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Interview: Charles Yu

Owl and Bear met with up-and-coming author Charles Yu, who braved 8-foot Pikachus and zombie brides at Comic-Con International 2010 to talk with us about his new book, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe (Pantheon Books), due in stores September 7, 2010.

At first blush, Charles Yu’s How to Live Safely in A Science Fictional Universe is a classic science fiction comedy complete with a sobbing, suicidal time machine operating system and an ontologically ambiguous robot dog. But surrounding the dark humor of the protagonist, a lonely repairman of chronogrammatical vehicles with temporolinguistic architecture (read: time machines), is a small, sad universe that challenges the polarity of science and art through a unique narrative “technology.”

“I was trying to explore a fake science of storytelling,” Yu said, when asked about how his book collapses the barrier between science and language. “Reading a book itself is definitely a pretty advanced form of time travel, one we’ve had for a long time… I wasn’t so much trying to rigorously work through any kind of science about it, but just the idea that this is a really amazing technology we already have.” Continue reading…