Interview at GeekDad
Posted on April 19, 2011 Posted by John Scalzi 30 Comments
Over at Wired’s site today, I’m being interviewed about Fuzzy Nation, science fiction and the writing life and about being both a geek and a dad (which is appropriate because I am both). The interview goes into some detail about my choice to reboot H. Beam Piper’s novel Little Fuzzy and why I think (or at least hope) it helps to lead to further interest in Piper’s work. Go check it out.
That was a great interview. Substantive about the book and geek parenting. Thanks.
It’s pictures like these that make me think of my brother and his daughter (they are both weird and awesome as well). :)
Lovely interview. I especially enjoyed hearing that the science fiction fandom was a question in your mind as you wrote this. It’s funny becaue sci-fi/ fantasy writers seem to be the ones who respect fandom more than authors of other genres. They seem to abide by some code even as writers that they learned as fans.
Anyways, fantastic insight into reviving a classic. It definitely makes me want to go pick up your book, as well as Piper’s.
This picture made my day… <3
Nice pic – when she write “Daddy Dearest” some day, she will have photographic evidence :)
Great pic! Is it really from 2009?
Love the picture.
What you say about respecting and cherishing the classic novels is so true.
And I’d love to see what you would do with the Skylark series if you ever were allowed (are they still in copyright?). Your sense of humor might be just the right touch. I remember reading them when I was in high school.
Wonderful story about Athena, the ice cream, and the Jedi mind trick. I laughed out loud. Thanks for sharing.
I thought they were practicing for their audition for the roles of Old Cat and Kid Cat in Cat People, The Muscial.
My son and youngest daughters, now adults, always thought it was cool that dad liked cartoons as much as they did. When they got into anime, I made sure to watch a few with them. As the years passed, things slowly changed. When she was 17, my daughter was embarassed to death that her friends thought it was cool that her dad took her to an anime convention. Even worse, he commented to her friends how he should dress up as a character from Hellsing for the costume competition. To their “That would be so cool, Mr. Jerry,” my daughter commented, “Don’t encourage him.”
Alas, vanquished back to being just uncool Dad.
There is a concept I don’t get, that of the “unnecessary book.” What the heck is that? In my view books are either good or bad (totally subjective concept, mostly) but none of them are unnecessary! Such a label comes of as pretty pretentious, at least to me. A good story is a good thing, a necessary thing; and so I am puzzled when I read comments like “was this book necessary?” In any case, great interview.
My comment was going to be about how your shiny new organized office morphed very quickly back to the city of stacked books, but then I looked more closely at the caption and saw it was from 2009. So never mind, this comment is irrelevant
Oh good, I can finally admit that I had never heard of Little Fuzzy before all the talk about the new book. I just assumed I was less well-read than everyone else here, but I am well under the age cutoff that John mentions in the interview
And I’d love to see what you would do with the Skylark series if you ever were allowed (are they still in copyright?).
I believe Skylark of Space and Skylark Three are in the public domain; Skylark of Valeron and Skylark Duquesne are not.
John, when I heard about ‘Fuzzy Nation’ and, though I enjoyed a number of your novels, I said to myself “If he f***s up my vision of the Fuzzy Universe, I will stab him in the eye.” So you will get a book sale out of me …. and possibly a stalker.
I kid, but Piper’s ‘Fuzzy’ novels are beloved as the sci-fi I was reading when I transitioned into “grown-up” books in my early teens. I guess the answer to if the ‘Fuzzy’ world needed updating is in the execution. The two novels that expanded the ‘Fuzzy’ universe were pretty good – other attempts to expand classic sci-fi universes a failed in the excution [cough-herbert-cough]. But the internet is filled with fanfic and slashfic of people re-visioning classic stories and on the plus side, you got a book deal out of it. I’ll read the book and hopefully if won’t shatter my ‘Fuzzy’ world.
Anyone who can shoehorn a Famous Blue Raincoat reference into a conversation about H. Beam Piper is aces in my book.
I don’t have any more plans to revamp classic science fiction novels; I think once was enough for proof of concept.
John, I didn’t think you did. But admit it, even YOU would enjoy a Skylark series written by you (in an alternate universe, then smuggled into ours)!
Your office looks like my craft room. Instead of piles of books (which I keep in other places), I have piles of yarn and other craft supplies. I keep hearing that “a messy desk/workspace is a sign of high intelligence/a creative mind (I’ve heard both)”, and if that’s true, I must be a rocket scientist in deep cover.
Isn’t posting a picture of you and daughter rocking out grounds for emancipation according to most teenagers?
Congratulations, John, on the book, the good reviews, and the interview. I am not a science fiction fan (unless you call Stephen King science fiction – did I just blaspheme?), but you are making me want to start reading it just to see what the fuss is about. I could start with your book and the book you were basing it on maybe?
Chelle – honestly, I think you could start with any of John’s books. I’ve not, obviously, read Fuzzy Nation yet but one thing Scalzi does as well as anyone I’ve read is to make it easy to fall into the novel and just read. Yes, there’s fictional science (by which I mean some faster than light stuff and transferring people’s minds from one body to the other, but you don’t need to have a lot of experience in SF tropes to get that – it’s just something that happens. If you can do the basic suspension of disbelief that those things require I think you’ll find that the books are a lot of fun to read.
I see you’re still on a 4:3 screen. I recommend a 16:10, or if you’re desperate, a 16:9 aspect ratio screen.
How old is that picture?
Your office floor looks exactly like mine. Funny how that happens in this line of work.
Oh my goodness, your redesigned office is already covered in books, isn’t it? They’re like Tribbles.
Under the assumption that a reader is interested in reading both Little Fuzzy and Fuzzy Nation, which would you recommend they read first?
Setting aside “geek” and “dad” for a moment. Seeing the picture of your office/work area with those stacks and stacks of books made me feel all warm and, well, fuzzy inside.
OK, without commenting on the obvious ongoing construction of your personal Fortress of Solitude using books a the major building material, I just have to ask. What the bleep is that on top of the Hugo?
Tully: Looks like a headcrab, to me…
I bought a Paratime anthology a couple of years ago. It’s really good stuff, but I had to stop for a while when Piper had his characters demonstrate as scientific fact that poor people are only poor because they’re lazy.