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The Wisdom of John Scalzi

<Crack interviewer, Eric Hardenbrook, asks Jon Scalzi,

author of Old Man’s War, five tough questions>

1. What's the one aspect of the future you’ve created in Old Man’s War that you would like to see come true first?

I suspect I would probably like the body-swapping technology, because while at 40 I'm not quite at the age where everything starts falling apart, it's not too far off now. I would not actually like a BrainPal, because the last thing I want is Russian Viagra spam running through the computer in my brain and no ability to shut it off.

2. If the circumstances come about as you portray in OMW, would you sign up?

Probably not. I like to know as much as possible what I'm getting into, and I think the lack of knowledge about the circumstances I'm signing up for would strike me as suspicious and not worth my time. But then, I'm 40. Ask me again when I'm 75.

3. There seems to be a lack of religious aspects to the soldiers in OMW. Was this an intentional elimination on your part (not aiding the structure and pace of the story) or was it simply something that didn’t occur to you (or your characters)? I think you’ve mentioned before that religion does come up, just not until the Colonial Mennonites in The Last Colony.

In fact in OMW there's a brief mention in the brochure about what people should do if they have theological concerns about their new bodies, etc. But no, religion is not a huge topic of conversation in OMW, simply because John Perry was formulated as being a bit agnostic and it's from his point of view. That said, religion and spirituality plays a role in other books of mine, including The Last Colony and also The Android's Dream. While being agnostic myself, I don't believe either religion or the spiritual impulse is going anywhere anytime soon.

4. I was surprised when I read that your attendance at conventions is a relatively recent occurrence (first convention in 2003 - wow). What is your most unusual convention encounter so far?

Well, I was propositioned by a fan at one (which I politely turned down), but I don't know if that's unusual, since we authors a VERY SEXY GROUP OF PEOPLE (no, really. Stop looking at me like that). I haven't really had many encounters I'd actually term as "unusual," to be truthful about it. The closest thing to something like that was when I showed Robert Silverberg how to use Twitter at the last Worldcon. But that wasn't unusual, just moderately amusing.

5. If you could have one (and only one) super power, what would it be?

Oh, I have no idea. I can never answer these sorts of questions. Possibly the mystical power to eat all the ice cream I want and not get fat. Which is not a SUPER power, but would still be a neat trick.


John Scalzi, Freelance Troublemaker

"Your stupidity amuses me."

-- Kristine Blauser Scalzi, after I poked myself in the eye with a pen

Many thanks to intrepid interviewer Eric Hardenbrook