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January 15, 2007


I want to try out some new audio software I have (it's the Adobe Soundbooth Beta), so ask me some questions, and I'll answer them and post the audio later on. No, this doesn't mean I'll be podcasting regularly. But this might be fun anyway.

Posted by john at January 15, 2007 01:49 PM

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Diana | January 15, 2007 02:06 PM

What novel do you think should be a reader's first Scalzi, and why? I've been trying to get my partner to read OMW, and he's resistant, but he saw TAD on a table at a bookstore and was all, "Why didn't you tell me about this one?"

Steve Buchheit | January 15, 2007 02:24 PM

What are the most important lessons you think beginning writers should take to heart?

ordinarygirl | January 15, 2007 02:25 PM

What technique/skill/etc do you think you improved the most between writing OMW and TGB? Or, what do you think you've improved the most on in writing in general since OMW?

That Neil Guy | January 15, 2007 02:27 PM

In your lifetime as a writer, how/when did you transition from pencil/pen & paper to typewriter (I'm thinking you're just a little younger than me and there was certainly a typewriter period for you) to computer?

How do you go about naming characters?

How much "world building" do you do in advance of a novel or story, and how much of that exists as peripheral material versus just stuff that lives in your head?

What's your experience with reading Isaac Asimov?

What's your experience with reading Kurt Vonnegut?

How many roads must a man walk down?

John Scalzi | January 15, 2007 02:28 PM

Incidentally, they don't all have to be writing questions.

Brent | January 15, 2007 02:36 PM

What's your favorite song/album right now?

John Pitzel | January 15, 2007 02:44 PM

What's your favorite sandwich (a) to make at home, and (b) to order?

Mahrve | January 15, 2007 02:44 PM

Why aren't any of your books available to buy as ebooks? (I know that OMW used to be available but isn't any more, but what's up with more recent ones wrt "e-publishing"?)

Have you seen any UFO:s landing on the fields near your estate?

Do you allow your daughter to eat fast food (e.g. McD et al)?

Amanda | January 15, 2007 02:47 PM

What's your guiltiest pleasure (that you'll admit to)?

Steve Ely | January 15, 2007 02:54 PM

I'm conflicted about the questions appropriate here--do you want to exclude questions you already may have addressed at some point in the past on the blog or do you just want material to discuss in the podcast? Because maybe if I searched I could find the answers to these, but if you just want topics to discuss that might be of interest to a moderate-level Scalzi fan (have read and loved three books but haven't read the Whatever with dogged devotion or even with any regularity for more than a year or so), here are a few questions.

You live in Ohio, but I get the impression you grew up elsewhere. Whatever the case, what led you to settle in Ohio? Is it your wife's job, since yours seems like one you could do from anywhere? Is Ohio your preferred state of residence or is there another you envision moving to if circumstances permit?

I didn't altogether realize until yesterday that you have a MySpace account. (Vaguely familiar but slightly surprising.) Did you have any ambivalence about getting one whenever you did, or hesitation? Many people aren't big fans of MySpace, and that includes many of us who have accounts with it.

Each of your three books that I've read I've gotten from a public library. I justify it on the grounds that I'm a grad student without a full-time job at the moment and barely able to pay my bills, but the truth is even when I have had full-time jobs with decent salaries, I've been more of a library user than a book-buyer. Do you resent somewhat the people who read library copies instead of buying copies of your books? Am I freeloader?

Long-winded questions, aren't they? I hope they don't suck.

Steve Ely | January 15, 2007 02:57 PM

In the preview, line breaks seemed not to show up. So I put some in with HTML. That seems to have been a bad idea. Apologies, and please edit the extra blank lines out if you feel like it, John.

Chang, nostalgic and unshaven | January 15, 2007 02:58 PM

When you've gone out the night before your wife's birthday and partied with your friends but returned in the early AM of the day of your wife's birthday, does she still have the right to say you forgot her birthday fifteen years later?

Jeffery | January 15, 2007 03:01 PM


What magazines, either print or online do you read? Do you read current science magazines to help in your writing?

Steve Buchheit | January 15, 2007 03:02 PM

If you're in a vehicle travelling at the speed of light, and you have 6 apples, a train leaves Chicago heading west at 32mph, what color is the bear knocking at the cabin door?

Chang, nostalgic and unshaven | January 15, 2007 03:08 PM

Jesus, Buccheitcan't knock because he's carrying the apples which he caught from the plane flying overhead.

More importantly, why is the bear's underwear briefs and not jockeys? No, bears do not chafe.

Chang, nostalgic and unshaven | January 15, 2007 03:10 PM

my html skills is teh suck.

John, which do you hate more: bad spelling, bad grammar or bad coding?

JonathanMoeller | January 15, 2007 03:15 PM

What was behind the door? The lady, or the tiger?

Nathan | January 15, 2007 03:21 PM

So Scalzi,

Now that you know Chang only wears cat-shaped underoos while typing, do you try to avert your eyes when you're reading his posts?

I know I do.

Simon Owens | January 15, 2007 03:27 PM

Who is your daddy and what does he do?

J at The Dundies | January 15, 2007 03:29 PM

You get a cameo on any TV show (that's currently running.) Which one, and what do you do?

Christian | January 15, 2007 03:57 PM

> Incidentally, they don't all have to be writing questions.

Ok, let's ask the "Fight Club" question. If you could fight any historical figure, who would it be?

Ray | January 15, 2007 03:59 PM

2 questions. I emailed you one but perhaps audio is a quicker and better media than typing text.

1. I think I read somewhere you are from Calif. Why did you move to Ohio?

2. Why do you think European keyboards swapped the z and y positions?

kero aka kevin | January 15, 2007 04:03 PM

Didn't you just squeee when the iPhone was announced?

Lisa | January 15, 2007 04:19 PM

What is the weirdest hate mail (or, hell, love mail) you ever got off the site, not counting people you know who are just joking around with you. I mean like from a total stranger.

What did you do about it?

That Neil Guy | January 15, 2007 04:45 PM

Do you get any snail mail from fans? Or is it all electronic?

Diatryma | January 15, 2007 04:58 PM

What does your voice sound like inside your head?

Colin F | January 15, 2007 05:12 PM

Should I avoid reading The Sagan Diaries before I get my hands on the The Ghost Brigades?

John Scalzi | January 15, 2007 05:18 PM

Colin, yes.

Pete | January 19, 2007 01:44 PM


Why do you NOT teach college? At least as an adjunct? You'd be a great comp professor.

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