After 15 years of success, Michel Bussi is testing science fiction

Attack, teleportation, abolition of borders and universal language … In New Babelwhich comes out on Thursday, March 3, the writer paints a portrait of the human condition in 2097.

French writer Michel Bussi, a geographer turned novelist, began as a local writer. After 15 years of success, he tackles science fiction because “in popular literature, it is interesting to break down genres“.

This Norman rejects the labels that would be left to him from his previous books: regionalist author, thriller, sentimental intrigue … In New Babel (Edicions Presses de la Cité), which comes out on Thursday, for those who usually like to walk their characters between the past and the present, is therefore transported to the distant future. In 2097, a revolution changed the entire human condition: teleportation for all. The planet is now just a state, with no borders. Everyone lives where they want. Spanish is the language of humanity.

My status as a writer who sells a lot gives me immense freedom. I don’t know if New Babel would have been accepted by a publisher at another time. Not only that, but he will defend himself. Few science fiction books will benefit from a release like this. And me, it’s the novel I believe in“, Says the author.

In this field where we did not expect it, Michel Bussi links a political intrigue. Does your anticipation novel begin with an inexplicable attack? Suddenly we think Annihilate by Michel Houellebecq. But the comparison stops here. “I wrote before the confinement, and since then we’ve seen, as in the novel, people teleworking deserted cities.comments the geographer. Despite this, “I’m not a visionary, I won’t make the fake Houellebecq“.

Michel Bussi, unlike the other writer Michel, gives journalists all the interviews they ask for. His novels are almost ignored by academics and rarely commented on by literary critics. And it is not intended to feed the political debate on the future of Western civilization. Even when you sell like him 721,000 copies a year (the fourth best-selling author in 2021), “they don’t recognize us on the street, we have a completely anonymous life“He told AFP.”In my neighborhood, I can go and get my breadTo be at peace, he gives only a few details of his life. electoral.

The different portraits of him in the press let us know that he comes from “the middle class“son of a teacher”who raised her alone“after”brutal deathof his father, a steel worker, when he was 10 years old. If the issue of affiliation haunts many of your stories, you don’t want to dwell on the subject. For his followers, he will hardly learn more The suspense factory, the first title in a collection of editions of Le Robert where writers talk about his method. This native of the Rouen region is described as marked by this “working class campaign“o”you go in a few steps from a castle tower to a factory chimney“.

In this book, which will be published on March 3, he details his technique of intrigue with twists (“the art of turning“) says he has”writing the biographical part with a little less pleasure, I was left on the surface of things, because I’m not a fan of the autobiography. I understand that this is what people want to read, but it is not what I want to write.“He continues. We’ll only know that.”I was in an environment where there was really no model in literature. They didn’t impose any classics on me. As a reader, I made myself“.


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