From SXSW 2011: Charles Yu, author, discusses the themes of his sci-fi novel.
Also huffduffed as…
Science fiction author Charles Stross http://www.antipope.org/charlie/ is most known for his near-future lovecraft-inspired "Laundry-Files" series, the near-future and more IT centric "Halting State" series as well as his far-future "Saturns Children" android book series - not to forget his science-fiction / fantasy "Merchant Princess" books and other numerous publications.
When he attended DortCon http://www.dortcon.de/ (in Dortmund, Germany, hence its name) this year, he of course was the natural prey for us - so I asked for an interview. How does he manage those multiple universes, how does he cope with the special problems of looking into the near future…
If anyone tries to tell you that science fiction isn’t literary, please point them to the work of Charles Yu. His debut novel, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, used the conventions of sci-fi to tell the deeply emotional story of a time-travel technician searching for his missing father.
His latest genre-bending effort is Sorry Please Thank You, a short-story collection in which people outsource their bad days and zombies go on dates.
In this episode of the Storyboard podcast, Yu talks to Wired senior editor Adam Rogers about making metaphors literal, how sci-fi tropes let him explore the inner lives of his characters, and his particular brand of futuristic ennui.
It’s not too "out there" to suggest that contemporary science fiction writers are to the cyberspace era what Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell were to the Industrial Revolution: Commentators on the impact of technology on society and human nature. Their novels, like the novels by certain science fiction writers, ultimately changed the way people looked at everything from labor to the environment.
Science fiction author David Brin has explored these and other themes in Earth, Sundiver, The Postman and many other books. He speaks in this episode of Podium about the ideas that have shaped his imaginative life — and shares his belief that science fiction has the power to forestall the worst of humanity’s doomsday scenarios.