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May 17, 2006

Wednesday Author Inteview: Nick Sagan

My good friend Nick Sagan has sat for an interview with me, in which we talk about diseases, gold records (of a different sort), and about the differences in writing novels and writing screenplays. It's good stuff and you should go read it now.

Also, you should get Nick's latest book Everfree, which is in stores tomorrow (which means it's probably in stores today if you look). It's the conclusion of Nick's Idlewild trilogy of books, which I have admired since the first book came out in 2003. This book is getting a lot of really excellent press, all of which is entirely deserved, since the book hits the emotional and story nails right flat smack on the head. I love that my friends write so damn well.

Reminder to authors that you too can participate in the orgy of gratifying self-promotion with these interviews -- get the details here. I will soon (heh) put up a schedule of the slots I have open and the slots I have filled through the year, in order to help those of you with books coming out figure out when to pester me.

Posted by john at May 17, 2006 09:09 AM

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» Star Chores: The Next Generation from The Cool Blue Blog
“First Officer Blackfive reporting for duty, sir…. Oh…. Where’s the Captain?” Sissy Willis looked up. “I’m the Captain now, Commander. Captain Smash retired.” “Really? I haven’t been on vacation that long. Two weeks.” “Actually,... [Read More]

Tracked on May 17, 2006 01:30 PM


Lars | May 17, 2006 01:30 PM


"One of the things I love about science fiction is its reciprocal relationship with science. Science fiction writers are inspired by advances in science and craft their stories; scientists in turn read those stories and take inspiration from the ideas."

It's a lovely sentiment, but I wonder if you could get away with saying it to the folks over at NASA, or wherever. I'm not very knowledgable about science, or the scientific community, but I suspect they might take offence to the idea that science stands to gain anything from a relationship with fiction. Science ficiton is unproven and untested. It handily vaults over the hurdles and hurdles of testing that every scientific theory has to undergo.

Anyway I'm just wondering how sure your really are about your good buddy science.

John Scalzi | May 17, 2006 01:38 PM

I didn't write that, Lars, Nick did.

Also, of course, considering Nick's father was one of the most well-known scientists of the last half century and that Nick and he were pretty close and all, one may assume that Nick knows a little about what he's talking about, from first-hand experience.

Lars | May 17, 2006 01:56 PM

Woops, my bad. And yeah, I suppose something about apples and a tree and falling not-far-from applies here.

You win this round, Scalzi, but I'll be back! And smugger than ever!

John Scalzi | May 17, 2006 01:58 PM

Ha! Can't wait!

CoolBlue | May 17, 2006 02:02 PM

Speaking of Science Fiction, John, you've won a part in my newest Star Chores! Adventure.

I tired to track back, but it doesn't seem to be working.

I thought having a Science Fiction writer in a Science Fiction story would be fun.

John Scalzi | May 17, 2006 02:16 PM

Yes, actually, I just saw that. Me as a space psychiatrist? Terrifying.

Nick Sagan | May 17, 2006 03:01 PM

Lars: I've actually said as much to folks at NASA, and have yet to hear anyone take offense. It's possible that someone would, but no complaints as yet.

You're absolutely right that science fiction quite commonly advances ideas that are unproven and untested (though hopefully they're informed ideas that are based around actual science). Science, on the other hand, demands testing. But the one feeds the other, like an alley-oop pass in basketball. Effectively, fiction can serve as a hypothesis which can then be put to the test via the scientific method.

Here's an interesting NOVA article about the evolution of the space station, and how science fiction helped contribute to its development. And then there's our artificial communication satellite networks. We owe this real world invention to a man synonymous with science fiction: the great Arthur C. Clarke.

Nick Sagan | May 17, 2006 03:13 PM

That NOVA article's URL...


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