Tobias Buckell on marine conservation and his next novel

Paul Raven @ 27-08-2009

I like to keep an eye on what former members of the Futurismic family are getting up to. Back when I joined the crew, one of my fellow bloggers was Tobias Buckell; nowadays he’s too busy with writing novels to contribute here, and bravo to him for that – it’s always nice to see good people getting along in the world.

Toby has just been interviewed by marine conservation site The Reef Tank, and in amongst talking about his connection to the oceans – he grew up aboard a boat in the Caribbean – he drops some hints about his next novel project:

My next novel is called Arctic Rising. For a while now in short fiction I’ve written a few stories that play around with the consequences of failed cities, ecological disaster, global warming, and so on. I’ve never thought of myself as well informed enough to write about these topics, but looking around I see very little fiction engaging these concepts. It comes back to that background awareness I have, I’ve never thought I knew as much as I actually do. Before the hurricane season of 1995, when we lost our boat, divers were talking in the boating community about how much warmer the water was deep below the surface than normal. We figured that might mean a rough storm season, and we were right. One near hurricane and two hurricanes all in a near row.

So I’ve started writing some stories about what happens when the polar ice cap opens up to become a regular ocean as it melts, with shipping traffic and nations jockeying for resources up there. And all that thinking about that with my fellow writers Paolo Bacigalupi and Karl Schroeder convinced me my next book should be about this sort of stuff that’s thirty or so years down the road.

That’s one to watch out for – I’ll be interested to see how Toby’s novel-length work comes out with a near-future setting instead of space-opera scope. If you ever want to run any exclusive excerpts, Toby, you know who to email, right? 😉

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