Hello! We are so happy and proud to present this episode, our wide-ranging interview with the man himself!
Kim Stanley Robinson, avid listener of our Kim Stanley Robinson podcast, graciously gave us some of his time during a layover at O'Hare in Chicago--hence the no doubt at times bad sound, so please forgive us. Hilary and Matt met Stan at the O'Hare Hilton bar, where we chatted over numerous topics, related and unrelated to the Mars novels. We talked about the origin of the novels, the historical moment of their creation (the so-called "end of history"), and the process of writing them.
Is Hiroko dead? The answer is in the last two pages of Blue Mars!
We touched on Stan's method of pattern-making beyond the conscious level of the reader, including his use of color and elemental imagery (I think there's a dissertation there for aspiring English PhDs...[don't go to grad school]), and share a chuckle over the dimwittedness of the New York Times. We talk also about the pathetic fallacy and the pre-modernist sensibility and realist tradition that informs the Mars Trilogy, and mention the structuralist influence of Gerard Genette (The Narrative Discourse: An Essay on Method). In addition we talk with Stan about his science fiction influences, inspirations, and resonances. Books mentioned are Olaf Stapledon's Star Maker and Last and First Men, Ursula Le Guin's The Dispossessed, Joanna Russ's The Female Man, Gene Wolfe's The Book of the Long Sun, Julia Voznesenskaya's The Women’s Decameron, and Damon Knight, among others.
We chat about Ann, and regionalism, and (self-indulgently for Matt) Orange County, the Dodgers, and the incomparable Vin Scully. All in service of the Battle of the Nutsedge!
We were so thrilled to get the chance to talk with him, and we hope you enjoy this interview. (Sorry for the at times bad sound--Matt put some work into trying to get the levels right and clean it up, particularly taking out the parts where he just says "yeah" over and over. If you have complaints or can't hear it, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and direct them to Matt. But also don't do that.)
We will be starting on The Martians very soon, and are looking forward to moving forward with you, our faithful listeners, on this exciting and fun journey through these amazing books and into the wider world of utopian science-fiction! Thanks for listening!
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