01 Mar

Caribbean Beat Magazine interviews Nalo Hopkinson, RSA Garcia, Karen Lord, and me!

Caribbean Beat Magazine is the in-flight magazine of Caribbean Airlines, and they recently did profiles of me, Nalo Hopkinson, Karen Lord and RSA Garcia and our writing:

How is speculative fiction specifically relevant to the Caribbean?

We have to have a literature that envisions ourselves in the future. If we don’t have that, then we force ourselves to live only in the present. There’s nothing wrong with the present, but we have to have something we’re working towards, or that we’re warning ourselves away from. That’s what science fiction can serve as.

(Via Stories of what-if – Caribbean Beat Magazine – Caribbean Beat Magazine.)

07 Nov

Cult Pop has a new interview with me up

Cult Pop, the Detroit area cable interview show about all things pop culture, has a new episode up with an interview by my and then Cherie Priest as well.

Double bonus awesome!

Cult Pop 61, This episode Jim Hall interviews two authors. First we caught up with science fiction writer Tobias Buckell at GenreCon in Livonia Michigan. They discuss his latest book, “Hurricane Fever”. Since he was from the Caribbean, he wanted to use that area as more than a backdrop to the story. He then reveals that the books in the Xenowealth Series are being re-released in trade paperback versions. Be sure to look for him on Twitter and sign up for his newsletter .

(Via Cult Pop – A Show About Anything Interesting!.)

17 Sep

Rocket Talk, Episode 27: now with 100% more Karen Lord and Tobias Buckell

Karen Lord and I teamed up to chat with Justin Landon of Staffer’s Book Review for his Rocket Talk Podcast up at Tor.com:

“In this episode of Rocket Talk, Justin brings on Karen Lord and Tobias Buckell to discuss their most recent works, what they mean when they talk about Caribbean Science Fiction, and the challenge of reading western literature from a different point of view. Justin also manages to squeeze in some talk about how the two see series fiction.”

(Via Rocket Talk, Episode 27: Karen Lord and Tobias Buckell | Tor.com.)

15 Sep

Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy interview with me, Ramez Naam, and Paolo Bacigalupi

Ramez Naam, Paolo Bacigalupi, and me all bat climate change back and forth on Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast:

“‘When I started writing [Arctic Rising], I called it science fiction, because I thought the idea of completely eliminating the polar ice cap was science fictional, that’s pretty wild. A lot of the people who criticize climate change are like, ‘Oh, they’re way too pessimistic.’ And I’m like, ‘These guys are way too optimistic.’ IPCC was calling for possibly ice-free summers being like the wildest thing when I started writing. And so I started out with the science fictional scenario being ‘no polar ice cap.’ And by the time the book was in copy edits, IPCC was saying that they were willing to call a completely ice-free winter as well at some point in the human future, as their worst-case scenario. And it had gone from being completely science fictional—and scientists had it off the table—to being in their projections within the time I wrote that novel, and that’s just a year and a half.’”

(Via Leading a Double Life Turned This Woman Into a Best-Selling Author | WIRED.)

13 Nov

Interview at Virginia Quarterly: link, plus a quick clarification of awkward phrasing on my part

Guy Gonzalez interviewed me over at the Virginia Quarterly about being a dad and a writer. One of the reasons I was psyched to do the interview is that almost no one has ever asked me as a dad how I juggled parenting and writing, but almost every married women writer friend of mine has been asked. The assumption is interesting, but I think dads are worth asking about parenting as well. And I’m proud to be a dad, so it was something really new to talk about (we should either assume it effects both sexes of writer equally and ask both, or stop asking the question of women). As Guy says in his introduction:

As a married father of two who has long struggled with finding the right balance that allows for enough time to write, I was disappointed by the absence of voices that resembled my own experience, and was inspired to do something about it. And so, “Writer Dads” was conceived as a series of interviews with professional writers who are also fathers, discussing how they balance the two, what the real challenges are, and how it affects both their writing and parenting.

Some of my thoughts:

How have things changed versus five years ago? Is it easier, harder, or just different?

I find it different. I do have less leeway to have an unstructured day than I used to. When everyone comes home, it becomes difficult to have a “late day at the office” so I tend to save smaller, more administrative tasks for the end of the day. I have to be more disciplined.

Some days I think harder, but then I mainly just realize I wasted a lot of time before I had kids. You know the old story about the professor who points out that if you put sand in a pitcher and then try to add rocks you can’t pack as much in when compared to putting in rocks first then sand? Focus on the big important stuff, and let the little things sort themselves out. I have more big things in my life, but realistically, I’ve mainly cut out a lot more TV and video gaming, and other things.

One of the things I wanted to clarify was this paragraph:

Women have a harder time of balancing this stuff. The expectations of society, the biological necessities of nursing, and so forth, plus the fact that women often end up doing more of the household and parenting stuff, means that it’s simply a matter of many women having less time. Many women writers who have kids don’t have the option of daycare, and the kids are around until kindergarten. If they’re doing the writing part time, it’s got to be tough. I can’t even imagine.

I failed to add a qualifier or two in there to better explain myself, as I was working quickly on this interview while in transit. What I mean by ‘expectations of society’ is that many women parents have more pressure to take on a larger portion of the domestic sphere in a way male parents do not get. Because of that, I think women writers who have children, both historically and today, can expect a larger pressure than a male writer (like me) to cede writing time to taking care of the kids. As a result, if there is no daycare or the money is tight, I think a woman writer has a harder, unfairer pressure than a male writer would in the same situation.

Talking about being a writer who is a dad is a little awkward for me, because obviously society does toss more cookies your way for doing the same job as a writer who is a mom. Our society expects a mom writer to raise the kids and write by default, the mom gets no hero’s welcome for doing that. A writer that is a dad who steps in gets a hero’s welcome for basically just hitting the same bar. Forget writing, whenever I’m out in public with the twins (particularly in the midwest) everyone acts like I’m the best dad in the world and stops to tell me about it, particularly when they were at the diaper stage I used to get a lot of unfair pats on the back. Few stopped my wife to encourage her to ‘stay involved’ with them as I was, or say out loud ‘it’s so great to see a mom out with her babies’ as I was often told.

That being acknowledged, I still want to talk about being a parent and art, because I think there are many experiences out there and I feel I have something to add. And, also, I wanted to let potential writers know that art and family aren’t totally incompatible, as I was told by many while starting out.

08 Sep

Interview up at the The Skiffy and Fanty Show

I did an interview with the Skiffy and Fanty show at Worldcon:

” Tobias S. Buckell, author of too many amazing novels to list here, joined us at Worldcon to talk about his convention experiences, AnimeKon, his upcoming book, Hurricane Fever (sequel to Arctic Rising — our interview about that book here), his upcoming writing, and much more.

We hope you enjoy the episode!”

(Via 163. Tobias Buckell (a.k.a. Captain Planet) at Worldcon (An Interview) | The Skiffy and Fanty Show.)

04 Sep

BajanReporter interviews me about Hurricane Fever

While I was in Barbados, Ian Bourne from Bajan Reporter interviewed me about Hurricane Fever, and how a part of the book is set on Barbados (part of the research day trip I took while down there was to see if I could better firm up some details in the latter part of the novel so as to get things right).

A note: I grew up in Grenada, with a British received pronunciation accent while at home and often at school (because teachers let me get away with more if I used it) and sometimes an accent while playing around with friends. I was never sure where or when different accents would come. In the USVI I mainly dropped RP and adopted a pseudo-midwest/mild mid Atlantic accent. It wasn’t until university that I began to read about linguistics and understand why sometimes my accent would switch. I could write a whole essay on it, but Barbados/Grenada sound like home and a little bit of edges in when I visit (maybe because I miss it so now that I live away from it). I even tried to shoot a video for a case review for a gadget site while down there, and had to give up because I couldn’t flip the switch quite right and was struggling with accents (I often feel like the Martian kid in that one Bradbury story).

Either way, here I am with the slightest of Caribbean accents, if you’re so curious. I know a few people at Worldcon were taken aback on the first day when they ran into me, as it was still in that mode and moving back over to the midwest accent many know me as having. In the past I was very nervous about it, as some accepted it as a kid, some didn’t, some threatened to report me to my mom, and it’s actually a huge psychological mess that I carried as a kid not being sure what I should sound like. As an adult, who no longer cares and just flows with it, I just go along with whatever my hindbrain wants (which is to sound like everyone around me).

It’s a thing. You can read more about it by googling ‘code switching.’ (And long preface is because it often confuses my American audiences, sometimes at readings where I’ve switched the dialect without planning to as well). Yes, sometimes I wish I’d just ended up with one distinct accent so that I didn’t end up wondering about what my identity really was, but seeing as that I actually do have Caribbean birth certificate, UK passport, and an American green card, it’s not surprising I’m linguistically a little bit complicated, and most people from the islands get where I’m coming from (thank you).

In the meantime, here I am talking about Hurricane Fever, and my short story Toy Planes with BajanReporter.