Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Peadar Ó Guilín Answers Questions Five

Peadar Ó Guilín is a new author hailing from Ireland. His debut book, The Inferior, has garnered critical acclaim as both a YA and science fiction novel and it kicks of the Bone World trilogy (my review). Currently available in the UK, it will be released in the US in June 2008, and will be translated to several other languages in the future. Peadar has traveled the world, learned other languages, currently lives in Dublin, and can be found immersed in discussions on an almost daily basis over at westeros.

I’m very happy that Peadar has taken the time to answer Questions Five.

If I were going on holiday to Dublin and I can only visit one pub, which pub do you recommend and why?

POG: Most of them are ridiculously bad: giant sports games on every wall and pop music loud enough to murder the conversation we used to be famous for. Our ancestors even had a god of eloquence, once upon a time, did you know that? I miss him.

So, for the real experience, you need to find what we call an “old man's” pub. If you walk through the door and half the stools aren't occupied by lads with pitted red noses and beer mustaches, then you should take your custom elsewhere.

Do you consider yourself a carnivore, herbivore, or omnivore and how does this influence your writing?

POG: Flesh, and whether or not we have a right to eat it, is something I take very seriously. Many of the stories I write are little more than laboratories where I try to work this out. The Inferior fits the bill nicely. Sure, it's all great fun, with characters running around hunting anything that can hunt them. But underneath that is a series of situations designed to explore every possible degree of carnivorousness. Is it right to eat meat? What if the creature is as intelligent as you are? What if the survival of the human race depended on you doing so? And so on. I want the readers, be they vegetarians or omnivores, to choose sides and make the hard, honest decisions for themselves.

My personal belief is that future generations will regard meat-eaters like myself as barbarians, in the same way that we now (rightfully) scorn the once respectable slavers and slave-owners in our past. But scorn is so easy from a distance and sometimes it's a writer’s job to strip that away.

How hard was it to write The Inferior without ever saying: “___ tastes like chicken”?

POG: I've been trained from an early age to overcome such challenges. Your language has no word for it, but let's just say I'm a ninja at not saying that things taste like chicken. I'm so good, I don't even think it.

Discuss one reason why The Inferior may inspire a reader to strip naked and run screaming into the forest?

Up to now, your questions have been insightful and even a little daring. But this one is pure nonsense, and worse, dangerous. Naked readers should stalk very very quietly into the forest. They should save their screaming for when something catches them.

Why should The Inferior be the next book that everyone reads?

POG: Why should 'everyone' be allowed to read such a red hot piece of excitement? Most of them couldn't handle it, and those that could, probably don't deserve it. Let them stay at home, I say, and weep, weep for the gray tedium of lives that even a glimpse of The Inferior would fill with wonder.

'Everyone' should ignore the reviews and the fact that editors from France to Japan have paid real money for the right to translate it. So what if it has great characters and world building? No, it would be best for society as a whole if 'everyone' just picked up the latest cookie-cutter SF/Fantasy/Horror and didn't become cannibals after all.


Fence said...

Peadar should have recommended O'Neils on Suffolk St. as his pub in Dublin. Okay, it is in tourist central, but it is still a great pub for a chat.

Sides, sports pubs are great too, nothing like heading down the pub at 6 in the morning to watch the rugby from New Zealand :)

Peadar said...

You have a point. It is one of the nicer pubs. The Duke on Duke street is atmospheric too. But I just want to be able to talk until somebody hits me. It happens more often than you'd think.


Neth said...

While I certainly enjoy watching a game in a pub from time to time, I much prefer an atmosphere that allows for good talk - don't you guys call that 'crack' in Ireland?

Peadar said...

Yep, 'craic'. A good time among friends.


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