work, Mr Bacigalupi! Thank you for taking time out of your day to answer our questions.
Out of curiosity, what's your process for writing the endings? I've found with both The Water Knife and The Windup Girl have really evocative endings, especially the latter one.
How do you balance writing a book that has a quick and engaging plot without sacrificing character development ?
Lastly, on a scale between one and 10, how fucked are we?
永久連結
embed







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]32 指標1 天前


1) I tend to find my endings around a third of the way through a book. Often, I'll think I'm writing toward one ending, but then, as I'm working, I see how all the pieces would fit together in a better way, and the book just clicksfor me. That's the moment when I start having faith in the book, because I can finally see the end as a guide star.
I think that balance in a book is complex and we all have different perspectives on what a good balance is. For me, I want the characters, the plot, and the world to all sort of intertwine, so many times, you can be building story, even as you're introducing a character. When Maria first comes on the page, sitting at the water pump, watching the price, you learn about her poverty and who she is, but you also see the world getting built and the stakes involved, and ideally, her needs and desires are strong enough that you empathize with them. It all intertwines, ideally, so you're never just doing plot, or just doing character.
As for how fucked we are... I believe we have the capacity to fix the problems we face. I'm less convinced that we have the will or interest, and that's what worries me most. That pushes me more into 7-8 range of fuckedness.
永久連結
embed
上層留言








[–]ThatsMyHoverboard9 指標1 天前


I loved your book and I just want to say it was really gut wrenching and definitely one of my favorite books of all time on a list that spans thousands of novels and hundreds of genre. I was wondering how exactly what in your life inspired the plot and characters of your book? The book was just so well written and descriptive that I feel like there must've been something real in your life or some real-world examples that really gave you the ideas for the things you conveyed in your story.
Also, for me at least, the novel gave me a lot of anxiety and stress as the events transpired in Flint, MI as I finished your book, so I was wondering why you think the idea & concept that you based your book around is so important for readers to know and understand, and while writing did you even feel similarly due to fear?
永久連結
embed







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]16 指標1 天前


I'm glad you liked it! So, as I said above, I grew up on a tributary of the Colorado River, and there is a lot about river politics, water rights, and drought that I already knew about before I wrote the book and that formed a bedrock of story for me. As for the characters, I was inspired by books like Charles Bowden's Murder City, by journalists I know who do amazing work reporting on stories that we mostly would prefer to ignore. I was inspired by real world water czars like Patricia Mulroy who ran the Southern Nevada Water Authority for years, and who was a brilliant water manager.
Re: Flint. I was just recently on a panel with a person from Flint, and her descriptions of her world crumbling as her access to a resource we take for granted was lost, were just harrowing.
As for my own fears while I'm writing--at root, I write because i'm already fearful. I seem to have the kind of personality that is always anticipating the worst, and worried about it. Whenever things are going well, I always start worrying about what I'm missing, and what danger I'm not seeing. I wrote the Water Knife because I could see that climate change was coming at us, and the data was telling us we needed to be far more concerned than we are, and yet everything felt complacent. So fear/anxiety is sort of the driving factor for me to write. During the actual writing process, I actually don't feel as bad, because I'm finally giving expression to those fears, so they're no longer bottled inside me.
永久連結
embed
上層留言








[–]ozidual29 指標1 天前


Just stopped in to say Thank You! I read The Wind-Up Girl last year and it really gave me a new perspective on a lot of things from Thailand, which I knew nothing about, to the seas rising.
Out of curiosity, what authors did you read growing up and were you at all influenced by Philip K Dick or William Gibson?
永久連結
embed







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]28 指標1 天前


Gibson, definitely had an influence. Also Ursula LeGuin. JG Ballard, too.
永久連結
embed
上層留言








[–]tossingthisaccount6 指標1 天前


In the twelve years it took you to get published, did you ever come close to deciding to give up on being published or writing in general? What made you persevere?
永久連結
embed







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]17 指標1 天前


Yes. Definitely. When I turned 30, I remember just sobbing because I was such a failure, and I'd accomplished none of what I'd set out to do. After I'd written four novels and had them all rejected, I finally accepted that I would never be a novelist, and I would never have a writing career.
At that point, I gave up on being a novelist. But I didn't give up on writing because, at root, I enjoy the actual act of writing. I'm a better, more balanced, happier person when I'm creating things. So I decided that it was okay that I'd failed. I started writing short stories, instead, because I could take that level of rejection (only a month of your life instead of a year), and just decided that writing would be a hobby for me.
Oddly, that was exactly the moment when I started to break in. I started writing those short stories, that were entirely for myself, to please me, and I started taking more interesting risks (and I think I had built a lot of skill over those years of trying to write novels), and suddenly those short stories started to sell.
Ultimately, though, the reason I kept going was because I like the actual act of writing. Too often, I think writers focus on things that they can't control--getting published, winning awards, getting an agent, instead of focusing on what we can control: writing more words, learning, submitting. When I focused on that, and accepted that that was sufficient for my happiness, things got better.
I'm still a little surprised about it.
永久連結
embed
上層留言







[–]HappyGirl2521 指標21小時前


This is an absolutely amazing and astute description of what any creative person struggles with when they are debating whether to try to market that creativity and turn it into income. There is a sudden rush at discovering that someone might pay for the thing you're passionate about, followed by a mega-focused pursuit of the business side of things, that morphs into exhaustion over the thing you love, and ending with the drive to continually renew what made you passionate about it in the first place.
It's amazing to see such an accurate description of the struggle between creativity or passion and business. Thanks for doing this ama - I'm embarrassed to say I've never heard of your writing before, but I've added your books to my reading list and will be delving into them ASAP!
永久連結
embed
上層留言









[–]jdbrewThe Water Knife13 指標1 天前


I'm only about halfway through The Water Knife at the moment. I'm bummed I couldn't finish it by the time you had your AMA but this has been a trying week.
Anyway, I did want to say thank you for the nostalgic memories that came flooding back. When I was born, my dad had a dog, an Australian Shepherd named Sunny. We had to put her down when I was about 7 years old. She was my first dog, and she was so smart and so fun and so good with me and my brother as kids. I broke out the photo albums and looked at our old pictures. It was nice memory, spurned on, unintentionally, by you.
永久連結
embed







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]11 指標1 天前


Australian Shepherds are pretty cool dogs. :)
永久連結
embed
上層留言








[–]mmmolives6 指標1 天前


Huge fan, thank your for doing this AMA. Can we expect to see any more from you from the world of Windup Girl, Calorie Man, Yellow Card Man? Do you think there is anything the average person can do to help stop the trend of giant agrobusinesses controlling more and more of the worlds food production? Thanks again!
永久連結
embed







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]13 指標1 天前


In the near term, I'm not going to write any more in that universe, but I do feel like there's more I'd like to do with genetic engineering concepts. It's possible in the future that I'd write a story set in India, following the characters of Tan Hock Seng, Mai, and Richard Carlyle. They seem like the kinds of characters who would create a lot of mayhem. :)
As for things we can do... I'd really like to see us focusing more on getting corporations out of the business of writing regulations. Right now, so much GE tech is making an end-run around regulation, and I think we need to stop that. Without good, thoughtful, regulatory structures, technologies really have the potential to get out of control. Cars are better regulated, frankly. We need safeguards, or the tech will cause unintended consequences.
永久連結
embed
上層留言








[–]Karnith_Zo12 指標1 天前


If it's not too rude to ask, are you currently working on a new project?!
永久連結
embed







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]19 指標1 天前


LOL. No. It's not rude to ask. I'm working on three different projects right now.
I'm working on revisions to my next young adult novel in the Ship Breaker universe. It's mostly about Tool being hunted down my his former owners.
I'm also working on a novel set in the Mika Model universe, expanding on the short story I wrote for Slate.com. I'm interested in exploring more ideas about identity, personality, and AI. It's not a topic I expected to dive into, but after writing the short story, I find that there's more there that I want to do.
The other book is still in early stages, but I'm interested in language and how we use it to describe our world, and I'm particularly interested in how if we coin new terms, sometimes that allows us to see the world more clearly than we did before. Terms like catch-22 or Big Brother have huge meaning, and allow us to grasp aspects of our world that we could describe before, but couldn't access quickly.
So I'm wondering if there are words that I'd like to create that would give me a better understanding of the anthropocene. And then I want to create a thriller or some other fun story around those words. It seems like a complex enough puzzle that it will keep me interested for a while, and that's really the most important thing for me when I'm trying to choose new projects.
永久連結
embed
上層留言







[–]Karnith_Zo3 指標1 天前


Oh wow this all seems awesome! I would especially like to see more from the Mika Model universe, really loved that story.
永久連結
embed
上層留言







[–]ejlyreading 52 books in 20141 指標1 天前


I'm so looking forward to more stories in the ship-breaker world! Good news to hear that there's another story coming. Thanks
永久連結
embed
上層留言









[–]PaulMurray958 指標1 天前


What's your favorite fiction/ non fiction books?
永久連結
embed







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]12 指標1 天前


I don't have favorites, but there are books that make me sit up and pay attention. Song of The Dodo, by David Quammen was like that. I'm reading Philosophy in the Flesh by Lakoff right now, and that's been interesting. A little while back, Daniel Abraham pointed me to Medici Money by Tim Parks. There are also journalists who I tend to follow. Michelle Nijhuis and Elizabeth Kolbert are a couple I like.
As for fiction, I'm a bit of a fan of Elmore Leonard.
永久連結
embed
上層留言








[–]ToxictoyoursanityThe Divine Comedy6 指標1 天前


Having just finished reading 'The Wind-Up Girl' for grad school, I noticed there wasn't a lot of dialogue between characters, but when there was... it really offered an insight into the various forces at play in the novel. That being said, I want to ask - what do you think of dialogue as a craft element and how do you create tension using it without it being too over the top with dramatics that seems to be a problem for new writers in the craft?
永久連結
embed







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]9 指標1 天前


I wish I knew a simple answer. I feel my way through so much of my story, writing and rewriting, and ofen one of the things I try to do is shifting more parts from narrative to dialogue. I find overall that dialogue has so much potential to very quickly move plot and conflict forward, and to reveal character simultaneously, that I try to remind myself to use it more. As a reader, I'll often skim for dialogue, and that's a good indicator I think of how much we crave the opportunity to spend time in conversation with the characters we're reading.
As for over-the-top dramatics--I think that comes down to a writer needing to understand their characters well enough that when the characters speak that they do so in a completely natural way. When I know my characters, I know their voice, and it's easy. When I don't know my characters yet, that's when things get cheesy and stilted.
永久連結
embed
上層留言








[–]Fynaly6 指標1 天前


Hi Paulo, I loved reading the Windup Girl a few years ago (it broke my reading dry spell after my literature degree!) and will definitely get on to The Water Knife asap!
As a woman who loves science fiction, I find it really interesting how sci fi writers handle female characters, and wondered what it's like to write them. How do you create the women in your books? Is it any different to writing male characters?
永久連結
embed







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]8 指標1 天前


Character is always pretty difficult for me, regardless of the gender of the person I'm trying to write into a story. Basically, I spend a lot of time watching people, and trying to see what they worry about, what they focus on, how they interact with their environment, how their environment interacts with them. I eavesdrop on people's conversations. I watch people interact on twitter. I listen to people at the grocery store and the coffee shop.
Ovearll, I think any given character will be utterly unlike myself, and also exactly the same. So I think of my job as being one of trying to observe groups and individuals to see where those differences and universalities lie. So gender is one frame for me to understand a person, but so is class, or race, or region, or culture. Sports culture is far harder for me to connect with than some gender differences, frankly.
At root, I think of myself as trying to observe and gather as much information as I can, and then I try to create someone who feels real to me, based on those observations. It's never exactly easy, though, regardless.
永久連結
embed
上層留言







[–]Fynaly5 指標1 天前


Thanks for answering my question! I think the process of getting into other people's heads is fascinating.
永久連結
embed
上層留言









[–]username_redactedPicture Books5 指標1 天前


The Emiko character was one of the most interesting portrayals of artificial intelligence I've read. I was pretty taken aback by the sexual assault scenes, and didn't initially know how to respond to them. On reflection, I think it's really important to explore the possible reality of the ethics of artificial life. What are your thoughts on the morality of artificial intelligence? Where is the line of "personhood" to you?
永久連結
embed







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]8 指標1 天前


I'm not yet sure, actually. I've been puzzling on this a lot recently. As we move forward with genetic engineering technologies and with AI, our ethics are going to need to evolve, and we don't have a good blueprint for that yet. I just wrote a short story called "Mika Model" over on Slate.com about an android, questions of personhood and ethics were central to it. It was all interesting and complex enough that I'm now planning on writing a novel about it.
永久連結
embed
上層留言







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]4 指標1 天前


So, yeah, beats me. I need to write more to see if I can figure out what my actual take on these things is.
永久連結
embed
上層留言







[–]WildcardBloodshotRingworld Throne2 指標1 天前


Paola, I had never thought of Emiko as "artificial" intelligence. Do you really consider her such? I saw her as being human in all ways and I interpreted the hatred people have for windups was the ultimate racism.
永久連結
embed
上層留言






載入更多留言 (3 回覆)






[–]barringtonmacgregor6 指標1 天前


Just picked up a copy off of a recommendation from GoodReads and should have it in the mail in the next few days. My question is: How are the internet and sites like GoodReads working for or against authors like yourself?
Edit: typos
永久連結
embed







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]7 指標1 天前


Overall, I think things like Goodreads are a huge benefit just because it's so hard for authors and their work to be discovered. So I tend to be in favor of anything that makes books more discoverable.
In terms of the larger question of the internet--there are so many aspects to it, that it becomes a complex question. I'm not a huge fan of seeing my books on bittorrent, or selling on a pirate site. Amazon.com has both been terrifying when they shut down sales from a publisher, and also a huge boon, in terms of giving authors new ways to sell their books. Social media, too, is a fascinating mixed bag. Readers and writers can connect and interact and that can either be enriching or abusive, depending on the author, the readers, and the moment. Or maybe social media is the worst thing in the world, because it distracts me from sitting down and writing the next book. :) And of course, the internet has enabled things like Patreon and Kickstarter, which means that more creativity--and more types of creativity--can theoretically be supported than in previous times. From my perspective, right now, I think the net benefit to writers is mostly positive.
But I am glad that I broke in before the age of self-publishing, b/c I'm afraid that if I'd been able to self-pub on kindle, I would have posted some very bad, very early books, and that would have been horribly embarrassing.
永久連結
embed
上層留言







[–]barringtonmacgregor2 指標1 天前


Thanks for the response and I shouldve clarified a bit more. Was too worried if I didn't post quickly, my comment would be buried, but you hit on everything I was getting at.
I've read a few (and not finished more) self-published stories and have mixed feelings. On one hand, you get to watch an author grow as they release new material. But on the other hand, I fear that if I give a review that isn't perfect, they may get discouraged from continuing and growing.
I look forward to starting The Water Knife once I finish my current book and will be sure to chime in on GoodReads.
永久連結
embed
上層留言









[–]Karnith_Zo5 指標1 天前


I think what I found most troubling in The Water Knifewasn't the plausibility of a drought ravaged southwest but how quickly it felt like people were willing to start turning on each other in order to preserve their own... you've presented a rather dark side of humanity. I am curious how much of that is influenced by your own beliefs versus the need to tell a compelling story.
Do you think we will see climate change issues exacerbated because people are naturally selfish and would rather look out for their selves instead of the greater good or may our own future be a little more optimistic?
永久連結
embed







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]12 指標1 天前


I actually think that people are naturally generous--to those we allow ourselves to identify with. I'm a little concerned though, that we tend to have pretty narrow definitions of us vs. them, and scarcity (or perceived scarcity) can drive ugly behaviors. When I look at our current political rhetoric about closing borders etc., or people's negative reactions to the idea of taking in Syrian refugees, I become more concerned.
Overall, I feel like early choices in a society tend to become synergistic, so if we stoke nativist paranoid sentiments, those get stronger and stronger, and more dominant over time. States rights, newcomers vs. old timers, citizens vs. non-citizens-- sometimes it seems like we're very happy to drive wedges between one another. :-\
永久連結
embed
上層留言








[–]MrGreggle5 指標1 天前


Read both The Windup Girl and Water Knife and loved them both. Kanya in The Windup Girl was one of my all-time favorite characters.
That said I feel like both of those books would make excellent movies. The Windup Girl especially would really bring something new and exciting to the big screen. Any plans for a movie, is it something you're open to? Who would you have play Kanya?
永久連結
embed







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]8 指標1 天前


I'm so glad you liked Kanya! She was a favorite character for me as well. As for movies, I'm open to the idea, and a lot of my stories get optioned for film, but the development process is pretty complex. So far, The Windup Girl is probably my most complex story, so it's even more difficult to bring to the screen. As for actresses to play Kanya, I have to admit I'm not up on current cinema domestically, let alone in Thailand, so I'm not qualified to say who would make the best fit.
永久連結
embed
上層留言








[–]Hemingwizard5 指標1 天前


I read The Windup Girlin a collegiate English class last year, and several pages of my final paper were dedicated to dissecting it.
Were you aware that your work is being taught in-depth? Is that weird for you?
Really loved it btw. My final paper was an exploration of gender norms using it and Octavia Butler's Dawn.
永久連結
embed







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]10 指標1 天前


I have heard that it's being taught in classes. I'm a little amazed about it, and also flattered. I sort of also feel a little guilty because I remember being in college and sometimes resenting a book that was assigned for a literature class, so I'm relieved to hear that you liked it.
永久連結
embed
上層留言








[–]okiegirl22968 指標1 天前*


I live in a drought-prone area, and I'm always amazed at how much water is wasted when I go to other places, since we are almost always in the "conserve as much as you can" mode! I'm really intrigued by the idea of a novel set in a "water uncertain" (I guess could be the term) future.
I guess my question is what inspired you to use drought and climate change as the backdrop for the novel?
Edit: Also your novel sounds interesting; I'll have to read it now!
永久連結
embed







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]17 指標1 天前


I also live in a water scarce area, so I grew up with a certain awareness of vulnerability. Where I live in Western Colorado we can see the snow on the mountains, and see it melting in the spring, flowing into our reservoirs, and then see it channeled through irrigation systems to our fields. And in a drought, we see our reservoirs go low, and other people with higher rights make calls on our water, and we go dry in July. So drought has always been in my mind I think.
That said, the real inspiration for the book was that I visited Texas in 2011 during their drought, and I was struck not only by how bad the drought was, but by how closely that drought matched climate projections for the future of the region--it was sort of an opportunity to time travel into the climate ravaged future.
So that was part of it. The other part was that the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry was going around and encouraging people to pray for rain. That that kind of magical thinking, plus the dangers of a dry future made me think that a drought/climate novel was worth writing.
永久連結
embed
上層留言








[–]roilenos3 指標1 天前


Spanish fan here, really loved The Windup Girl and The pump 6, and looking forward to read the water knife when my finals are over.
When did you decided that you wanted to pursue writting? Also, how is the better way to learn how to write?
永久連結
embed







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]9 指標1 天前


I was in my early 20s when I decided to start writing. I had a day job that I didn't like very much, and started writing on the weekends in order to have an escape. Over time, I discovered that writing was really the only thing I actually enjoyed in my life, so I started focusing more and more of my energy on it, with the goal of eventually getting published. That took me more than ten years to get to the point where things were starting to work. It was twelve years, I think, before I sold The Windup Girl.
I think the best way to learn to write is by writing. Write short stories, write novels. Make them the best you can, and then send them out. Read writers you admire, and try to figure out why you like their writing, and then steal those methods for your own work. Keep learning. Keep submitting stories. Keep writing. It's a slow, brutal process. I never would have guessed it would take me twelve years and four failed novels to break into the business. As I said in another question, the common factor I see with writers who succeed is that they're always the ones who aren't afraid to try something and to see it fail. The ones who learn and adjust and improve thanks to their failures, and then have the stamina to keep going, and keep trying, seem to be the ones who break through.
永久連結
embed
上層留言








[–]asdjfweaiv3 指標1 天前


Hi Paolo! Really loved both The Water Knifeand The Windup Girl. Any plans to return to either of those universes in the future?
Also, have you ever given any thought to writing a non-YA book in the Ship Breaker universe?
永久連結
embed







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]9 指標1 天前


I might do a Windup Girl book, but not for a while. I've got other projects on the front burner right now.
As far as non-YA books in the Ship Breaker universe, when I wrote the Drowned Cities, I almost felt like I'd stopped writing YA, and sort of felt bad about it, but teens seem to still like it, despite the brutality of the story. With the current book that I'm revising, probably titled Tool, it also feels weirdly crossover. They're both harsher in their own ways than a lot of my adult work, which surprised me.
But as to where Ship Breaker books will be categorized, I suspect they'll always be shelved in YA, regardless of the actual content within. I hope that lots of people will enjoy them, but they were originally meant as a gift to teenage readers.
永久連結
embed
上層留言







[–]asdjfweaiv3 指標1 天前


OH yeah, we'll still enjoy them. Was just hoping for maybe something a bit, I don't know, "grittier" for lack of a better word.
Either way, thank you and keep up the great work!
永久連結
embed
上層留言









[–]Chtorrr734 指標1 天前


What are some of your favorite books and authors?
永久連結
embed







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]7 指標1 天前


Specifically related to The Water Knife, I really really liked Murder City by Charles Bowden. Also his book Down By The River. And of course, Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner. ;)
永久連結
embed
上層留言








[–]robotspierre3 指標1 天前*


I just picked up your book The Wind-up Girl because I'm going to be spending a month in Thailand in September! (I wish I had an intelligent question about it, but I haven't started it yet... ;P )
Do you have any other recomendations for books set in Thailand, either fiction or nonfiction? Anything you read while you were working on The Wind-Up Girl?
永久連結
embed







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]5 指標1 天前


I actually list a bunch of authors in the back of The Windup Girl, both fiction and non-fiction, as Windup Girl is a pretty fictionalized version of the country. You might start there.
永久連結
embed
上層留言








[–]Zazander2 指標1 天前


Where in your opinion are the safest cities from climate change?
Love your work.
永久連結
embed







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]11 指標1 天前


I don't think about the problem in these terms, honestly. The "safe" cities will be heavily impacted when all the people from the "unsafe" cities need to move.
If we really want to talk about safety, our best bet is to stop climate change now, so the damage and disruption can be mitigated. It's an illusion for us to think that some of us will be safe/unaffected while others (Bangladesh/Syria/Miami/Phoenix) take all the hits. We'll do a lot better if we assume and understand that we're all at risk, and that impacts will be widely distributed, random, and intense, and won't stay obediently in one place--so let's just not go there.
永久連結
embed
上層留言







[–]Zazander3 指標1 天前


Thank you for your answer, that is a better way of looking at the problem.
永久連結
embed
上層留言









[–]bizaromo3 指標1 天前


Hi Paolo, I really enjoy reading your books. I was just curious if you had any interest in writing more stories about the issues of the food supply and genetic engineering (a la Windup Girl and the Calorie Man)?
永久連結
embed







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]6 指標1 天前


I have interest. Genetic engineering technology keeps evolving, so there's plenty to think about, and write about. But I probably won't do another book in that universe for a while, as I have other projects that I want to do first.
永久連結
embed
上層留言








[–]kol131904 指標1 天前


How do you pronounce your name ? Pow-Low or Paul-oh?
永久連結
embed







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]8 指標1 天前


Pow-Low. But I answer to almost anyone who makes an attempt. :)
永久連結
embed
上層留言







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]5 指標1 天前


There's a guide here, actually. http://www.teachingbooks.net/pronounce.cgi?aid=13340
永久連結
embed
上層留言









[–]Bunburyin2 指標1 天前


Big fan of your work, I've noticed some seeming references between several of your novels, do any of your books outside of a series share a universe? Thanks!
永久連結
embed







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]5 指標1 天前


Ship Breaker and Drowned Cities share a universe, explicitly.
Sometimes, I'll steal an idea from one book or story and drop it into another story, just because I like it. So I liked clipper ships, and put them into both Ship Breaker and Windup Girl, but those books don't share a universe.
I'm not explicitly trying to tie everything into one continuous timeline. Sometimes, I just like an idea and can't resist recycling it into another story, probably because I haven't yet figured out what I really want to do with it. The goddess Kali-Mary Mercy is like that. She gets referenced in a bunch of different stories. I still haven't figured out why I'm so enamored with her, though.
永久連結
embed
上層留言








[–]metametamind19 指標1 天前


More Windupgirl-universe novels please. Will pay money for words.
永久連結
embed








[–]SJamesBysouth2 指標1 天前


Hi Paolo! Two months ago I read The Windup Girl and it was truly one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read. An emotional rollercoaster I was completely immersed in. Thank you!
Question 1: What was your thought process behind choosing Third Person Present Tense? I think it worked perfectly for The Windup Girl. Did you ever think about writing this story in past tense?
Question 2: In the Kindle version I found Kanya referred to, a couple of times, as a “Him”! I assumed this was an editing error AND that you had originally written her character as a man and retrospectively changed the character to a female: Am I right?Ps. Kanya was my favourite character. I loved her conflict of interest, her ghost, the sudden execution, and her ultimate screwing of Akkarat. I just wish she was real so I could tell her how awesome I think she is. Please tell her for me.
Also may I just say some of the imagery you wrote was incredible. I am still laughing at two hideous phrases: “The sweet stink of offal permeates the air. Gut streamers decorate the megadont’s circuit,”and “scythe blades. Bodies split like oranges and fly like leaves.”In these moments, I had to reread the section and savour the strange emotions.
Thanks for doing this AMA. Big fan.
永久連結
embed








[–]introvertedtwit2 指標1 天前


Hi Paolo! I recently read The Water Knifeafter it was featured on Scalzi's blog. I had taken a look at some of your earlier works (Pump Sixas featured in a Humble Bundle) and wasn't as keen on it, but I really enjoyed The Water Knifeand am looking forward to seeing what else you have in store for us.
My question: how do you think you've evolved as a storyteller from Pump Sixto The Water Knife?
永久連結
embed








[–]kasborg2 指標1 天前


Hi Paolo,
Can't wait to read it!
Can you tell me what sort of research you do for your books in terms of the setting and the science? I got a sense in Wind-up that you did quite a bit, and it shine through your writing. I can't wait to see how you delve into the southwest.
Sorry of that's been asked already, I'm on a phone walking down the street and just had to respond to you!
永久連結
embed








[–]-updn-2 指標1 天前


Your worlds and the near-future they reside in seem so outlandish yet so plausible and real (specifically things like the algae baths, and the water-knife occupation.) How much preparation, research, and speculation do you do to build them? Do you have someone to bounce ideas off of as you flesh them out?
永久連結
embed








[–]lardlung1 指標18 小時前


Oh, dang. I missed this earlier, but in case you check back, I just wanted to say that I've really enjoyed your work so far. Pump Six and Other Stories and Windup Girl are both full of brilliant material that I generally end up recommending to everyone I talk good books with. They're frightfully good overall and I almost think they should be required reading for anyone interested in or working in science/tech and related fields as a fictional study of the kinds of long-term consequences that nobody really notices, until we wake up one day and realise "what the hell happened that we're in this position?"
I ruminate on your fictional junk scavengers and bottom-rung hustlers scrabbling on water-starved, energy-hungry, polluted and overcrowded streets - and then I think of workers building smartphones and committing suicide from the factory roof, I think of the american west coast's droughts, the oil market going haywire, and a thousand other issues going on in today's world that make me ask the exact same question - "what the hell happened here?"
My question I guess is to ask if in presenting such bleak fictional futures, did you intend to also cast the plight of exploited and disadvantaged populations and other related social issues that are a result of our current "developed" civilization, as a sort of stark reflection on present times as well? Not just the kinds of things that could lead directly to consequences that your books cover, but maybe in a way that helps us to look more critically at many other aspects of our geopolitical and social lives, too?
Regardless of whether you answer, thanks again for some really great reads.
永久連結
embed








[–]jackshafto2 指標1 天前


I'm reading The Water Knife right now. Well done, sir. I've been waiting for novelists to begin taking a serious look at what we're sleep walking into. I'm recommending the book to anyone who will listen.
永久連結
embed








[–]HeechyKeechyMan2 指標1 天前


I just wanted to say hello! But I have to ask a question, so I will ask have you thought of collaborating? Is it something you'd do, ever, and if so, with whom would you like to write?
永久連結
embed








[–]joinville_x1 指標1 天前*


I read the Windup Girl a few years ago, and it was the best book I read that year. Since then I've read most of what you've released. The Water Knife was excellent as well, although, given I live in Scotland, I doubt it's something I need to worry about!
So, questions
•will we ever see Tool again?

•why is Ship Breakers considered YA? I read it with no background, and was surprised that this was the case. Was it deliberately written as YA?

Edit: I see from other answers that (1) we will see Tool again and (2) SB was YA. With regard to the latter, I never noticed any real simplification of the prose or themes in Ship Breaker. Maybe a wee bit more of an adventure novel, but certainly nothing that made me check if it was YA. I say this as someone whose favourite books are Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun, and who avoids YA normally.
What do you see as the stylistic differences between your "adult" books and YA books?
永久連結
embed








[–]ShikataGaNaiEh1 指標23 小時前


I had such a good time reading wind-up girl, so wonderfully crafted! It was also great to read suriyong's (?) back story in a environmental catastrophe collection I think it was called wastelands? Maybe the yellow card man? Anyways, really love this world you built, I sort of hope to see a story set more in the western hemisphere/calorie profiteer setting. Maybe something similar to "market forces" by Richard Morgan?
永久連結
embed








[–]Rknot1 指標1 天前


Obligatory statement of fan-hood ... I really love your work, particularly The Windup Girland The Alchemistas well as your short stories.
Do you class yourself as a "Science Fiction" author or would you describe your body of work as some different genre? I see elements of lots of differing writing "types" and was curious what category or categories you would use to describe your writing. Thanks!!!
永久連結
embed








[–]2pinkpills1 指標1 天前


I really liked The Water Knife, but I don't know that I really appreciated it as much as someone from the southwest might. I just didn't have that geographical connection that some have. It was definitely thought provoking nonetheless!
Question is, do you plan a sequel, or could you share in your mind what happened to Lucy, Angel, and Maria?
永久連結
embed








[–]smithrereen1 指標1 天前


Hi Paolo!
I enjoyed your short fiction to be the more diverse and enjoyable than anything I've read since Bradbury and Gibson's highlights. How do you go about writing a short story? Do you start with an image? A character? A theme?
Which authors would you recommend to somebody who's read most of the sci-fi canon?
永久連結
embed








[–]awesomesupersnail1 指標1 天前


I have nothing to ask you, just wanted to tell you that I bought the windup girl on a whim the year it came out and I loved it. Have bought and read everything you've published after that. Thank you for enriching my life. Sometimes you read something that you didn't know you needed to read, that was your book for me.
永久連結
embed








[–]ScruffyMcDolittle2 指標1 天前


Loved Pump 6. Please continue That world.
永久連結
embed








[–]SpikekujiMystery1 指標1 天前


I know I'm late to the party, but I hope you can answer this question. Is your ancestry connected in any way to a small town called Tribogna in the province of Genoa? I ask because I have ancestry there and your surname is quite popular there. Hope you get this and thanks.
永久連結
embed








[–]odinsbaen1 指標4小時前


A friend of mine from high school married a Paolo Bacigalupi. Does your wife know you're an author? I really enjoyed wind up girl, pump six was a bit intense for my taste but I was hungry for some more of the calories war. Cheers and looking forward to the latest book.
永久連結
embed








[–]314stachio1 指標1 天前


Absolutely loved pump six and others stories. The tamarisk hunter is one of the best shorts i've ever read and scares me to know end that we are likely headed there. Keep putting them out and i'll keep recommending everyone to read 'em. Deal?
永久連結
embed





載入更多留言 (1 回覆)






[–]closetbox1 指標1 天前


I'm sure I'm late to the party, but I have to ask. Whenever I'm talking about your books and people ask me who wrote them I am an embarrassment of trying to pronounce your last name. It ends up being a "Paolo Bakyguyloopy" How does one say it?
永久連結
embed








[–]proper_lofi1 指標1 天前


Japanese here. I read translated version of 2 novels and 1 collections.
In The Wind up GirlJapanese gynoid was effectively used as a main character. I wonder how future Japan will survive in your oil deleption world.
永久連結
embed








[–]lordofcatan101 指標1 天前


I bought a paperback of your book The Water Knife on Amazon but it ended up being the book on tape instead!!! Still listened to it, obviously, and really enjoyed it. I do have a question though: Why are many of your stories set in Bangkok?
永久連結
embed








[–]junkfromjamesy1 指標1 天前


Mr. Bacigalupi, I find myself absolutely adoring the brutal realism at the end of your novels. Is there any particular reason you choose to avoid the particular "happy ending" that has become a mainstay in modern literature?
永久連結
embed








[–]PMmeSexylipbites1 指標1 天前


All I want to say is: good luck on your next book!
After reading windup girl, it must be good for you to know that you still have room for improvement!
Here's to you, and aspiring to become an author worth reading!
永久連結
embed








[–]gothamguy2121 指標21小時前


newly minted MBA here - so of course my question is about business - have you ever been approached by an engineer or an investor to try and commercialize your kinkspring idea from the Windup Girl?
永久連結
embed








[–]klethra1 指標1 天前


Hi, Paolo. I loved your ending to The Water Knife. I just had to say that, and I'll be checking out The Windup Girl soon. I'm pretty darn excited to see how it is.
永久連結
embed








[–]granular_quality1 指標11小時前


The Water Knife was fantastic! I'm not sure if I heard about it on reddit, or through Amazon but I sure am glad I did. Thanks for writing! Have a great day!
永久連結
embed








[–]mundanevelocity1 指標1 天前


Pretty sure this is over now, but all I wanted to say was that I really appreciate how well the science holds up (geneticist here) and please live forever.
永久連結
embed








[–]exurbia1 指標1 天前


Just wanted to say The Windup Girl stuck with me for years, easily one of the best pieces of fiction I've ever read. Thanks for the fantastic work, Paolo.
永久連結
embed








[–]Superpat121 指標1 天前


I just finished reading The Drowned Cities. Great book. Mahlia is one of my favourite characters ever.
Will there be a sequel to The Drowned Cities?
永久連結
embed








[–]ApplesauceAndLlamas1 指標1 天前


I loved your book The Water Knife, what is your favourite book, fiction or nonfiction, and which is your favourite out of the ones that you wrote?
永久連結
embed








[–]dogdriving1 指標1 天前


I'm about to start this book for book club. Got any inside info for me that I can drop in book club discussion that will make me look insightful?
永久連結
embed








[–]sleepperchance2dream1 指標1 天前


I loved "The Water Knife" and "The Wind-up Girl". I recommend both to my college students, especially the one's who plan to study public health.
永久連結
embed








[–]btribble1 指標1 天前


Not a question, but at least once a month on my drive into work I picture people in the future sitting on bicycles winding kink springs.
永久連結
embed








[–]Iconoclast6741 指標1 天前


I loved the genetic engineering angle in The Windup Girl, and as an Organic seed producer, I stuggle to maintain my own crops genetic purity in the face of widespread contamination.
Do you have any plans to revisit genetic engineering as a theme?
永久連結
embed








[–]socalpimp1 指標1 天前


Thank you for you're books!! They are amazing and original. The water knife was my favorite fantasy book this year.
永久連結
embed








[–]BelieveInRollins1 指標1 天前


What inspired the doubt factory? and do you have plans to do a sequel for that/something along that subject line?
edit: i loved the doubt factory and ship breaker and i'm currently still reading the water knife.
永久連結
embed








[–]FinkleIsEeinhorn1 指標1 天前


Paolo no real question, just wanted to say I'm a HUGE windup girl fan! Great read, I recommend it to everyone
永久連結
embed








[–]lightninhopkins1 指標1 天前


Did you laugh heartily while writing Softer? I loved that story and found it to be hilarious.
永久連結
embed








[–]Kurt_Nevermore1 指標1 天前


As someone who aspires to publish a book of my own what are a few tips you could spare to me?
永久連結
embed








[–]Aurochelle1 指標1 天前


How cool!! My boyfriend just bought me your book for my birthday. It's fantastic so far.
永久連結
embed








[–]Everything_Is_Racism1 指標1 天前


If you could strip naked to the waist and fight any living author, whom would that be?
永久連結
embed








[–]forwardmarsh1 指標21小時前


Were you ever tempted not to romanise some of the Thai in The Windup Girl?
永久連結
embed








[–]sanchitkhera111 指標1 天前


Your thoughts on getting published and marketing your book?
永久連結
embed








[–]the_real_mattvaughn1 指標1 天前


My brother did the cover art for the paperback version!
永久連結
embed








[–]Shilo7881 指標1 天前*


Love your work, just wanted to give my review. Just finished Calorie Man again in Pump Six, this AM and now here you are. May you have many more stories to tell.
永久連結
embed








[–]LolwhatYesme1 指標4小時前


rea l8r ignore comment
永久連結
embed







[–][刪除]1 天前 deleted/removed






載入更多留言 (3 回覆)






[–]snap_wilson0 指標1 天前


In the future with no running water, where do people go to the bathroom?
永久連結
embed







[–]Dawn-of-the-buffalo1 指標22小時前


do you need running water to shit?
永久連結
embed
上層留言







[–]snap_wilson1 指標13小時前


You need running water to flush.
永久連結
embed
上層留言







[–]paolobacigalupiAMA Author[S]2 指標11小時前


If you read the book, you'll find at least a couple of answers. :D
永久連結
embed
上層留言










[–]sanchitkhera110 指標1 天前


Your thoughts on getting published and marketing your book?
永久連結
embed








[–]sanchitkhera110 指標1 天前


Your thoughts on getting published and marketing your book?
永久連結
embed








[–]FounderFlounders0 指標23小時前


What do you think about The SubtleKnife?
永久連結
embed








[–]Stringskip-1 指標1 天前


What exactly is a water knife? Is that a euphemism for pressure washer?
永久連結
embed








[–]sanchitkhera11-1 指標1 天前


Your thoughts on getting published and marketing your book?
永久連結
embed








[–]sanchitkhera11-1 指標1 天前


Your thoughts on getting published and marketing your book?
永久連結
embed








[–]sanchitkhera11-1 指標1 天前


Your thoughts on getting published and marketing your book?
永久連結
embed








[–]elzebel-1 指標1 天前


Have you ever listened to the album Liquid Swords?
永久連結
embed








[–]geexicano-1 指標1 天前


You wrote the Windup Girl! I recently read that!
永久連結
embed








[–]serious-oy-2 指標1 天前


My family are Bacigalupo's. What's the difference?
永久連結
embed








[–]abazazeoee-1 指標22小時前


do you feel like pablo?
永久連結
embed








[–]shik4rishuffl3-2 指標1 天前


What's your book about?
永久連結
embed





關於
網誌

about

原始碼

廣告

工作

說明
網站規定

常見問題

維基

reddit 站規

透明度

聯絡我們

應用程式 & 工具
Reddit for iPhone

Reddit for Android

mobile website

按鈕

<3 div="">
reddit 金幣

reddit禮物

使用本網站即代表您接受我們的 User Agreement {Genitive}和 Privacy Policy (updated). © 2016 reddit inc. 股份有限公司 保留所有權利
REDDIT and the ALIEN Logo are registered trademarks of reddit inc.
Advertise - entertainment
css by /u/qtxπ
***"Curious, empathetic, compassionate: What we should be as human beings."***

THE ''Cli-Fi ''REPORT:
50+ academic & media links:
http://cli-fi.net
Cli-Fi (T-shirts) - for promotion, not for sale

1 comment:

Blogger said...

You might be eligible to get a free Apple iPhone 7.