Saturday, September 24, 2016

Nisi Shawl

Nisi Shawl's new novel is Everfair.

From her Q&A with Ardi Alspach for the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy blog:

Given how steampunk technology is used mainly for good in Everfair, it seems that you have a positive view of technology in general. Do you see the technology in our time evolving positively or negatively?

Greg Bear used to lecture aspiring writers about how the two World Wars ruined Western Civilization’s optimistic view of technology—he cited publishing timelines and glossed plots and pretty much proved his point, because he’s brilliant. For me, though, growing up in the African-American community, it was obvious technology was going to keep us from picking cotton and sharecropping and succumbing to a whole host of pre-industrial horrors. So I guess the milieu of ’50s and ’60s black culture is what first gave rise to my contra-Bearian optimism in that regard.

Later, as a teenaged hippy, I read Richard Brautigan’s poem “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace,” and realized that the supposed dichotomy between nature and artifice was itself artificial. I still believe that.

There are awful and scary things going on in conjunction with technology. Yet I don’t blame technology for the awfulness and scariness developing in its wake. That’s on us. However...[read on]
Visit Nisi Shawl's website.

--Marshal Zeringue