Paolo Bacigalupi Interview

29 Mar, 2016 by

Paolo Bacigalupi Interview

The United States has faced crippling droughts over the last decade – some of the worst in recorded history. Meanwhile, cities like Las Vegas, set smack in the middle of a desert, continue on as normal, and the dam levels drop. And drop. The drought will most likely break, the dams will refill. But what if they don’t?

Climate change is leading to more extreme weather conditions, and for years, decades even – some experts have suggested that water, not oil, will be the most important substance. The foundation of future wars. And if the water begins to run out in the US… how tightly bound is the Union? Will states and cities continue to work together? Or will they focus on their own self-interest.

That’s the background to The Water Knife, the new book by Paolo Bacigalupi. The droughts haven’t stopped, the states have split, and some leaders are far more effective, and far more ruthless than their competitors. This is the first book for adults from Paolo in some years, and it comes with a serious pedigree – his last adult novel, The Windup Girl, won the Nebula, the Locus, and the Hugo Awards.

Paolo spoke to Sky Kirkham about the science behind the story, the psychology of its characters, and the potential of science fiction to warn about the stories of today. Originally broadcast 17/03/16. The Water Knife is out through Hachette.

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