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Interview with Tobias S. Buckell and Giveaway - February 29, 2012

Please welcome Tobias S. Buckell to The Qwillery. Tobias' latest novel is Arctic Rising, which was published yesterday.


TQ:  What is your most interesting writing quirk?

Tobias:  I guess it's that I'm a pretty hard core night owl and get my most creative work and planning done after midnight. I have no particular pen that I like. No special paper. I'm sorta boring!

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Tobias:  I'm a little bit of both. I like to have a rough skeleton so that I know what I'm working toward, and I have lots of pieces of research that I've saved that are pertinent to the whole piece that need to be slotted in by chapter relevance. But at the same time I build a lot of the structure as I go along in better detail. It works for me, but it means I really don't have a strong feeling about one or the other, as I steal elements of both as I need.

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Tobias:  The same thing as many others: building my life around the time to write. It's very easy for life to knock me out of the groove and allow me to fall behind, and then you start drowning a bit.

TQ:  Describe the Arctic Rising in 140 characters or less.

Tobias:  Anika Duncan, a UNPG airship pilot, has just been shot of the sky and into the no-longer frozen Arctic Ocean. She sets out to find out why.

TQ:  What inspired you to write the Arctic Rising?

Tobias:  I've always been fascinated about the Arctic North, and the attempts that ended in such failure to cross the Northwest Passage by ship. Now shipping companies are looking into shipping over the Northwest Passage. It's quite clear something is fundamentally changing. In some ways that will be a good thing (cheaper shipping, more resources uncovered as the ice leaves) and in many other cases, not so good (drought in some areas, too much snow due to rain fall in others due to disrupted cycles, and overall more chaos). Conflict powers books, and this a pretty interesting potential conflict.

In some cases, if we do figure out how to fix and halt global warming through some clever human trick, it'll be like having written a novel about acid rain; it'll seem less compelling. On the other hand, we seem to have passed our moment to halt it with using anything like the cap and trade system that really blunted acid rain so effectively. So it looks very likely we'll have to deal with this fallout. And since looking at future extrapolation is what I love about being an SF/F author, I really wanted to explore all that.

I mean, how could I ignore the fact that some in the US Navy are worried about the budget implications of adding an entire new ocean to their patrol area already? Finding out the the US military is the largest investor in green technology and attempts to reduce its reliance on fuel because it's one of the larger consumers of oil, well that's fascinating.

TQ:  What sorts of research did you do for the novel?

Tobias:  I read some freely available commentary and articles by the US military, fascinated by what I'd just mentioned above. A lot of books about the Arctic North. My favorite gem was a geological survey the Canadian government had detailing the resources up there, which led me to the story of the currently shut down Bent Horn refinery.

TQ:  Which character in Arctic Rising was the most difficult for you to write and why? Easiest and why?

Tobias:  Well, there's only one point of view character, which is Anika. One of the things I wanted to show was that she came from Nigeria, one with the scars of modern day Nigeria, but that after the forty or so years that have passed, one that has participated in the same transformations that seem to be going on in many African nations right now, which is a burst of GDP growth, a fall in number of births per woman. Africa is one of the more ignored growth areas during this current recessions.

I often show Westerners pictures of an East African skyscraper skyline, and ask them where they think it is, and they're always shocked when I say Africa. Africa has skyscrapers. It has a rapidly building middle class in some areas. Sometimes tipping points are hit and things change rapidly, like India or China's rise. So trying to depict that in a few brushes led to a lot me second-guessing how readers would interpret what I drew. It isn't a big piece of the novel, but the idea that Lago was a world city was important, even if I hinted that other parts of Africa were still having some issues.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Arctic Rising?

Tobias:  My favorite scenes take place on Roo's little live aboard catamaran yacht. I want to live on it. I actually used a catamaran I found online that I just adored and used it as a reference. I grew up on a yacht in the Caribbean, so I became very homesick, but loved writing it.

TQ:  What's next?

Tobias:  My novel Apocalypse Ocean is being written directly for fans of the Xenowealth series, if you're interested in seeing some far future science fiction adventure, there are details on how to pre-order the book on my website!

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Tobias:  Thanks for having me over!


About Arctic Rising

Arctic Rising
Tor Books, February 28, 2012
Hardcover, 304 pages

Interview with Tobias S. Buckell and Giveaway - February 29, 2012
Global warming has transformed the Earth, and it's about to get even hotter. The Arctic Ice Cap has all but melted, and the international community is racing desperately to claim the massive amounts of oil beneath the newly accessible ocean.

Enter the Gaia Corporation. Its two founders have come up with a plan to roll back global warming. Thousands of tiny mirrors floating in the air can create a giant sunshade, capable of redirecting heat and cooling the earth's surface. They plan to terraform Earth to save it from itself—but in doing so, they have created a superweapon the likes of which the world has never seen.

Anika Duncan is an airship pilot for the underfunded United Nations Polar Guard. She’s intent on capturing a smuggled nuclear weapon that has made it into the Polar Circle and bringing the smugglers to justice.

Anika finds herself caught up in a plot by a cabal of military agencies and corporations who want Gaia Corporation stopped. But when Gaia Corp loses control of their superweapon, it will be Anika who has to decide the future of the world. The nuclear weapon she has risked her life to find is the only thing that can stop the floating sunshade after it falls into the wrong hands.


About Tobias

Interview with Tobias S. Buckell and Giveaway - February 29, 2012
Photo by Jan Hilty
TOBIAS S. BUCKELL is a Caribbean-born writer who grew up in Grenada, the British Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Halo®: The Cole Protocol.

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The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a coy of Arctic Rising from Tor Books!

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

What is/are your favorite book(s), movie(s) or TV show(s) about natural disasters?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Review - Arctic Rising by Tobias S. Buckell - 4 Qwills

Arctic Rising
Author:  Tobias S. Buckell
Format: Hardcover,  304 pages
Publisher: Tor Books (February 28, 2012)
Price:  $24.99
Language:  English
Genre:  SciFi
ISBN:  9780765319210
Review Copy: eArc provided by Tor Books

Review - Arctic Rising by Tobias S. Buckell - 4 Qwills
Global warming has transformed the Earth, and it's about to get even hotter. The Arctic Ice Cap has all but melted, and the international community is racing desperately to claim the massive amounts of oil beneath the newly accessible ocean.

Enter the Gaia Corporation. Its two founders have come up with a plan to roll back global warming. Thousands of tiny mirrors floating in the air can create a giant sunshade, capable of redirecting heat and cooling the earth's surface. They plan to terraform Earth to save it from itself—but in doing so, they have created a superweapon the likes of which the world has never seen.

Anika Duncan is an airship pilot for the underfunded United Nations Polar Guard. She’s intent on capturing a smuggled nuclear weapon that has made it into the Polar Circle and bringing the smugglers to justice.

Anika finds herself caught up in a plot by a cabal of military agencies and corporations who want Gaia Corporation stopped. But when Gaia Corp loses control of their superweapon, it will be Anika who has to decide the future of the world. The nuclear weapon she has risked her life to find is the only thing that can stop the floating sunshade after it falls into the wrong hands.

My thoughts

Arctic Rising is a near-future SciFi thriller set against the back-drop of global climate change. In the novel, global warming has claimed most of the Arctic Circle as well changed the entire planet. Anika Duncan, has left her life in Africa behind for a calm job working for U.N. Polar Guard. Things are going smoothly for her until someone smuggles a nuclear weapon into the Arctic Circle area.

Arctic Rising presents a possible future should global warming be unchecked. The world has changed. Some countries are damaged, some are gone and some are better off. The balance of power has shifted. We learn a lot about this world via the characters and their lives. The action in the novel takes place in area surrounding and what's left of the Arctic Circle, and I found Mr. Buckell's future Arctic fascinating.

Anika Duncan is a wonderful main character. She's tough and determined. Her back story is incredibly interesting. Her life before the UNPG has given her the ability and skills to kick ass when she has to. She's also a thinker who has just the right amount of vulnerability to make her believable. She has some tough decisions to make. While Annika is the main character, Mr. Buckell also has created a wonderfully diverse and well written supporting cast.

Arctic Rising is action-packed with explosions, gun battles and a frightening superweapon. It's a fast-paced thrill ride. It's also thought provoking without being a screed about global warming. The bottom line is that Arctic Rising will keep you on the edge of your seat as Anika races to find the nuclear bomb and possibly save the world.

I give Arctic Rising 4 Qwills.

Review - Arctic Rising by Tobias S. Buckell - 4 Qwills
Interview with Tobias S. Buckell and Giveaway - February 29, 2012Review - Arctic Rising by Tobias S. Buckell - 4 Qwills

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