Interview on Rowena Cory Daniells’ Blog, with some great questions from Rowena. Also an interesting discussion in the comments on cover design.
Rowena asked: Do you believe genre books have a place in spreading ideas and provoking thought?
‘Yes, very much so. Speculative fiction in particular is increasing in importance almost by the day. Lis Bastian, the head of Varuna, has spent fantastic amounts of energy and time trying to raise awareness about climate change; she was one of Al Gore’s ambassadors. She was telling me the other day that presenting facts to people just isn’t working; they have to engage their imaginations, really feel what it might be like to live in a different world. Orwell’s 1984 has done that, Huxley’s Brave New World did that. I’ve just read The Windup Girl, set in a post-peak oil, post bio-plague world where the cities are drowning. I loved it; it made me look at our world with new eyes.
When We Have Wings is also set in a post-peak oil world where we can’t be so profligate with our natural resources. This is one reason being able to fly is so important in the story. When We Have Wings tackles urgent contemporary issues, such as how will parents use the powers that reproductive technology and genetic engineering put into their hands. Contemporary events prove that such powers will be used to the utmost; they already are, as the history of sex selection and surrogacy shows us.’