Fiction by Paolo Bacigalupi

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Archive for March, 2008

Optimistic CO2 Sci-Fi

Posted on Mar 10, 2008 in Blog, consumerism, green technology, politics, science fiction, Writing | 14 comments

Here’s my take on writing optimistic SF— just don’t make it consolatory pap. That’s what advertising, TV and suburban sprawl are supposed to sell. As an example, here’s the latest on the global warming front. (note: the link is changed to point directly to the Washington Post article as the MSNBC version expired) No big news, but here’s the money quote: Steve Gardiner, a philosophy professor at the University of Washington who studies climate change, said the studies highlight that the argument over global warming “is a classic inter-generational debate, where the short-term benefits of emitting carbon accrue mainly to us and where the dangers of them are largely...

Podcast of “The People of Sand and Slag”

Posted on Mar 10, 2008 in Appearances, News, reading | 4 comments

When I was out at SF in SF, Rick Kleffel of the Agony Column recorded my reading of “The People of Sand and Slag.” If you’re one of those people who likes audio, I don’t stumble too much as I read. :-) Rick also recorded our after-reading panel discussion where Terry Bisson, Carter Scholz and I all wax thoughtful about sf. It was an interesting conversation and the audience had great questions (though they aren’t mic’ed well so you have to crank up the volume and listen carefully to hear them). And finally, I want to link to Carter Scholz’s reading as well. We only met at the event,...

Fantastic Reviews Interview and Review

Posted on Mar 10, 2008 in Interviews, News, Pump Six and Other Stories, Reviews |

Aaron Hughes over at Fantastic Reviews has a very long interview with me, which ranges over everything from my writing process, to free markets and externalities, to the idea of “boy” stories. It was a fun conversation. They also have a review of PUMP SIX which opens with, “There is no shortage of talented writers in the science fiction genre today, but there are all too few who matter.” And they give it a 9/10....

Crystal Meth House: Coda

Posted on Mar 7, 2008 in Blog, home town |

The wonderful folks from Crystal Meth House have moved away. Rumor has it that they were foreclosed on, that that they left the house in shambles (broken windows, destroyed lawn, etc)…. and that they also apparently stripped it bare, to the extent of removing the furnace and the kitchen, cabinets and all. I’m still waiting for confirmation on whether or not they also took the toilet. I sort of admire that level of crazy. I’m damn glad they’re gone. But I’m impressed,...

American Dream

Posted on Mar 6, 2008 in Blog, consumerism | 6 comments

My wife and I have the option of moving into bigger, more spacious, more sunny, more land, and more pretty much of everything, house. The downside is that it’s also more mortgage, more responsibility, and it exists two miles out of town… basically in that no-man’s land called ex-urban sprawl. I hate this kind of sprawl. The 1-acre and 2-acre and 5-acre subdivisions that eat up farmland and cut up a landscape. And frankly, I hate the feel of 1980’s subdivisions- even though the house we’re looking at has fairly groovy passive solar and decent insulation, it’s still very much a product of the eighties. Right now, we live...

Bitterness Abated

Posted on Mar 6, 2008 in Blog, Writing | 1 comment

The work on the book continues. I have not scrapped it. One of the things that has always troubled me with writing is the need to both be creative and also to differentiate between good and bad paths to follow. The eternal editor/creator conundrum. It’s easy to say that when you’re creating, you should put the editor in a box and ship the bastard around the world, and only let him come visit for copyediting… But I don’t think that works. Even when you’re in creative mode, you still need to be making choices, aiming toward something, plotting and gunning for something… and that editorial hat, or at least...


Posted on Mar 4, 2008 in Blog, Writing | 1 comment

In moments when my overweening ego is feeling buffed, I imagine that I’m a good writer. After today, what I really think is that I’m a dogged writer. If I polish the turd long enough, eventually something shines. It’s really my specialty. Going after a story again and again until finally I figure out how to spin crap into gold. I often don’t know where I’m going with a story, or why a section of it (or the whole thing) doesn’t work. I just keep working at it, and eventually it gets better. Mostly by magic, it seems. The problem with this technique is that it works pretty well...

A friend in Baltimore

Posted on Mar 4, 2008 in Blog, travel | 2 comments

I’ve got a friend who moved from our little podunk rural town of Paonia, to the big bad city of Baltimore. For a taste of his current life, he pointed me to this gem, The Baltimore Crime Blog. If anything, it seems that The Wire is one of those cases where if they told you the whole truth, you’d think they were making it up. And from the Baltimore Crime Blog, I got linked to Anger Hangover’s More helpful hints for the new drug dealers on my block....

Free Stories Posted

Posted on Mar 2, 2008 in News, Pump Six and Other Stories, Writing |

I’ve added some sample stories under the PUMP SIX header. In addition to “The Tamarisk Hunter” I’ve also added the Hugo and Nebula nominee “The People of Sand and Slag” and just for grins, I also posted the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award finalist “The Fluted Girl.” That should give people enough of an idea about my writing to either love it or hate it. Thanks to everyone who made suggestions about what I should post. It was a big...