The collision of differences is near the heart of Red Wolf—but it's more than that, I'd say. The old buzzword, the old cultural goal, used to be tolerance. And there's nothing wrong with tolerance per se. It is, however, far from the best we can aspire to. Tolerance is rather flimsy: I'll tolerate you this far, but don't get out of line.
In the case of Pazel and Thasha and Felthrup and Dri, tolerance certainly won't keep them alive, or help them defeat Arunis or Sandor Ott. This book is about not just learning to tolerate and comprehend difference, but sometimes to choose it over the familiar. In other words, this is a book about questioning the community you're born into, and in some cases choosing, building, a new one that reflects the person you're trying to become.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Fellow fiction writer Jeremy L. Jones threw some great questions at me for Clarkesworld. At one point, for example, he asks me if Red Wolf was about what happens when differences collide. My answer: