Michael Swanwick has won just about every award the science fiction and fantasy field offers, including the Hugo and the Nebula, while serving up edgy fiction that’s constantly questioning or seeking even as it entertains the reader.
Now, he’s back with Dancing with Bears--a novel that is flat-out brilliant, edgy, kick-ass work, featuring two of the narstiest most entertaining rogues in recent memory. It's like Swanwick thinks he's 18 again and in a punk band...er, a punk band that can write. In a post-utopian future complete with dangerously weird robots, con-men Darger and Surplus are on their way to Russia, having quite “innocently” having acquired a caravan along the way--a caravan delivering a priceless gift from the Caliph of Baghdad to the Duke of Muscovy. If things were tough before they got to Russia, they’re positively absurd with intrigue, revolution, and double-crossing once they’ve arrived with their precious cargo. Some might say Darger and Surplus are cruel men, but in this world, they’re just using their talents to survive in a world of far more powerful rogues.
Amazon.com caught up with Swanwick to talk about this forthcoming novel, and especially about the impetus behind two such distinctive characters.
Amazon.com: Can you remember where Darger and Surplus came from in your imagination, and did they pop out fully formed or evolve over time?