I read Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl a while ago, and was impressed on narrative and mis-en-scène grounds. Haven’t read Ship Breaker yet, but this Tor interview about The Drowned Cities certainly gets it onto my queue. Here’s his opening answer to the interviewer, and it’s right on:
I was interested in political failure here in the U.S. The way we’re failing to work together to solve even our smallest problems, let alone the complex ones. We seem to have a fascination with deepening our political schisms for the sake of short-term partisan gains. Connected to that, I was interested in how our political punditry are rewarded monetarily to also deepen those hatreds. People like Rush Limbaugh are paid a lot of money to dump bile on his political opponents and to encourage his followers to do the same. For Rush, it’s a $38million/year business. That’s a powerful financial incentive to keep deepening our political dysfunction. At some point, you have to ask the classic science fiction question “If this goes on, what will the world look like?” For me, that looks like a civil war in a nation that long ago forgot how to plan or solve complex problems like global warming, or peak oil, or financial ruin, that are sweeping down on us.