Friday, July 10, 2009

The Empress of Mars: An interview with SF author Kage Baker and a review of her new novel

Much to my delight, science fiction editor John Joseph Adams’s recent piece at, The Empress of Mars ... in 60 Seconds,” is less of a review of Kage Baker’s new novel The Empress of Mars (2009) and more of an interview with the author. Discussing the plot, protagonist, and research for the book, Baker has quite a few interesting things to say about Mars. Here’s an excerpt:
Baker said that doing the worldbuilding for the book was fun. “Mars is a perfect place to take a failed sterile colony and model its progress from gritty frontier town to developing mom ’n’ pop capitalist enterprise,” she said. “Especially when people bring their own expectations to Mars: for some characters it’s Barsoom, for other characters it’s the Old West, for others still it’s an agrarian socialist utopia watered by Schiaparelli’s canals. There are hints that the God of Old Mars is watching, throwing in a bit of magic realism.”
Speaking of Baker's new novel, publishing manager Andrew Wheeler of the blog The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent. recently wrote a short review. Wheeler concludes, in part: “Like the original [2003] novella, The Empress of Mars is the story of the triumph of pluck over adversity and of pints over prissiness. It's not one of Baker's most ambitious works, but it's an amusing story full of colorful characters, with a SFnal skin.”

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