Assorted Interrogatives.

Theseus under construction in LEO, six weeks  prior to launch.

Theseus under construction in LEO, six weeks prior to launch.

Coming up to breathe for a moment in between web site renovations (going well, thank you) and attempts to burrow through a tangled morass of Russian bureaucracy (not so much— in fact, that whole trip just might go tits-up over the next couple of days), I see a couple of interviews have gone live.  In one of them— the last of Clay Dugger’s epic 5-part series Watching the Skies: From “Who Goes There?” to THE THING — I basically jam with Mr. Dugger on the subject of “The Things”, and how it fits into the greater Campbellian canon. I also seem to remember having some unkind words for the 2011 prequel, and some thoughts on Lamarckian biology, and differences between the movie and the Alan Dean Foster novelization, and that time when Dog-Kennel-Thing split into two halves and one half punched its way up through the ceiling and nobody seemed to worry about where it went or what it might be doing up there. I’m not really sure. The episode goes on for almost two hours (I don’t think a single part of the five weighs in at less than one), and we recorded it a while ago— so while I dimly remember having a blast on Skype, I’m kinda fuzzy on the content. For all I know at this point, I could’ve spent half the time giggling and making farting noises with my armpit.

Still, if you have several hours to kill and you’re at all interested in a certain misunderstood shape-shifting alien, you could do worse than head over to the Chronic Rift Network and avail yourself of the wisdom of such folks as Dave Robison, Paul K. Bisson, Paul Elard Cooley, and, well, me.

The other interview is of more recent vintage— it just went live on Friday, courtesy of our friends over at Clarkesworld— and is more conventionally formatted in text instead of tones. It will take you significantly less than one hour forty five minutes to get through it all, and while a couple of the questions may have a familiar ring (Do you write from an outline? Does it scare you how fast reality catches up to your lame-ass predictions?), there are others that, perhaps surprisingly, no one has asked me before (How hard is it to imagine you’re Siri Keeton?) Also I change my long-held position about Scientists As Communicators. In fact, I turn 180° on the subject.

Which doesn’t mean that I’m any happier about it, of course.



This entry was posted on Monday, August 4th, 2014 at 12:45 pm and is filed under interviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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whoever
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whoever
8 years ago

Think babblegab is a new word to me. Must use.

whoever
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whoever
8 years ago

Peter, the Cooley link appears to be in placeholder mode.

Nestor
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Nestor
8 years ago

Darkhorse digital has the viking thing comic, no trace of the others
https://digital.darkhorse.com/profile/1399.the-thing-full-book/

IIRC it’s kinda dumb, especially how the viking loses his arm in the first place. I do have fond memories of the older 90s Thing comics, although really once the Thing hits south america it really should’ve been game over world, but for some reason it wasn’t interested in all the non-human biomass in the jungle…

Daniel
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Daniel
8 years ago

Sir

You mention you aren’t part of SFWA. How come? What’s your opinion on the controversy that has been stirred up with it for the past few years? And what’s your take on the current Hugo nominations controversy, given that has its roots in the SFWA fights?

Thanks

whoever
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whoever
8 years ago

Re: SFWA.

Reminds me of when I took chess lessons in late 90s. Mind you, just chess lessons from a coach and we met once at a Manhattan chess club space. Just once. Had not joined the club, just visiting.

There was discussion as to whether chess should get funding in NYC public schools. A member dressed about as close to steampunk as one can get and still quite not invoke “Is it Halloween?” who was opposed to this, demanded to know my opinion on the matter. Suspect High School Chess Clubs behave more maturely.

Gary Flood
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Gary Flood
8 years ago

Re: ‘Giants’ and ‘Hotshot’

When I have time I will probably do the Thing stuff, thanks for the link. But I was intrigued by the other interview and the two other stories I didn’t know about from ‘The Island’ universe, and for whatever reason (copyright?) you didn’t include in ‘Beyond The Rift.’ I would like to read these stories, as well as potential future project ‘Sunflowers,’ but while I am sure the two anthologies mentioned are full of other great stuff, I am not sure I want to buy that much content on spec. So my question is, why can’t I buy those two stories from you direct? You can’t publish them under the Creative Commons thing?

Perhaps I am being a bit Shawshank-style obtuse here, but can you tell me how to read this stuff – if it is to buy the books say so, that’s fine.

I also note that so far I have paid for all my Watts content, bar, I think, ‘The Things’ in original publication, though I did buy BTR so I am helping the Niblet Memorial Fund. Give me more ways to do so, happy to give you more £ (or CAN$, as it were)?

Gary Flood
Guest
Gary Flood
8 years ago

Thank you, I’ll keep a look out for that and I think the ‘Infinity’ is worth a buy anyway. The bigger issue this brings up is author payments, I’d be interested in your general views on all that – Scalzi is saying some interesting things re the whole Amazon-Hachette thing. I think I will make a token but heartfelt Niblet donation anyway as your shambling busking performance (equivalent) of ‘Lady In Red’ here on the virtual London Underground surely worthy of a few coppers.

Daniel
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Daniel
8 years ago

Peter Watts: Hey. You asked.

I did 🙂 I have no stake in the fight, I just wanted to hear your take on it and found it insightful. One point I would make though is that people aren’t objecting to what Vox Dei writes in his books and has his characters do or the viewpoints they espouse. Its the stuff he personally argues for in his words on his blog as his viewpoint, like supporting the action of throwing acid on women’s faces as punishment and naked white supremacy where he calls black people uncivilized subhumans.

But hey, death of the author and all that, you can consume the art without agreeing with the creator.

01
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01
8 years ago

Hugo controversy is a largely imaginary thing, since there’s nothing controversial about a borderline-insane person (and Theo Beale, also known as Vox, being a person who almost literally inhabits the Lovecraft County and sincerely believes unseen, supernatural forces are actively at work in the world, definitely qualifies as “borderline” insane, if not as something more clinical) being a tolerable writer, and there’s nothing controversial about a racist, obnoxious prick being a tolerable writer (there are examples of insufferable pricks even being great writers)

So why should a case when borderline insane insufferable racist prick gets nominated be controversial?

Besides, the story isn’t very bad.
Worse things have been nominated for Hugo

Daniel
Guest
Daniel
8 years ago

Because he hijacked SFWA resources to be an insane insufferable racist prick to other SFWA members and then a bunch of other insane insufferable racist pricks got upset that he was punished for it.

Basically because people wouldn’t tolerate his intolerance when he was taking from them to spread his intolerance

01
Guest
01
8 years ago

Well, that definitely warrants SFWA expulsion (also a lawsuit would be in order, I suspect) but is hardly a reason to deny a Hugo nomination.

I mean, what he did was unethical and might be even illegal, but Hugo does not have (to the best of my knowledge) provisions against people involved in unethical and criminal acts.

Basically, if Hitler were to be brought back from beyond the grave as a terrifying magical Nazi lich, and decided to publish a sci-fi book, he could get a Hugo nomination.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel
8 years ago

The Hugo nomination issue is that the essentially paid a bunch of people to nominate him.

Which is a far lesser thing than his generally shittiness, but there you are