Since Speculating Canada is currently doing an apocalyptic theme, I thought it would be interesting to interview an author who writes post-apocalyptic fiction. The fact that he also writes about werewolves and witches means that this interview was even more fun for me.
In this upcoming interview on Wednesday, December 26th, Noah Chinn explores whether apocalyptic themes are fundamentally urban, the role of the apocalyptic in feelings of loss, and the danger of losing one’s humanity when facing the idea of the end. Noah Chinn takes a close look at how the theme of memory loss is used in literature, the role of curiosity to change the world, concepts of love and awkward relationships, curses and ideas of control, and the role of monsters and myth. Noah infuses his insights with humour and wit.
Here are some highlights from the interview:
Noah Chinn: “Some of us daydream about how we could survive in such a world, while others just like being taken out of their comfort zone. It’s not just the threat of death, after all. It’s all the things you take for granted being taken away.”
Noah Chinn: “The real question is, do you keep your humanity in the process [of encountering the apocalypse]?”
Noah Chinn: “Sometimes the stories are about overcoming, surviving, and the possibility of rebuilding. And sometimes it’s about the world changing.”
Noah Chinn: “I think some people (especially in film) mistake fatalism and hopelessness with being exciting. To me it sucks the tension away.”
Noah Chinn: “That tiny bit of hope adds to the hopelessness of the situation, which has far more tension than constant failure. And it keeps the reader thinking about “but what if they try this” instead of just giving up and waiting for the characters to keep running away.”
Noah Chinn: “Curiosity is one of the reasons we are who we are. We ask ourselves questions and we try to find answers. Sometimes we make things better, sometimes we make things worse – but even when we make things worse that same curiosity gives us the capacity to try and fix it.”
Noah Chinn: “A curse is something imposed on you, something out of your control. You can point a finger at who did it, but you can’t really do anything about it. I think we all feel cursed now and then – bad stuff happens and we think “What did I do to deserve this?” as if we actually DID do something, instead of just the random nature of the universe. It taps into our paranoia of someone or something that has it in for us. But it also gives us a target for our attention, rather than a vague sense of bad things happening, you have something specific and defined. In an odd way, it brings order to that chaos, which means there’s a chance to do something about it, instead of just swinging at shadows.”
So, check out Speculating Canada on Wednesday, December 26th to read the interview and hopefully gain some insights about the apocalypse… before it is too late… or at least be able to laugh about it…