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

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…) Interview with M.M. Buckner – 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

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…)