A Bite of… Edward Buatois

(1) What do you feel is the most significant technological development that has happened in your lifetime so far?

The Internet, bar none. It represents humanity’s third great age –– first was the invention of writing, second the invention of books, and third the invention of the internet. An entire book (ebook!) could be written on it. Entire industries have sprung up, and more will be invented tomorrow… cell phones really, social media, true direct-to-consumer sales such as Amazon and eBay. Not to mention those sites’ impact on brick-and-mortar… Amazon versus Borders, Netflix versus Blockbuster. Social media has changed how we interact, and not always in good ways… people sitting next to each other texting other people all night is one example. More worrisome is it’s also allowed us to balkanize into political fiefdoms where people relate only to people and ideas they already agree with and eschew contact with those we don’t, and thereby maintain their ignorance. The internet’s greatest irony is that the most important social/information sharing tool ever invented may have as its chief impact its ability to get people to stop talking to each other and to discourage exposure to new ideas.

(2) If you could have been on any space mission so far, which would it have been?

I actually had to think about that one. Even the more glamorous space missions… most of them take years to come to fruition, and then the payoff, while spectacular, can be short-lived. For example, the gravity-wave detector, which for the first time measured/confirmed Einstein’s theories about them when two neutron stars collided. REALLY long lead-up, VERY short event. Of course an obvious one for sheer thrill is any moon landing. I’d do that one for sheer fun and wonder, though the discovery payoff, while spectacular, was for the most part “look what we did” and not much groundbreaking in terms of actual science done compared to other endeavors. Of existing space missions, I think the Galileo mission to Jupiter and its moons would be the one I’d want to be on, given the possibility that they could harbor life, and they’re so different, each one of them. So interesting to see other destinies, other possibilities. A close second is the study of extrasolar planetary systems for the same reason… it’s fascinating that we have not found a single system so far that looks anything like ours, not even in the number and distribution of planets. Maybe we ARE special.

(3) What is your main motivation to write speculative fiction?

I’d call what I do Urban Fantasy and/or SciFi/Fantasy. The short answer is that I generally find ordinary people boring. I like to give ordinary people extraordinary abilities and ask what they would do with it. My most recent fantasy WIP is Eyrtena, a woman who craves love except that she’s a Succubus who steals the souls of everyone she loves… a built-in tension between what she wants and what she is. Or the dispossessed teen who accidentally pulls a female Elf to our Earth through a portal, along with an evil wizard… now it’s on him to learn how to do magic before the evil wizard destroys our world: that kid’s going to have to grow up fast. Longer answer: Some might do speculative fiction to imagine possible worlds, and that’s great, I love those stories. Me, it’s about the human element: We’re all on a journey to find our place in the world, figure out who we are and become comfortable in our own skin. (Almost) all of my stories one way or another tend to be about that.

Edward Buatois is an unpublished writer in the science fiction/fantasy genre. He’s written a number of short stories and is working on two novels, both in the urban fantasy realm. He recently discovered the infinite possibilities of writing for anthologies, and has committed to writing one in fantasy and one, as a stretch goal, in forbidden romance. He likes to write stories about ordinary characters with extraordinary abilities and how they deal with them; influences are Jumper, by Robert Jordan; Waiting in the Wings, by Melissa Brayden; and Heartsick, by Chelsea Cain.

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