And thanks for the inquiry, but honestly, asking me to talk about my life and work is like asking Heather Locklear to explain convolutional trellis encoding. I mean, my work is printed fiction, which by definition succeeds only if it is capable of being read & agrave; la carte, without further excuse or interpretation. And as for my life...
Well, let's be blunt. If I actually had an interesting life in progress, do you honestly think I'd put so much time and energy into creating characters?
With that rhetorical question left gasping for air, I would like to take this opportunity to dip into the old virtual cybermailbag and answer a few of the more common questions that have been pouring in ever since Headcrash became the runaway bestseller and global publishing phenomenon that, in some demented alternate quantum universe, it might actually be, we hope.
Naif_1@aol.com writes: i just wanted to say that headcrash rulez and is liike the coolest book ever writen what do you like 2 read and who are *your* favorit writers : ))
Well Naif, obviously, like you, I have a deep fondness for e.e.cummings. But beyond that, we need to establish the precise meaning of the word "favorite."
For example, J. V. Jones would be my first choice for Writer I'm Most Like To Be Marooned On A Deserted Island With, whereas Joel Rosenberg would be the Writer I'd Most Like To Have Nearby If Hostile And Well-Armed Aliens Started Landing. Then again, if my life continues along it's present normal and mundane path, William Barton is the Writer Whose Next Book I Am Most Looking Forward To.
Next, email@example.com asks: Speaking of new releases, what are you working on now, and when is it going to be ready?
Well Betsy, I'm glad you asked. I've written The Wild, Wild West, which is the novelization of the screenplay of the Warner Brothers action/comedy hit starring Will Smith, Kevin Kline, and Kenneth Brannagh, THE SUMMER OF 1999 BOFFO BOX OFFICE, FEEL-GOOD HIT OF THE SEASON!
Moving right along, firstname.lastname@example.org asks: Getting back to this desert island thing. Don't you think it strange that the Professor could build a nuclear reactor from three cocoanuts and a handful of seaweed, but he couldn't patch a three-foot hole in the side of a wooden boat? My theory is he was actually the secret agent of the Howells, who were fugitive embezzlers trying to hide out from the law until the statute of limitations expired.
Uh, that's an, er, interesting interpretation there, friend. But personally, I would have cut a deal with the cannibals and traded the Howells for a nice dugout canoe, end of story. Next question?
email@example.com writes: I really like the way you weave snarky bits of real technoarcana into your stories. What is the best real technobabble term you've ever found an excuse to work into a story or essay?
Until recently, it was "third-harmonic time smear," which you will find in my short story, Jimi Plays Dead. However, this term has lately been supplanted by "convolutional trellis encoding." Next?
firstname.lastname@example.org writes: Headcrash was a terrifically cinematic book, and I think it would make one seriously bitching movie, probably starring Pauly Shore, although I can definitely see Adam Sandler in there, too. Do you have any more great ideas for movies, do you have a Hollywood agent, and would you mind if I called you at home at 3 A.M. Central Time? It's only just after midnight El Lay time. Here's my card. Let's do lunch.
To answer your questions in LIFO order: yes, I'd mind; yes, I already have a very good agent; and yes, I've got one great idea for a film.
Next, clueless~1@st_ds9.ack.ack.ack.org asks: But what if the desert island was being used as the beachhead for an alien invasion, like in John Lymington's Night of the Big Heat? Who would you pick then, Julie or Joel?
Jesus H. Christ, who left the granola bag open?!
Er, excuse me, what I meant to say was, I believe that in that situation I would allow Julie and Joel to be marooned there together, and I would opt to be somewhere else very far away.
Well golly gosh, look at the time. I can take just one more question.
email@example.com writes: as someone who has been online since the days of FIDOnet and 300-baud acoustic couplers, what do you think of the current state of the Internet?
Well, off hand, I think we can consider the "infinite number of monkeys with typewriters" theory to be conclusively disproven...