Salman Rushdie is getting a lot of buzz for his fantastical new novel Two Years, Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights. And talking to the New York Times, he says he’s always loved science fiction—but he was inspired to try the genre now because of a sense that the world is turning upside down.
Rushdie tells the Times:
Science fiction is where I started out, really. When I was a kid, I was a complete addict of science fiction. It was one of my earliest interests as a writer, and I’ve just taken a long time to circle back around to it. It was also a reaction against writing my memoir. I’d spend two or three years trying really hard to tell the truth, and by the end, I was sick of the truth — enough truth, let’s make some [expletive] up.
But when he talks about why he wanted to write a fantastical story, he sounds a bit like Gary Shteyngart, trying to describe a world of apps and trends and nonsensical gadget-love:
[The novel’s storyline about Jinns] connected in my mind to this idea I had about living in a world where the rules are breaking down, where the world is changing so fast in all directions that a lot of people have a sense of bewilderment. You don’t actually know what the rules are anymore, and you have a sense that maybe there are other people much younger than you who do know what the rules are, and are thereby make billions by inventing, what, Snapchat? What the hell is that? That, apparently, is worth billions. Novels are worth, if you’re lucky, a six-figure sum.
The whole interview, in which Rushdie reveals who he’s rooting for on Game of Thrones, and says that he’s more scared of n+1 magazine than of Al Qaeda, is worth checking out. [NY Times]