Message From The Author

Elizabeth Bear

Book Title: CARNIVAL
Genre: General Science Fiction, Science Fiction

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Author's Message

Bear-ing Ahead


Take a dash of inspiration from '70s feminist sci fi, a sprinkling of influence from "Planet of the Amazon Women" (women-dominated cultures), add in a bit of today's ecological crisis, and you've got a pretty good idea of what led Elizabeth Bear to pen her latest novel, Carnival (Dec., Bantam Spectra).

Sure it sounds lofty, but
the Connecticut-based author makes sure her prose stays down to post-apocalyptic Earth. "It's a spy thriller" full of conspiracy, the author explains, containing "terrorists and spies and pistols at high noon."

Set in the future, after Earth has been largely destroyed by ecoterrorism, the story centers around two earthly ambassadors -- each armed with secret motives to go along with their official ones -- who are dispatched to a female-dominated colony to open negotiations.

"You take two societies [Old Earth and New Amazonia] that are very different in their basic assumptions and put them in
a box and make them fight," Bear says.

English and anthropology classes and a variety of jobs, including stable hand, customer service representative and archeological
test pit digger have
provided a wide array
of perspectives for the author's five novels -- even if most are set
in the future.

"I like adventure and being speculative and imaginative," Bear says. When writing science fiction and fantasy, "you get to play these wonderful alien nation games. You get
an outside perspective on human characters."

She also believes that futuristic prose can be an evocative source of commentary on current events. "[Carnival] does extrapolate to a ridiculous degree and therefore provides a light of examination on some of our own social conflicts," she says. "I don't think I have the answers, but I have a lot of good questions." -- Elissa Petruzzi

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