In your blog, you talk about some technological advances that approach us to the future you show in Uglies. Do you think that the scientific research difficults the task of the science-fiction writer, because science goes faster than fiction?
I think the real job of the sf writer is to show the effects of technology on human beings. And humans change more slowly than their gadgets. We're still figuring out how to deal with the telephones, in some ways. Is it okay to fire someone by phone? To break up with them? We still have these debates. So sf writers don't really have to stay ahead of the machines, we just have to keep the issues interesting for the tardy human beings.
We have learned that Uglies is a trilogy, but there is another book, named Extras. What's new in this book? Is it going to be published in Spain?
All four books will be published in Spain. Specials is the third in the trilogy, and Extras is a fourth book from another character in Tally's world. Extras actually takes place a few years later than the trilogy, after a lot of things have changed, so it's a fresh look at the situation.
Uglies is about a future in which people want to reach the physical perfection. We can find some signs of this future in the present world. Do you think we will live a similar situation?
Well, we already look different from the way people did a few centuries ago. We keep most of our teeth, have much better skin, are much taller, etc. But those three differences are all about being healthier. Now we have 16-year-olds having nose jobs. Having the cartilage in your nose smashed and then reshaped is on a different level than brushing your teeth.
I think we are moving toward a future with more and more plastic surgery. We all have those super-gorgeous faces on our TVs and computer screens to compete with, and surgery will probably get cheaper and harder to resist. But here's what I think will happen: some people's brains will adapt and realize that faces on TV are simply show business and have nothing to do with the rest of us, and will wear their own face as a marker of intelligence and self confidence. Others will pile surgery on top of surgery as fashions change. And maybe someday two people from these different tribed will fall in love, and all their friends will give them grief about it.
We also know that there is a film of Uglies in project. What can you tell us about it? Will you take part in the making of the script, or in the casting? And what about the actresses? Will they choose "normal" girls to play the rols of Tally and Shay, or will they be pretty girls, like most of the actresses are?
I'm sure Hollywood is very receptive to the themes of Uglies, so we'll see. My guess is that they'll cast girls who are "Hollywood Ugly," which means gorgeous with bad hair.
Luckily, I have no control over the film whatsoever, so I won't have to fight this battle.