Me and Glenn Reynolds Geeking Out About Science Fiction

Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit fame interviewed me today for his “Instavision” talk show, on the subject of science fiction and blogging, both of which I am rumored — rumored, mind you — to know a little something about. Here’s the direct link, and if you have a problem accessing it, here’s a link to the Instapundit entry about it, from which you can also get to the video.

41 Comments on “Me and Glenn Reynolds Geeking Out About Science Fiction”

  1. John,

    The link worked for me.

    Great interview. Never seen you on video before (nor live either), but you are kewl.

    Now for my whine for another SF novel…

    whine, whine, whine



  2. Perhaps I am just an old fart whose objections are excessively paranoid, but I have a problem with the idea that I must register and provide contact information – email address, etc. – before access is provided. (The very first thing the web site says is “Thanks for watching and now you need to register to see anything more.”)

    I am well aware that there are ways around that issue. I already have an e-mail account on Yahoo that I never look at, so all of the spam advertising that is sent there is wasted, but I object to the waste of time “registering” just to look at something.

    I can see the reason for registering before being allowed to post comments, but not just for being able to look at an interview video. I’ll also accept the financial reality of being exposed to advertising on the web site to help cover expenses. However, I draw the line at providing a legal basis for someone to send me spam.

    In regard to Glenn Reynold’s text comment about the lameness of Holden Caulfield, that is a slam dunk, IMO. Personally, I much prefer Josh Arnold from Richard Bradford’s “Red Sky at Morning”, let alone Heinlein’s characters.

    With best wishes,
    – Tom –

  3. Nice interview! I had no problems getting to the site, and I didn’t have to register. I’m a little sad, though, that there was no mention of Bacon Cat. Maybe next time.

  4. I also was able to access the video w/o registering, but it took about two minutes before a short vid came up suggesting that I register “for the coolest conservative videos” (no thanks) and then another two minutes or so before the main video started playing. A message on the side said that as a visitor, I could look a 4 more videos before I had to register (again, no thanks).

    That said, it was an excellent interview, as yours invariably are, though it didn’t cover much of anything minions like myself hadn’t already read or heard.

  5. When I started listening I groaned when I heard the time lapse between question and answer. I thought the slow feed would make the whole thing feel slow and clumsy, but instead what it did was allow both sides to finish speaking because it was too much of a hassle to interrupt. So both you and Glenn Reynolds came off as articulate and thoughtful people. Not that you aren’t, anyway …

  6. Don’t know why, but every time I’ve been in Glenn’s office I seem to completely miss the giant portal into outer space opening upon the Death Star. Guess I should be more observant next time.

  7. Very enjoyable. A strange observation: seeing photos of you somehow gives a different impression than seeing your face in action….. animation becomes you. Don’t blush.

  8. Fun interview John. It’s not everyday that you see an interviewee with “Bradford, Ohio” beneath their name.

    You totally put the “rad” in Bradford in this interview.

  9. Nice! Thanks.


    I’ve just realized how many darn books I have read cause the instapundit pointed them out.

  10. A very fun interview. Loved the Star Trek Dog, poor thing.

    Nice Singularity chat too.

    Made me thing of the Singularity game coming out next year, but that’s neither here nor there, I suppose.

  11. Very enjoyable interview. I totally agree with your assessment of Holden Caulfield – it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who thought he was a lame-ass. However, I found it odd that Mr. Reynolds chose to bring up your AMC article about the sciencefail of Star Trek instead of Star Wars, considering the fact that he had a Death Star in his background.

  12. Fantastic interview, John. About your web-to-print trajectory, I actually purchased Agent to the Stars because of Penny Arcade. Tycho mentioned it in a blog post, and the banner ad took me right to a purchase point of sale.

    I’ve never seen a book on PA since, sadly.

  13. Great interview. I loved your discussion of the Singularity, because I agree with your position that every moment is a Singularity to some civilization.

    Every case of anomie is a singularity for someone.

    And Holden Caulfield is the whiniest character in literature; my son only got a ‘C’ on his final in Literature last semester because he wrote a paper where his premise was that Holden Caulfield was the biggest loser in the game of life because of his own attitude, not because of what was around him. This varied greatly with the received analysis of the class.

  14. Good interview John. Do you ever do radio stuff? I think you’d make for a good guest on an egghead NPR discussion about play between the Internet, writing and books.

  15. Great interview!

    I was actually reminded of something when they mentioned your Hate Mail book, and I’ve been meaning to ask for awhile now — when are they going to release it in an eReader format? preferably for kindle?

    I’d love to buy it (and I do have everything of yours that is available electronically, fwiw — consider this my squee-ing fan girl moment), but I no longer purchase paper books or magazines, so I am anxiously awaiting the kindle release!

    So, uh, if you could wander over and tell at the nice people at Tor to get on that, I’d appreciate it! ;)

  16. Nicely done. You are just as articulate live as you are in print.
    Show that poor dog to Ghlaghghee. Might make her feel a little better about the whole bacon thing.
    Singularity? It should be called the plurality because it is ongoing. SciFi preps us for what might be coming. By the time it gets here it just cool and not over whelming.
    Although I am still pissed that I don’t have my flying car damnit!
    Excellent points on the whole post apocalyptic thing.
    Heh, looks like the Scalzi minions may have swamped another unsuspecting IT team and crashed their servers.

  17. If you are on the free set, without being registered (free registration, not member) then it defaults to flash. If you login with free registration, you get a blankscreen unless you have the patch’s (so click the “video quality” and click the flash player option) A lot of people have that.

    Especially people like me who live in the “Cloud”

    Don’t know if that’s helpful.

  18. as for the registration thing, it’s for valid counts.

    PJTV needs to be able to actually count the people who visit, so it’s understandable.

  19. Keep on with those Venn diagrams. So far, I’m in the overlap of everything you mentioned.

    Go figure.

  20. That was fun. I particularly like your take on apocalyptia (of which I am *heartily* bored).

    Always strikes me as getting it a bit wrong to write futurist novels about the End of All and how everything’s going to suck.

  21. Listening to you now. You look really young.. in a good way. You talk about the blog and the sci fi books. My ex girlfriend intorduced me to your blog in maybe 2004 or 2005. She has still never read one of your novels…. She loves to read but is not a scit fi fan… I am still trying to get her to read Agent to the Stars. That was a hilarious classic book that would appeal to almost anyone… even a non-sci fi fan.. but I am not so great because she still has not read it.

    I really got into your blog around Katrina.. I was obsessed with Katrina and I have sent “Being Poor” to many others…

    Recently I read Zoe’s War. It was very, very good. I believe that you are writing like a teen girl.

    I still love Agent to the Stars the most. I really love all your books but Agent is classic. I have not read the new version that I guess updates some of the referencesto hollywood stars? I hope it was not changed too much because it was so good as it was.

    I read Agent on a holiday 2 years ago the last 2 days of June.. At Old Orchard Beach in Maine. It was a Library book.. limited edition and autographed…. I certainly did not read it 30 feet out in the ocean in the 2 foot deep water in a lawn chair.. while I enjoyed the 10 degree celcious water and the 34 degree temperature and the 40 degree humidex… All celcius. Of course I would not disrespect an autograhed book… that I think at times some were sold for hundreds of dollars. Never take a book like that out in the ocean with me.

    I’ll say… I think Holden Caulfield attatches to so many people for so many decades.. because most people do not want to do anything…. rather then change anything… they want society to be alientaing because they feel that way and always have. They are alientated.. and maybe they want to be alienated. Sadly this does not only apply to teens but many, many adults. I enjoyed Catcher in the Rye.. Then I read a ton more books by him. They were all good. And I do not indentify with Holden always but I do at times. I think I realize why many do identify with him.

    There was tremendously gorgeous girl in my high school named Zoe. And yet you brought up Salinger and Zoe to some degree makes me think of Zooey.

    I loved Zoe’s tale… is it weird I think of Zooey when I see Zoe?

  22. I can’t help but be concerned that Scalzi is associating with Neo-Con, Bush-loving, war monger, tea-baggers.

    They cannot be tolerated.

  23. Instasnarker ain’t so bad, Friedrich, until he starts talking politics. Definitely a fine person so long as you avoid his blog.

  24. @37: If I hadn’t read Instapundit, I wouldn’t have found out about OMW, which means I wouldn’t have started reading science fiction again.

  25. Hey it looks like you just got a front page link at !!

    You might be seeing more “Neo-Con, Bush-loving, war monger, tea-bagger” visitors from a right-of-center web site.

    As a person who was exposed to Scalzi via Instapundit, I think this is a great way to spread awareness of your excellent books.

  26. Yes, count me as another Scalzi fan via Glenn Reynolds. Glenn displays the type of maturity that is rare amongst political bloggers where he doesn’t require his friends to share his politics. Instapundit frequently posts about science fiction (he is a huge Firefly fan) and science in general, completely unrelated to his right-wing/libertarian political views. And John clearly feels the same way about friends versus politics. The blogosphere could really use more of that.

    And I expect Instapundit to trend more moderate in the coming years. He seems like too smart a guy to stay on the current Republican bandwagon too much longer.

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