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January 15, 2007

Questions Answered

And now, an audio file of me answering questions posted by Whatever readers. It's 16 minutes and 14 seconds long, and 3.7MB. You can download it here. Enjoy and feel free to comment.

Posted by john at January 15, 2007 05:07 PM

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Comments

Christian | January 15, 2007 05:51 PM

Damn. My Fight Club question went unanswered.

[looks forlornly at the ground, and kicks dirt clod].

Next time I'll ask about sandwiches!

Monty | January 15, 2007 05:57 PM

Speaking of sandwiches, I'm not sure if the Dagwood "meat tunnel" digression left me repulsed, hungry, or slightly turned on. Should I seek counselling?

Anne C. | January 15, 2007 05:58 PM

You have a higher pitched voice than I imagined.
and
I love Discover too.

Great responses, Scalzinator.

Ray | January 15, 2007 06:01 PM

Thanks for the Q and A session. I like the fact that it is a little more personal than reading text.
Ya morgage differences are fairly vast between CA and OH. Ohio is probably a better place overall to raise a family. There is some discussion about relocating my family to Vienna, Austria due to the cost of living and overall life quality.

Mary | January 15, 2007 06:04 PM

I could tell that was a Coke Zero just by the distinctive "schriiiick!" as you opened it.

Cassie | January 15, 2007 06:17 PM

Such relief that you're not anti-library. My husband will be able to keep his job.

Thanks for the ILL plug. It made me happy deep in my heart.

Nathan | January 15, 2007 06:26 PM

Well that pretty much rocked. When do we get video?

Cassie | January 15, 2007 06:30 PM

After listening to you, I realized that you sound like Chris Baty, the guy who started the NaNoWriMo. He's from San Francisco, are you also from the same area?

Nice job, btw. Did you have to edit it much? Will your cats get to participate next time, since the dog did a solo in this one?

J at The Dundies | January 15, 2007 07:34 PM

Yay for answering my question! Definitely caused me to look up from my game of tetris. Especially how you actually referred to me by my full name. That was kind of cool. 94 DAYS UNTIL PENGUICON!

Steve Buchheit | January 15, 2007 07:36 PM

Cool. Although it sounds like there's some phasing issues. That might be the encoder, the mic, or the software sampling (it sounds like there's music in the background). The metallic overtone was also distracting, but I don't know enough about recording, and your set up, to know where that came in (to me it sounds like you were hitting the top of the level and trimming).

And you didn't mangle my last name too much, thanks. :)

Chang who love eat brainz and watch Czechanimation! | January 15, 2007 08:05 PM

Works for me, and not just cuz you answered (well, backed away from answering really) my question (file it under not got a dog in that fight).

I like the sound of aliasing, personally.

Steve Ely | January 15, 2007 09:02 PM

John,

Good podcast (or Whatever). Informative and fun.

If pronunciation correction isn't too obnoxious (and please understand I'm delighted to be mentioned and answered), I usually pronounce my last name more like "eel-ee." Sort of rhymes with "really."

I enjoyed hearing your answer for a few reasons.

As a side note, though, I said "each of your three books that I've read" and not "each of your four books that I've read" because the latter seemed to me to imply that I've read each of your four books. In fact, I've only read three of your books (Agent to the Stars didn't draw my interest until after I read and loved TAD recently), each of which I got from the library. I could have been more clear. Sorry about that.

I'm actually working on my master's right now in library and information science, so naturally I'm encouraged by your library support.

At the same time, somewhat weirdly for someone who makes public libraries such a part of his life, I'm sympathetic enough to libertarian economic ideas that I understand and can't dismiss offhandedly libertarian opposition to public libraries. I still love, rather than oppose, public libraries, but the arguments do concern me.

There was a recent comment thread on a post from Reason Magazine's blog Hit & Run voicing a lot of examples of such opposition. (There's also a simultaneous conversation in that thread about conservatives and censorship that it's irrelevant here and can be ignored.) There was an interesting comment from 5:10 on January 3rd from a longtime bookseller describing his contempt for public libraries because they gave away for free what he was making his living selling and they thereby diminished his income. Since your income is also (partly) from the sale of books, it was interesting to hear your perspective in conjunction with his.

John Scalzi | January 15, 2007 09:09 PM

Steve Ely:

"There was an interesting comment from 5:10 on January 3rd from a longtime bookseller describing his contempt for public libraries because they gave away for free what he was making his living selling and they thereby diminished his income."

Yeah, not much sympathy for that bookseller there.

kurt | January 15, 2007 09:47 PM

John,

Do you find that when you hear your own voice on a recording that it sounds a bit different then what you hear when you talk?????

You sound just about as i had imagined you would!!!

hobbyns | January 15, 2007 10:00 PM

Well you sound in person exactly the way you write... at least in my opinion. This is a good thing. You have no idea how disillusioning it was to hear the voice of, say, Harlan. That was crap.

Though I met Ben Bova in person at the Chicago bookfair in '02, and he was fantastic. Likewise Gaiman and Card. Good, true voices.

And now I've heard yours, and like it also. It sounds like you, or at least the you that I envisioned (wait, what's the auditory equivalent of envisioned? Never mind.)

Heh. You just said "I'm going to take a sip of my soda here..." Awesome!

MWT | January 15, 2007 10:06 PM

Heh, you sound like such a nerd. :)

Other good science magazines that I've enjoyed: Smithsonian and Science News (a weekly). There used to be a great one called Earth, but it died due to lack of readership.

Jenny Rae Rappaport | January 15, 2007 11:43 PM

Chris (the fiancee) says that he likes how you sign off like you're hanging up the phone.

The volume was low, but that may just be a problem with my dying speakers.

Jim Wright | January 16, 2007 12:46 AM

Damn, I missed out on asking you a question. That's what I get for being out in the woodshop all day. Listening to MLK's "I have a dream" speech on NPR while turning bowls.

This was a Cool Idea, it's almost like talking to you on the phone. Do it more. MORE!

But, really, John, you forgot your wife's birthday?

Diana | January 16, 2007 01:15 AM

Thank you for answering my question. I made my partner listen to it, and he was -- um, taken aback? -- to hear the people on the internet mentioning him. But hey, he had a question about a book, I go to the source, because that's the kind of girl I am.

Oddly enough, he's a huge old-school sci fi Heinlein freak, which is why I was recommending OMW to start with. Also, I haven't read TAD yet. I think now it shall have to be both.

(Oh, and I made the financial argument, too, but in my case it was, "mass market paperback=cheaper than hardcover.")

mensley | January 16, 2007 02:29 AM

Thank you so much! This was a lot of fun to listen to.

Thank you for promoting libraries! I'm about to go buy lumber to build yet another bookshelf because all the books we buy are slowly crowding us out of our small place, but we're also weekly library patrons. Until we can afford to live in a warehouse and stock it with books, libraries are a great addition to the books we gladly pay money for. I wonder if those who bitch about libraries would have any career at all without people whose love of books was created in libraries, in addition to their own reading done in such places. In my experience, library patrons buy as many books as they can afford to.

Fun story, I checked out TAD from the library, the same week my wife ordered it for me for a birthday present. When it arrived, we had a laugh, and then I seriously wondered what I wanted to do with it. I tend to not keep books I've read because otherwise I'd need to live in a much larger house.

I decided to return it to a bookstore, because hopefully you'd get another credit when someone else bought it. Not sure how all that works.

Thank you again for the download and please do so again sometime!

=mark

Chris | January 16, 2007 03:19 AM

I quite liked that, not just because it was interesting, but also because it allows me to be exceedingly lazy (in a multitask-y way) and surf the interweebs while listen to you ramble on a variety of interesting subjects, rather than, I supposed, being shackled to your page by text.

That reminds me, actually..
I did the same with that similarly-rambly speech thingie you posted here a while back on the subject of Sci-Fi. I guess you have a talent for rambling entertainingly. Or I'm easily amused.

Peter Burd | January 16, 2007 04:25 AM

"I quite liked that, not just because it was interesting, but also because it allows me to be exceedingly lazy (in a multitask-y way) and surf the interweebs while listen to you ramble on a variety of interesting subjects, rather than, I supposed, being shackled to your page by text."

Hey Chris, to me it was just the opposite. I listen to so much music online that I can't stand stopping it to listen to people talk. It's the reason I normally don't listen to podcasts. I'd rather surf text while music plays than the other way around.

Oh, as another librarian, I would like to thank you (John) for the comments, especially the wonders of Interlibrary Loan.

I delurked on delurking day and now I'm adding something! But I've only read "Old Man's War." Sorry about that.

MWT | January 16, 2007 05:00 AM

I have yet to read anything he's written other than this blog, and it doesn't stop me from commenting one bit. ;)

Shawn Struck | January 16, 2007 09:47 AM

Whoa.

I always imagined you sounding a little deeper-voiced. Like a deeper-voiced Jeremy Parish.

However, the TONE of your voice is just as I always pictured it.

This was a great podcast, too.

Anne C. | January 16, 2007 11:18 AM

"I wonder if those who bitch about libraries would have any career at all without people whose love of books was created in libraries"

Well put, mensley.
I, too, grew up reading library books. I guess booksellers forget that most young families need the money to put food on the table, rather than try and keep up with their children's voracious reading appetites. I can't count the number of times I borrowed as many books as I could fit in my arms. How much would that cost if my parents bought them? Too much.

Jim Wright | January 16, 2007 02:04 PM

Next time, John, we could submit our questions as voice clips via email, you could merge the whole thing together with your answers, throw in some party music in the background (along with various sounds of dismay or enthusiasm at Chang's nakedness) and it would sound like we were all at your house.

Then we'd have this really cool recording to impress our geeky friends: "Hey, check this out, I was hanging with Bestselling Author, John Scalzi, at his place in Ohio last weekend. What? Proof, you want proof. Well, just listen to THIS...HA!"

Kate Baker | January 16, 2007 06:40 PM

So can I ask a question for your next one?

How many times did your wife or daughter roll their eyes when the entered into your sacred study to hear you speaking to yourself?

:)

Stian Andreassen | January 17, 2007 08:22 AM

Loved it!

Brent | January 17, 2007 09:07 AM

The first book I read was Agent to the Stars, I surprised it took me until now to read OMW.

DJL | January 29, 2007 05:32 PM

I thought this was great. Assuming it isn't more work that posting a blog entry, I'd encourage you to try more audio posts (podcasts?). They don't necessarily have to be Q & A.

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