Upcoming Interview with Jerome Stueart on Tuesday December 18th, 2012

Jerome Stueart is the most Northern of the authors I have interviewed, hailing from the Yukon. An American ex-pat, he was able to look at Canadian SF both from an outsider AND an insider perspective. Check out our interview on Tuesday December 18th.

Author photo courtesy of Jerome Stueart
Author photo courtesy of Jerome Stueart

I hope that you enjoy his insights on SF in the Yukon, teaching and the education system, the links between science and SF, the ability of SF to evoke changes, climate and environmental issues, the importance of animal voices, and issues with our culture of greed.

Here are a few teasers from the interview for you to check out:

Jerome Stueart: “You can’t help but see the Yukon’s exotic environment—light all day in the summer, darkness in the winter, extreme temps, strange wildlife, and a plethora of scientist all trying to find treasure up here… Passions run high here.  I think I was surprised at how much my relationships, and the way the Yukon changes people quickly have both found their way into my writing.”

Jerome Stueart: “My relationship with my younger sister and her dyslexia formed the emotional core of the story, and my feelings against a one-style fits all teaching method that favors memorization.  I watched her struggle with a feeling of inadequacy because school didn’t ‘find’ where she was brilliant.”

Jerome Stueart: “Schools want to pass—so out goes anything that’s not going to help them pass.  Students are even more focused in high school on memorization to pass state exams to help the school out.  We’ve turned schools into manufacturing plants with a QC officer standing at the door of the school waiting to lock it up if the “plant” doesn’t produce good enough product.”

Jerome Stueart: “Society doesn’t back up any need to think as teachers might want their students to.  Society wants skilled workers and consumers, not skilled thinkers and changers.  We are a consumer culture.”

Jerome Stueart: “I think the current problems with getting the world to understand climate change is directly related to an inability to speculate—or see the future from the evidence you have…  Unless the majority of the population respects knowledge, has a healthy speculative mind, they can’t see consequences.”

Jerome Stueart: “If we don’t “produce” thinking minds—in every place in society—fear mongering will work, evidence won’t count.  That scares me.”

Jerome Stueart: “We’re all about reacting now.  We’re all about consuming.  We’re living like it’s the last days on Earth and we want our feast.  Anyone who says we have to ‘cut back’ which is the message of climate change—restraint—is taking away ‘our fun.’”

Jerome Stueart: “We are such a Mine Culture, not a Mind Culture.  We may live together, but we don’t think together.”

Jerome Stueart: “If we had insight into what animals are thinking about their environment—well, we’d have to start granting their wishes, thinking of their rights, their opinions, about the encroachment of humankind.”

Jerome Stueart: “I think SF can help us get ready for change, and see change as positive and desirable.  We get in our ruts.  If we want the Star Trek universe—we’re gonna have to work for it. But I think it can examine multiple paths for us—examining all possible scenarios and showing us a positive path.”

Jerome Stueart: “We get much more apocalyptic SF which shows us what NOT to do, but rarely shows us HOW to get to the change.”

Jerome Stueart: “Mainstream SF publishers and some editors are still not comfortable with queer characters.  Star Trek, which I love, and would love to one day write for, needs queer characters, instead of relegating them to the Mirror Universe where every body is omnisexual and perverse.”

Jerome Stueart: “SF is about commenting on societal problems more than character problems.”

You can check out my review of Jerome Stueart’s “One Nation Under Gods” that was posted on Speculating Canada on November 22, 2012 by clicking here http://speculatingcanada.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/american-expat-explores-the-american-myth/ . Explore Jerome Stueart’s website at http://jeromestueart.com/

Make sure to check in with Speculating Canada to read the full interview with Jerome Stueart on December 18th

Derek Newman-Stille

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