In novels like Windup Girl and Shipbreaker, Paolo Bacigalupi popularized the idea of hard science fiction that deals with the environment. And now he's got a new novel coming out, The Water Knife, that he says will deal with how cities prepare for impending water shortages.

Photo: T. Tissot

In a terrific interview with Jake Swearingen at Modern Farmer, Bacigalupi talks about food politics in science fiction, then gives a few hints about The Water Knife.

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Bacigalupi says:

"The Water Knife" is set in the Southwest, and it's all about a water war between Phoenix and Las Vegas. They're fighting over dwindling supplies of the Colorado River. This is based on this understanding that we already know that Lake Powell is low, that Lake Mead is low, and that they're only going to get lower.

It's really a story about two cities looking at the future, and one of those cities deciding that it was going to pretend as though the future isn't a big Mac truck coming to run them over, and the other one saying, "Wow, we've got to dodge somehow." There are the ones who plan and anticipate, and the ones who live in denial. That's the frame for the story.

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Read the full interview at Modern Farmer