Friday, April 10, 2009

Alex Irvine Answers Questions Five

Alex Irvine is an award winning author of several novels including The Narrows (US, UK, Canada), A Scattering of Jades (US, UK, Canada), and most recently, Buyout (US, UK, Canada), a near-future thriller tackling a variety of rather disturbing issues (my review). Irvine has also published short stories, nonfiction, comics, and tie-in/media-related fiction. After reading Buyout, I’m surprised his books aren’t discussed more in my typical hang-outs.

Anyway, thanks to Alex for submitting himself to
Questions Five.

What type of protection do you recommend for genre promiscuity?

AI: If Congress doesn't take some kind of action (and it looks like there just isn't the political will), then readers are on their own. Educate your children; that's the first thing. Genre purity doesn't just happen. If you think your kids are at risk of genre promiscuity, they probably are. Don't wait until it's too late.

Name one thing a pretentious literature professor will hate about Buyout.

AI: That it was published and read by more people than those who have to review or cite it.

Fill in the blank: Kids today just don’t appreciate the value of ___. How does Buyout reflect this?

AI: Burritos. I mean, I didn't appreciate the value of burritos until I was well into my college years. This was part of my project in Buyout, to raise burrito awareness and rectify this historical wrong. Also I believe that burritos should be made available in our nation's prisons, where they are not already.

What other peculiar qualities of Buyout should readers be aware of?

AI: It is pleasingly formed along rectangular lines, with colorful imagery on its external surfaces. It opens along one side to reveal a large number of sheets on which are arranged numerous words. The unwary reader, after examining all of those words, might find him- or herself in danger of having experienced the most exciting science fiction novel ever written about actuarial predictions.

Why should Buyout be the next book that everyone reads?

AI: Because it's about crime, punishment, love, death, and movies.

I will allow myself one serious answer: Because our prison system is well and truly fucked up and privatization is only going to make it worse. If more people start thinking about that because of Buyout, I'll be happy. (Also, where else are you going to get production details about a musical biopic of Joseph Stalin that features blackface avatars of dead actors?)

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