GRAVITY PILOT: Book Review by Barry Hunter

THE GRAVITY PILOT
M.M. Buckner, Tor, $25.99, 320 pages
ISBN: 9780765322869,
reviewed by Barry Hunter

I read for pleasure. I read for the “sense of wonder” that science fiction brings. SF means SCIENCE Fiction, not SPECULATIVE Fiction as too many people are trying to rename it and stake their own claim to it without paying their respects to those who came before. Buckner is one of those authors that shows homage and respect and tells a tremendous story while doing so. (more…)

SciFi Wire Interview with MM Buckner

SciFi Wire – M.M. Buckner Interview

Please talk about the genesis of WATERMIND, how you came to write it, where the idea came from, etc.
For many years, I’ve worked with environmental organizations to help protect water.  Watersheds, wetlands, aquifers, rivers and streams, lakes, oceans, I’ve supported these groups with time and money.  I’m a scuba diver as well as a certified instructor of both whitewater and sea kayaking.  Any water activity, I love it.  Water is the stuff of life.

Naturally, with such an interest, I was drawn to the idea of a water-based science story.  When I began to read about the Mississippi River – the size of its drainage area, the tonnage of pollution it carries, and the complex manmade structures built to control its flow, well, that inspired me. (more…)

APEX Digest Interview with M.M. Buckner

APEX DIGEST INTERVIEW: M.M. Buckner
by Jason Sizemore

So it’s been awhile since your last novel (WAR SURF — winner of the 2006 Philip K. Dick Award). What’s been going on the past couple of years?
You’d be surprised how many years a novel can swallow up. I’ve been writing WATERMIND. The research has been great fun because the story is set in present-day southern Louisiana. I traveled through all the areas where the action occurs, and I talked to local people, including experts on the water control structures along the Mississippi River. Also, I read many books and articles about the river and the region. Then, of course, I spent a lot of time thinking about the story, then writing it. You know what they say: Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. (more…)

ElectricSpec.com Interview with M.M. Buckner

ElectricSpec.com – M.M. Buckner Interview
by Leslie L. Smith
Volume 3, Issue 3, Oct 31, 2008

Your new book, Watermind, is out in November, 2008.  What is it about?
WATERMIND is set in present-day Louisiana.  It’s about a liquid artificial intelligence, spontaneously self-assembled from trash in the Mississippi River.

Every day, the Mississippi carries up to 400,000 tons of rubbish from forty-one US states and three Canadian provinces. All of North America’s most advanced technology flows into the river – microchips, nano-devices, pharmaceuticals, genetically modified seed.  Now in the Louisiana Delta, a radically new primordial soup gives birth to an elusive entitiy.  Drifting in the water, it’s more alien than anything that might come from outer space – because it springs from the waste-stream of our own civilization. (more…)

WATERMIND: Review by Norman Sinrad

Watermind
Reviewed in Asimov’s Science Fiction
Post-Genre Speculative Fiction by Norman Spinrad

…Buckner’s first novel, Watermind, though published by Tor, a long-standing last bastion of genre science fiction of literary quality (and that is by no means a contradiction in terms) is, I would contend, the sort of post-genre speculative fiction (and that is not necessarily a contradiction in terms either) we are seeing more and more of in these latter days.

There is a superficially hard SF premise, namely that the profligate dumping of all manner of electronic garbage into the Mississippi River system—cell phones, batteries, motherboards, television sets, microchips, solar cells, whatever—has combined with the superabundance of complex chemical sludge and microorganisms therein to create a kind of electro-organic hybrid organism, the Watermind of the title, a bioelectronic neural network evolving into a kind of sentience. (more…)

Knaur Interview with M.M. Buckner

When and how did you first notice that you had a talent for writing?
At the age of nine, I began my first novel, about a little orphan girl living in the American wilderness.  I frittered away my school years composing poetry and short stories, and my dream was to grow up and be a writer.  Well, I never did grow up, but the other half of my dream has come true.

How do you come up with ideas for your novels? And what inspired you to write WATERMIND?
We all share certain archetypal myths that help us make sense of our lives, and these themes inspire my fiction.  Current events give me specific story ideas.  While the conflicts and troubled economies around the world make me pessimistic at times, the astonishing pace of scientific advance gives me tremendous hope.  I believe our species is capable of greatness.  (more…)

Interview with SF Novelist M. M. Buckner by Byron Merritt

Women Write Science Fiction, Too, Ya Know!
SFFWORLD.com – by Byron Merritt

Mrs. Buckner–like Connie Willis (author of To Say Nothing of the Dog)–has broken the mold when it comes to what most readers think of when they envision a science fiction writer. Many see the geeky-looking computer nerd (always male) plunking away at a keyboard while imagining visits to distant galaxies. But M.M. Buckner isn’t a man, nor is she imagining other galaxies. Her works center on Earth and its inhabitants in the near future, the focus always on the characters, the science aspect there but subtle. And her stories are excellently laid out. Don’t believe me?

Her first novel, Hyperthought (Ace, 2003) won the Southeastern Science Fiction Achievement Award for Best Novel and was nominated for the prestigious Phillip K. Dick Award. M.M.’s second novel, Neurolink (Ace, 2004), received an A- rating in Entertainment Weekly (a periodical that rarely rates science fiction works). And now her latest novel, War Surf (Ace, 2005) has just been nominated for the Phillip K. Dick Award…again. (more…)

WAR SURF: Book Review by Byron Merritt

“A Wonderful SF Read.”
Review by Byron Merritt

Merritt Not having read any of this author’s previously hailed works (Hyperthought and Neurolink), I approached this science fiction work as a Buckner virgin. Being a bit of an SF buff myself (writing some and being the grandson of Frank Herbert, author of Dune), I always approach authors new to this genre with a grain of salt
poised on my tongue. But here, I need not have worried.

Buckner layers War Surf with so many ethical, moral and religious undertones that I dare say any reader will find enjoyment on some level within these pages. There’s an underlying current dealing with mortality and the need for the rejuvenation of youth. There’s advanced biological technology that may or may not be helpful. There’s the recycling of humans in great nutrient vats. And, toward the end, there’s the obvious “eat and drink of me and you will live forever” religious parallels to Catholicism. (more…)

WAR SURF: Book Review by Nancy Fulda

“It Blew Me Away”
War Surf Review by Nancy Fulda

This week I read M. M. Buckner’s War Surf.

Wow. Waaaaooooow. I don’t know if it’s because Buckner’s a stellar author, or because I’ve been reading so much slush lately that my literary expectations have dropped, or because Buckner’s style is so different from the Bujoldian novels I typically read but, man, it blew me away.

This is not idle praise. Picture me in bed at ten PM, idly thumbing through the pages, thinking the teaser on the back doesn’t sound all that thrilling, thinking “This looks like military sci fi. I don’t usually like that stuff.” Imagine me opening to the first chapter and discovering that it’s written in first person, one of our major Baen’s Universe pet peeves. Now hear me grumbling to myself and thinking, “Well, Jason Sizemore gives Buckner high praise. Might as well give it a chance. One chapter. That is all.” (more…)

NEUROLINK: Book Review by John C. Snider

Neurolink Review
from Scifidimensions by John C. Snider

In the mid-23rd century the earth is in quite a pickle. The environment has been overwhelmed by global warming and pollution: the air and oceans are considered poisonous; the populations huddle together in enclosed cities in the far north and south. Society itself is overwhelmed by nearly omnipotent corporations, and the vast majority of humanity live as “protes” – protected employees who eke out a living under the boot heels of the “.Coms”.

Dominic Jedes is a scion of the ruling elite, the cloned son of Richter Jedes, president of ZahlenBank. The elder Jedes has extended his lifespan to nearly three centuries, using genetic treatments and repeated organ transplants. But no amount of money can prevent the inevitable, and when Richter dies he cheats death by having his consciousness transferred into a Neural Profile (NP for short), “a new kind of bank for storing a person’s mind.” (more…)