Your theme was fiction to reality – what made you choose that?
Actually, my wife came up with the theme. I was sort of thinking out loud to her about all of the themes I'd thought of and why I'd rejected them (and having a theme was make it/break it thing for me; I wouldn't have done a to z without one), and she said something like, "Well, why don't you talk about things that started out as science fiction but are now real?" It was a great idea, and I went with it. Of course, not quite everything I chose is science fiction, which is why I did just fiction to reality.
What subject was the most difficult to research?
I didn't really have any topics that were difficult to research in and of themselves, but there were some letters that were difficult to find topics for. Like "J" and "Y." I could find physical -things- that we have that started with those letters, so I had to be a little more creative with those.
Who’s your favorite robot?
Oh, man, that's not even a fair question. Oh, well, wait... do you mean something that's just what we would call a robot, or do you also mean android? I'm gonna go with the 'droid answer, and I would pick R2-D2. I want one. Of course, I also love 3PO. I also love the character of Daneel Olivaw from Asimov.
Who was Tom Swift?
Tom Swift was a character from the, appropriately named, Tom Swift books. He was a boy genius that got himself out of trouble through his inventions. Tom Swift was conceived of by the same guy that thought up The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. There's still a current series of Tom Swift books out there a century after they first started being published.
Any plans to go back to school for a degree in Xenobiology?
You know, I think I'll skip anything that's going back to school. I think of taken a very Ray Bradbury view and decided that free education is the best education. Which is not to say no education, but reading and choosing what to read very deliberately is a much better way to learn than paying an organization a bunch of money to get a piece of paper.
You’re not secretly building a laser or raygun, are you?
Hmm... I can't really tell you that, now, can I? Just, you know, be wary if you wake up one morning to find your living room filled with a giant Jiffy Pop container. I actually do have an old story -somewhere- about a boy that makes the first handheld laser weapon. That was back in college, though, and I'm not sure where that's packed away.
If you do the Challenge next year, what theme would you tackle?
At this point, I have no idea. I haven't had any good ideas, yet, so that question is still just hovering around out there. I won't do it without a theme, though, and it has to be a theme that I'm not gonna find on a dozen other blogs.
Thanks for having me Alex! I really did enjoy all the research and stuff I learned by participating in the challenge.
Andrew, thanks for doing the interview and can’t wait to see what you come up with next year!
Co-host Ninja Captain Alex is the author of CassaStar and CassaFire and his blog can be found HERE