Giles Slade came to British Columbia in August of 1993. He worked for many years as a copywriter for Harlequin's Gold Eagle series for which he wrote numerous books under the pen name Don Pendleton.

More significantly, his book Made To Break (2007) won an international gold medal for best environmental book. It was reviewed over 200 times--in Playboy, BusinessWeek, Mother Jones, GQ, TLS, Christian Science Monitor, LATimes, Chicago Tribune, Utne, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, etc., and he was interviewed on CNN, NPR, CBC [many times]. He appeared in an award winning documentary on European TV called 'The LightBulb Conspiracy.' This documentary by Spanish filmmaker Cosima Dannortitzer was shown at the DOXA film festival in Vancouver in May of 2012.

The Big Disconnect (2012) is about how technology isolates us. "It should interest everyone who goes to sleep watching TV or commutes in solitude while listening to an iPod," he says. The book was reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement in April of 2013. "I'm happy as a clam," he said. "It's not the New York Review of Books, but it is encouraging, y'know. Usually, I just sit in the basement room and type. Sometimes the phone rings, but it is usually for my 8 year old."

Near the outset of the book's introduction, Slade writes, "What it is to be human has diminished under pressures from technology and from the application of economic reasoning to every aspect of human life. Man has shrunk to an atomic unit orbiting, serving and servicing the machinery of his city and his economy. Human longing persists, but it is no longer projected backwards towards our divine, parental origins. Instead we project our longing into the technological future where we imagine -again-that we will soon be fulfilled and finally free.

"By 2010, the size of the average American workspace declined from the 90 square feet allotted to workers in 1994, to only 75 square feet. Although they are much more difficult to quantify, human relationships have also shrunk. Fewer and fewer people have a friend or single trusted confidante. More and more people live alone. Many have 'friends' on Facebook, but go home to lonely dwellings where they divert themselves during the empty hours with technological distractions: the Internet, HD or 3D television, videos, electronic games, entertainment systems, exercise machines, sports programs, Jacuzzi tubs, personal automatic baristas, and automatic sex toys that would have embarrassed sex-trade workers of an earlier generation. This is not good for people, but for manufacturers and marketers, human beings are best when they are alone since individuals are forced to buy one consumer item each, whereas family or community members share their cars, their washing machines, their televisions, their PCs. Technology's movement towards miniaturization serves this end by making personal electronics suitable for individual users. You carry your phone, your music device, your tablet with you. For today's carefully-trained consumers, sharing is an intrusion on personal space."

Slade concludes a 60-page chapter on music by writing, "We have been conditioned for over a hundred years to risk interpersonal contact only through the mediation of machines. We trust machines much more than we trust human beings. Through the faint distance grooming of music listened to through earbuds, our machines provide us with an oxytocin surge that is much more reliable than most interactions with human beings even if it invites comparisons with babies' pacifiers. Earbuds are pacifiers for adults. We pay handsomely for them.";

Slade's American Exodus claims the movement of Mexicans since 1982 is simply the first stage of a climate migration that will eventually force Americans to leave their homes in the South and along America's coasts for the best climate the continent offers: Canada.

Slade has also written book reviews for TLS, New York Times, CSM, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Mother Jones, and a variety of other papers and magazines.

DATE OF BIRTH: 28-11-53

PLACE OF BIRTH: Ottawa, ON

ARRIVAL IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: 1993, August

ANCESTRAL BACKGROUND: Irish and English

EMPLOYMENT OTHER THAN WRITING: high-end copywriter & ghostwriter. Contact agent John W. Wright, NYNY with proposals

AWARDS: Reviewed in TLS, LRoB, Nature, Irish Times, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Playboy, BusinessWeek, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle

BOOKS:

Made To Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America (Harvard University Press, April 2006).

The Big Disconnect: The Story of Technology and Loneliness (Prometheus Books 2012) $19 U.S. 978-1-61614-595-8

American Exodus: Climate Change and the Coming Flight for Survival (New Society 2013) 978-0-86571-749-7

[BCBW 2012]