Inside the Book: Simon Jimenez (THE VANISHED BIRDS)

February 18, 2020 0 By Kailee Schamberger


[MUSIC PLAYING] The book is about a woman
lost outside of time. All she has is her work, which
is as a commercial transport shipper in space. And that requires
interstellar travel. And interstellar travel
requires a cost of time. Her friends and lovers
haven’t lift her. All she has is the
work, until she meets the boy fallen from the sky. [MUSIC PLAYING] I wanted a story
where a gay man could experience some romantic,
physical, sensual experience and have it not being treated
as something cloyingly transcendent, or
othered, or strange, or a fun character detail. I wanted it to be intrinsic
to the story itself, to be part of its
fabric, to feel natural, to be beautiful without
being condescending. [MUSIC PLAYING] I was drawing on
everything that I loved. So there wasn’t a specific
prototypical science fiction novel or fantasy epic
that I was drawing from. There’s a bunch of
silent influences that went into this
story, some of it from video games, some of
it from novels, some of it from movies, music, the
way a music could arc and loop, describing certain
scenes, however subliminally. In terms of touchstone
works, I don’t know if I can say
anything specifically. It could be as general
as Arundhati Roy’s God of Small Things
because she talked– she captures the
minute details of life in really beautiful
descriptions that are so unlike anything
you’ve read in other stories because they’re about how
the words sound in your head. And they’re music
without being music. But I was also
influenced by, like, cheesy genre fiction, too. One of my favorite movies
is Aliens, the sequel. And I like the relationship
between the main character, Ripley, and the
little girl, Newt, and how she has to take care of
her in this impossible world, and how there is this emotional
core in this really exciting, relentless action narrative. I like when– I was influenced
by any story that has been able to compile
a multitude of experiences in itself without
leaving anything out, where it feels like this is
a work where the author said everything they
had to say, and it feels complete and almost
excessive, but so satisfying because of that because
they try to solve the world. And maybe they choked
a bit on the way down. But they got something in. [MUSIC PLAYING]