Sunday, May 3, 2009

New Interview in Clarkesworld Magazine

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:

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.


Janeite42 said...

I finished reading Red Wolf Conspiracy a couple of weeks ago. It's brilliant, and I haven't been this excited about a book in a long time. You have yet another fan. Thank you!

Regarding your comment about questioning the community you're born into: it seems to me that this is more common in our day with our communications capabilities, than in previous centuries where you really didn't question much because you had no experience of otherness. At least, I like to hope that it's more common, although I suppose most people like to stay comfortable.

Finally, as a former linguist, I'm going a little crazy over why Nellu Roq (the Ruling Sea) is spelled with double l!

Robert V.S. Redick said...

Thanks so much for your kind words, Janeite. I'm very glad you enjoyed Red Wolf! I think what you say must be true: indeed I often feel that we're living through the end of the time of nations, albeit painfully slowly.

As for your linguistic query: the map doesn't make clear that "Nelluroq" ("the Ruling Sea") is actually a single word, unlike "Nelu Peren" and "Nelu Rekere." In the Arquali tongue, a single consonant between two vowels becomes a double consonant when a third syllable is present before or after the pairing. Another common example: "binar" (meal) becomes "binnaraj" (holy meal or feast). But the historical reason for the one-word form of "Nelluroq" is, according to the scholars I've consulted, quite unknown.