Who the hell?
Answers to the usual questions about who I am and what kind of books I write can be found hither & yon on the Internet. This Q&A on Bookspin is the most recent (as I write on May 11, 2014) — it features me explaining how writing is like entering Shelob’s Lair and how to deal with ever-changing technology when you’re writing technology-themed books.
This profile on TechCrunch includes some background on my various non-(fiction)-writerly activities, such as firefighting and 25+ years in high-tech/startup land.
I’ve always liked this Q&A I did on Dun Scaith’s blog. The ostensible topic is the “biopunk” genre and its relationship to cyberpunk, but we managed to get into some of my writing philosophy too. I like some of my answers here.
Social Media Experts and Book Author Page Consultants tell me that I should use this a-here website to communicate my true self to you. Which is perhaps best done in the dulcet tones of my own speaking voice, wherefore I’ll link below (be patient) to my own authentic self in conversations with Cory Doctorow and David Weinberger. And as you listen you may be saying to yourself, how sweetly doth sing this nightingale! Or, maybe, contrariwise, Jeepers! Will you get a load of the accent on this one. Which may pique your curiosity about my formative years.
I Started Out As A Child. . .
I grew up in North Caldwell, New Jersey, a suburban town now best known as the place of residence of the fictional Tony (Fuckin’) Soprano, but in my yoot a place of lots of open woods and small farms. My family had (until the town took it by eminent domain when I was 10 years old in order to put West Essex High School on it so Meadow Soprano would have somewhere to go to class), a small farm with cows and sheep and chickens and fruit trees. Here’s a picture of the deluxe farmhouse in which I resided with my parents, grandparents, three brothers, three sisters and my Uncle Harry:
Bill Cosby gets credit for that “I started out as a child” line, by the way.
Here’s a page where you can find links to me talking with Cory (a one-hour conversation in 3 parts).
Salon.com & me
In the early 2000’s I wrote some stuff for Salon. My first essay for them, based on my experiences as a construction laborer on the ill-fated trophy house of an Internet dot.com bubble billionaire, was called How I Destroyed the New Economy. It pissed off a few people (including the guy whose house it was) but amused more, and I was invited back. My second essay, Artificial Stupidity, was about the colorful (read wacky) Hugh Loebner and the $100K Loebner Prize for the first program to pass the Turing Test. In the course of preparing this article I interviewed & got into a tussle of sorts the the philosopher Daniel Dennett, whom I gently teased in my story. That pleased Douglas Hofstadter no end, and eventually garnered me an invitation to dinner with both men, which I wrote about in a blog post (Mindful of Philosophy) on my other site Wetmachine.
(draft in progress. . . much more to come. . .stay tuned.)
A few of the interviews I’ve done:
- Joho the Blog: An interview with John Sundman. September 2013.
- WritersCast: “Publishing Talks: David Wilk Interviews John Sundman.” January 2012.