Beyond the discussion of the book, about the son of an astronomer, I found the following section especially revealing of something: the interviewer's bent, or the lingering culture of American letters currently, or just something off-putting generally:
[Interviewer] You explore these questions with many of the techniques of what we might call “genre fiction.” Your work, I think, blends “literary” qualities with elements of noir fiction, offering the reader the pleasure of both experiences. (I’m putting these terms in quotes because I’m not sure how reliable they are.) What attracts you to this kind of storytelling? What are its strengths and limitations?
What is literary fiction, anyway? What is genre fiction? In the past it's been used to separate, most often under rubrics of what is considered good (literary) and what is considered bad (genre) writing. Or that which concerns universal truths (literary) with that which only seeks to entertain or titillate (genre).
I find these distinctions unhelpful, if only because I have read a fair amount of literary fiction that can only be considered an imitation of what people think is literary, and which is not good at all. And I have read genre fiction that is quite universally true (e.g. Exposure by Therese Fowler, a novel of women's fiction with a well-considered whiff of Romeo and Juliet).
I consider Skater in a Strange Land fantasy, but it is not just about a story or entertainment. If someone would like to interview me about the book, I could reveal all the intricacies of its universality.
More good and true writing here by a writer who defies literary and genre distinctions.