Brain Flash

We pick Paul Di Filippo's brain

MT: Scientists are now running atom by atom simulations of ribosomes. You coined the term Ribofunk, do you think the Rifopunk era is at hand?

PDF: I do indeed continue to believe, some twenty years onward, that the ribofunk era is almost upon us. New lab techniques and insights are dovetailing with two forces to usher in the era. First, the natural world continues to be a Darwinian killer--witness avian flu--and we need to use all out new tools to fight back. Second, humanity is being educated in the notion that cellular destiny is mutable. We no longer accept such eternal verities as aging as a necessary part of our future, and seek to improve on the not-so-intelligent design we've inherited.

MT: Do you think the internet is reviving the market for short science fiction?

PDF: I actually think desktop publishing--even if it's not so cutting edge anymore--is keeping the short story alive. There are at least a dozen hardcopy smallpress zines that are publishing good work, while I suspect there are only probably three or four or five top-notch online sites. But these virtual markets are certainly important and ground-breaking, and sidestep crucial distribution problems.

MT: What are you working on now?

PDF: I've started a new novel titled UP AROUND THE BEND, which is a surreal apocalyptic pastorale, if such a hybrid term makes any sense.

MT: What's the strangest thing you believe to be true?

PDF: Dogs love us, despite our appalling behavior.

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