Wil Wheaton: More Handsome Than Me

As you can see by this photo, taken by Galleycat’s Ron Hogan at BEA. If the two of us were, like, the Gen-X writer version of Wham!, I am so Andrew Ridgley.

The picture is illustrating a nice bit Ron did for Galleycat that covers some of my adventures at BEA, and also features some of the first third-party commenting on Zoe’s Tale, and also about Agent to the Stars:

They’re two very different projects—one’s a space opera, the other’s a Hollywood comedy with aliens—but reading them back to back on the redeye home from LA, I realized that one of the qualities I admire most about his fiction is his ability to ground serious moral and philosophical issues in the lives of interesting characters… Not to mention, these are the fourth and fifth novels in a row where he wrote scenes that almost made me cry, the big jerk.

This is true, incidentally. I can’t get through certain scenes in Zoe’s Tale without crying, and I’ve read them a hundred times each by now. Yes, yes. I’m a big fat cry-baby; even so. Prepare yourselves, is all I’m saying.

50 Comments on “Wil Wheaton: More Handsome Than Me”

  1. I look forward to the Subterranean Press Special Edition that comes with a box of kleenex inside the jacket flap.

  2. I will happily admit that I cried while reading TSD. You just like toying with our fragile emotions, don’t you John, don’t you?!

    Incidentally, did you poo in Wil’s cornflakes or something? He looks disturbed and you look very triumphant.

    Coincidence? Mebbe not!

    (Oh, and on a totally unrelated note, I spelled coincidence correctly on the first try. Go me!)

  3. Burns! – LA. Not Louisiana. Los Angeles. – More fun than anyone I know. Probably more than anyone you know, too.
    Burns!

    Okay, seriously. I set up the initial lunch with Wheaton, and now when you come to town I don’t even get a phone call? And you rub it in with photos? I’m wounded. Is this all because of that episode with the goat? How many times can I apologize for that? There was no way I could’ve known she wasn’t house-broken.

  4. Well, Wheaton is rocking a Minibosses shirt, so that does give him some points, I suppose. But I don’t know if it’s necessarily in the ‘handsome’ department….

  5. I keep forgetting Wil Wheaton is still around my age and will be until one of us is dead.

    Cause in my mind’s eye he’s still the same age I was in junior high school….

    Dang syndication anyway.

  6. Yes, Alternative. Now you have seen them together.

    But wait. You saw a picture (possibly altered) of someone who looks like John Scalzi, and claims to be him, standing with someone who looks like Wil Wheaton, and claims to be him. So, does this really blow your theory? Maybe, maybe not!

  7. Another reason I love the novels of John Scalzi so much that I couldn’t quite work into that post — He’s the kind of writer who will spend a couple hundred pages building up a particular character as the novel’s resident asshole, then give that character one of the most emotionally powerful scenes in the story… and make it work.

  8. Y’know, in that picture Wil Wheaton looks remarkably like my friend Dan. So I’m gonna email the picture to Dan and ask him just how did he manage to meet Scalzi and why didn’t he invite me along, dammit!

  9. There is a reason some people get paid to be in front of cameras and others do there job alone in a small room. ::runs::

  10. Burns!:

    Well, to be fair, I wasn’t planning on seeing Wil when I was there. He just happened to be at BEA, too.

    Anyway, I’m coming back to town in November. We’ll hang then. Oh, yes.

  11. Yes, yes. Very pretty. That Wheaton is a spectacular specimen there can be no doubt. And you’re cute as a bug’s ear, of course. Blah, blah.

    I’d rather a picture of you with Jessica Harper.

  12. Yes, I have been brought to tears a number of times already and I’m only on page 216. It’s a wonderful book.

  13. Um, I just showed the photo to my spouse. My wife declared “Oh he’s hot.” It was directed at the man on the right. Sorry John but at least she likes your cats!

  14. Dude, I know I lose the hotness race to Wil. See the title to the entry. But you know what I have? A good personality.

    Shayera:

    Oh, good, glad you’re liking it so far.

  15. Oh, God. If I’m not hotter than Peter O’Toole at the moment, I’m jumping out of a window. One on the first floor, to be sure. Even so.

  16. Scalzi, it’s no reflection on you whatsoever, but I feel obliged to point out that even though Peter O’Toole is 500 years old and made of tissue paper, I think he is still smokin’ hot.

  17. Karen:

    I have no objection to him being smokin’ hot at the age of 76 (or whatever). I just want, at age 39, to be ever-so-slightly more so.

  18. I agree with Mike. When the heck did Wil start growing that beard? He’s OK when he’s clean-shaven, not bad with a goat, but that beard… Mmm… Yummy. Definitely more of a Riker look than a Wesley look!

    But yes, we’ve already established that Wil is much hotter than you. The real question is: Which of you is a bigger nerd? You’re both major bloggers, you’re both writers… Wil wrote for Dungeon magazine, was the guest of honour at PAX, and is wearing a Minibosses T-shirt. You, on the other hand, write science fiction for a living. So… That’s a tough choice. There’s certainly enough geekery between the two of you to have warped local space and time… But in a good way. :-)

  19. I won’t hazard as to who is the biggest nerd, Wil or I, but I will note that Cory Doctorow and I had a nerd throwdown in the lobby of the Bonaventure hotel on Saturday night. I could tell you who won that one, but where’s the fun in that?

  20. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, with skin on fire

    Scalzi, my wife says you don’t look to bad. For this I hate you.

    Will looks good, too. Like a mature Wil Wheaton.

    Can’t wait to read the new one. I NEED IT!!!

  21. Wil Wheaton is still a few days or weeks younger than Jon Frakes was when he started playing Riker with a beard.

    I second the motion for a Jessica Harper photo, preferably one from Inserts.

  22. Chang @ 29, I just finished it. I laughed, I cried (often) and a couple times I snorted with laughter. I was forced to hide in my office so my staff didn’t see me crying.
    Zoe’s a fantastic character. And I loved the book. (See, this is why I don’t write reviews.) I’m an inarticulate mass of “OMG You must read this book!”
    And now I’m off to re-read Old Man’s War.

  23. I cannot wait for “Zoe’s Tale.” I still need to read “The Last Colony,” as I can’t find it in stores but will wait for the paperback this summer.

  24. I am so glad to see this posting. My wife sent me a link to her favorite knitting blog, with the claim that the Yarn Harlot stalking Shatner and Nimoy was way cooler than the nerdy stuff I’m always talking about. I tried explaining to her that if John Scalzi had a sock he was knitting, he would have snapped a couple of pictures of Wil wearing said socks. And the pictures would have been way better resolution.

  25. Hey, the scene with John Perry and the alien general watching the ships get blown out of the sky in The Last Colony actually chokes me up. By that point in the trilogy, you get an idea of what a fundamentally good guy Perry is, and when he’s forced to do something horrible, it’s heart-wrenching.

  26. “And both of you look like dorks next to China Mieville, so it’s all good.”

    And China looks like a dink next to Richard K. Morgan. We’re in a geek death spiral now folks.

  27. JerolJ:

    Not that I have all that many leanings in this regard, but China’s definitely hunkier than RKM. Just sayin’.

  28. Come on people! It’s not about the looks! It’s about the intelligence! Can’t you see the intelligence seething from their eyes?

  29. I can’t get that episode of Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show out of my brain. Wil Wheaton with a beard equals Mushy Shorts. And always will.

  30. Damn you for making me feel old. I read your post and my first thought was not “who’s Andrew Ridgley” (which would have made me feel much better). it was “Andrew Ridgley had much longer hair.”

  31. Well, I would agree with the title, but it’s only ’cause I haven’t had a crush on you since my days running home after middle school to catch ST:TNG.

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