Paolo Bacigalupi really knows how to draw the hostility out of a questioner. Winner of the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, Printz, and a National Book Award finalist, he’s got just the kind of medal-laden shelf that I live to upend. So it’s freaking killing me that I can’t quite do it. Y’all read The Drowned Cities? Seriously dope stuff, yo. So instead of ransacking his trophy case, I find myself repeating his musical last name as a calming mantra: Bacigalupi. Bacigalupi. Bacigalupi.
Namaste. I have arrived at my happy place. Let us begin.
Just who do you think you are?
The fifth horseman of the apocalypse. Or a writer. I get those mixed up.
Where do you get off?
The stop just before everyone else goes off the cliff.
What’s the big idea?
It’s not about the big idea; it’s about small ones–the creeping tiny ideas people dismiss as too small to worry about. The brown recluse details, if you will. The ones we miss, and later wish we hadn’t.
What is your problem, man?
An unhealthy terror of impermanence. An obsession with fragility. A fascination with the things that make our lives good, and that we take for granted–things like civil democratic societies. Or fresh water. Or a stable climate. It’s never just one thing. Once you lose a few supporting pins for something as complex as our prosperity, it’s easy to pull the rest.
Haven’t you done enough?
I’m an American. What is this word, “enough?” MOAR.