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INTERVIEW: Meme Therapy – On The Grid

The blogosphere is a-buzz with the good stuff being posted at Meme Therapy, and with good reason. Their interviews and Brain Parades are attracting some big names in science and science fiction.

SF Signal had the opportunity to turn the meme-tables on the good folks at Meme Therapy, putting them under the microscope like they’ve done to so many others…

  Jose Rosie Charlie
Mug Shot
First sf book you read Splinter of the Mind’s Eye by Alan Dean Foster. Oh God, can’t remember. Probably either one of Asimov’s Foundation novels or something by Robert A. Heinlein. My mother’s a sci-fi nut so I was exposed at a very young age. Not sure, but it could well have been Dolphin Island by Clarke when I was about 8 or 9 – I remember being captivated by the giant hovercraft he depicted roaring across land and sea, and by the tropical techno-idyll eventually reached by the young stowaway protagonist. Not sure I’d enjoy it quite as much if I re-read it now, though 😉
Last sf book you read. Cyrptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson. The last one I finished was Infoquake, I’m currently reading Brass Man.
Favorite sf book. I’m going to wimp out and go with my sentimental favourite A World Out of Time by Larry Niven. I’m going to cheat and say Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy, rather than giving any single book. The character development is just amazing and the science fantastic. I’m hopeless at picking favourites, but off the top of my head, Ringworld and Red Mars would have to be up there (sorry for cheating). I love tales of exploration.
Favorite sci-fi author (living) Larry Niven. Apart from KSR, Neal Stephenson for Cryptonomicon and The Baroque Cycle. Even though they’re set in the past they’re still science fiction. Argh…Well, if you base it on how far in advance I pre-order their books, I guess it would have to be Iain M. Banks, but really, there are far too many brilliant and varied writers out there (to choose just one, I mean…), and I have to register a protest at the meanness of only allowing one pick.
Favorite sci-fi author (dead) Gotta be Heinlein. Heinlein for being impossible to pin down and for annoying just about every sector of American society in his career. Hmm…for some reason this is easier, and I find myself having to choose between Wells and Verne…and it’s got to be Wells, really, hasn’t it.
Hard SF or space opera? Another tough call. Hard SF. Depends on my mood, I tend to go for hard sci-fi more though. Hard SF.
Military sf or cyberpunk? Cyberpunk. Cyberpunk as I tend to find most military sci-fi incredibly tedious and uninventive. If I see one more WWII/Vietnam/Trafalgar-in-space novel I’ll scream. Cyberpunk, I guess, though I’m not sure the boundary between the two is that clear cut. And I will admit to a (probably) unhealthy fascination with weapon systems through the ages.
Favorite sci-fi movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. Knowing Rosie can’t stand it makes me love it even more. Bladerunner for the style, Gattaca for the acting, plot and gnarly politics, Starship Troopers for the satire. Tough one. I have never seen a sci-fi movie which inspired the same sense of wonder in me as the best literature. I was going to go for an intellectual choice like 2001, but if I force myself to be honest, probably Star Wars. It may not have the science part right, but it has that strange depth of field that makes it compelling and makes you wonder about what might be going on just out of sight of the camera.
Zombie fight: Night of the Living Dead vs. 28 Days Later – who would win? I’m rooting for the British vampires. All those years of living in a poor climate make them extra surly in unlife. 28 Days Later. Hey I’m British. Neither. Shaun of the Dead would have them both.
BG or Doctor Who? It feels like a betrayal to say this but BG. Battlestar Galactica any day. It’s the only overtly political show on American T.V. and the space battles are cool. Erm…I’m on thin ice here, as I don’t really watch that much TV, so I haven’t seen more than a couple of episodes of either. On the balance (and possibly because of ethnic bias) I’d have to go for the good Doctor, though.
Favorite sci-fi TV show (current) Battlestar Galacti ca. Hated the original ironically. Battlestar Galactica. See above, if I say any more I’ll just reveal the depth of my ignorance.
Favorite sci-fi TV show (canceled) Firefly. Firefly. There’s just never been anything else like it. (Although for traditional space opera I have to say I have a penchant for Babylon 5.) I’m not sure it’s really the answer you’re looking for, but The Future’s Wild was wonderful. I have been a fan of Dougal Dixon’s wonderful imaginings of evolutionary potential since reading After Man: A Zoology of the Future, and I just wish they’d make more stuff like this.
Boomer, Six or the Bionic Woman? I had a crush on the Bionic Woman growing up but now it’s definitely Boomer. I don’t get the guys who wear “Six of Mine” T-shirts. Boomer. Oh bloody hell, I don’t know…Six, purely because I prefer the unknown and I have no idea who she (hopefully) is.
Harlan Ellison or a punch in your gob? I’m not a member of the Stone Harlan movement so I pick Harlan. Since I think “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream” is possibly the best sci-fi short story ever I’d have to go for Harlan Ellison. Harlan Ellison punching me in the gob.
Occupation outside the blog Headset Whore. But I blog at work so I consider myself a covertly pro blogger. Politics student and professional grumpy bastard. I work for a game testing company. It’s not as interesting/fun as you might think.
Celebrity you most resemble Chewbacca. It’s a toss up between Jesus and Che Guevera. A mutant hybrid of Oscar Wilde and Hunter S. Thompson.
Favorite Meme Therapy post. It’s still our third post. The Unmanned vs Manned Spaceflight Brain Parade. Ooh, there’s so many. To be honest I really don’t have a favourite. The first one, where I conclusively prove that heading out into space is essential to the psycho-socio-spiritual welfare of our species, naturally.
Favorite scientist Spock. Richard Dawkins for being utterly uncompromising in his defence of evolution and criticism of religion. Freeman Dyson.
Favorite website Rudy Rucker’s Blog. The Guardian Unlimited. The Guardian‘s the only newspaper which actually seems to get the internet and is prepared to adapt itself and use tools such as blogging and podcasting to present its stories. Aww, c’mon, man…no comment 😉
Favorite superhero Matter-Eater Lad. I’ve never really been into comics that much but I guess it’d have to be Batman. Judge Dredd.
If you could have one of Superman’s powers, what would it be? His incomprehensible staying power. The ability to fly. Then I wouldn’t have to catch the bus to work every morning. The power of flight, of course…
The biggest disappointment in sf That I can’t use it to pick up women. Apart from Firefly being cancelled? The lack of really good and incisive social commentary in American sci-fi at present. Come on guys, your Nation’s in the midst of an existential crisis, write about it! That no one has yet made a film of Rama. Or The Mote in God’s Eye.
Or any of the other brilliant books and short stories I read when I was growing up.
Science fiction personality you most admire I don’t know much about Science Fiction authors on a personal basis but from what little I’ve seen I really like Joe Haldeman. I’d like to get drunk with the man. Stanislaw Lem (although he’s dead now). Way smarter than any other sci-fi writer I’ve ever read. If by admire you mean “would most like to meet”, I guess Larry Niven.
About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

4 Comments on INTERVIEW: Meme Therapy – On The Grid

  1. Cheers guys. That was a bit weird, I’m used to being the one who asks the questions not the one answering them.

  2. That was cool. It’s much easier to answer the questions than come up with them.

  3. Thanks again for playing along, guys! 🙂

  4. Flight?!?! You gotta be kidding me! Invincibility ftw!

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