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We used to flock to watch gladiators, public torture and executions. In more recent times, our appetite for mortal violence has been sublimated in sports, photorealistic video games, film and literature.
The more I worked on 'Half Brother,' the more it seemed to me the story was really about love in all its possible forms - how and why we decide to bestow it, or withdraw it; how we decide what is more worthy of being loved, and what is less. We are masters of conditional love.
The seed for my novel 'Half Brother' was planted in my mind over twenty years ago, but didn't germinate until late 2007 when I came across the obituary for Washoe, an extraordinary chimpanzee who had learned over 250 words of American Sign Language.
Flying into a storm, even its outer edges, did not seem like a good idea to me. And this was no ordinary tempest. Everyone on the bridge knew what it was: the Devil's Fist, a near-eternal typhoon that migrated about the North Indian basin year-round. She was infamous, and earned her name by striking airships out of the sky.
One of the reasons I wrote 'Airborn' was that I'd fallen in love with the great passenger airships which flew in the '20s and '30s. Their time was short-lived. They were frail, they tended to crash; and they could never be as fast, safe and efficient as the airplanes that replaced them.
I'm cursed with this puritanical streak that makes me want everything to be about something. It's a terrible affliction.
I wrote 'Airborn' after completing three books about bats. I loved my bats, but what a treat it was to write about humans again. They could eat food other than midges and mosquitoes, they wore clothing, they slept in beds - all this struck me as wonderfully novel.
It's somewhat disquieting that the same parents and educators who are horrified by the notion of child soldiers have bestowed upon 'The Hunger Games' a double mantle of critical praise and global bestsellerdom.
The world of 'The Hunger Games' is a paranoid survivalist's dream.
I think good art should always be entertaining, or at least give pleasure of some sort. And my chief goal as a writer has always been to tell a good story and give my readers a good time.
When I'd written my 'Silverwing' series - I'd imbued the bats with full human awareness and vocabulary.
Realistically, the chance of any book becoming a film is slim.
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Guy Gavriel Kay
Thomas Chandler Haliburton
John Ralston Saul
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