Welcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on Tor.com featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!
Today we’re joined by Nicholas Sansbury Smith, author of several post-apocalyptic books and short stories. When he isn’t daydreaming about the apocalypse he’s likely racing in triathlons around the Midwest. He lives in Des Moines, Iowa with his family and several rescued animals. Smith’s latest apocalyptic sci-fi novels, Orbs and Orbs II: Stranded, are available now from Simon451, a new ebook imprint from Simon & Schuster. The third book in the trilogy, Orbs III: Redemption, is forthcoming in March 2015.
Cast the main characters for a Hollywood adaptation of your new novel.
I’ve thought about this more than I probably should lately. I’ll stick with the four main characters in Orbs. I couldn’t see anyone playing Dr. Sophie Winston besides Charlize Theron. She has the attitude and fits the description. Arnold Schwarzenegger would make a badass Sergeant Ash Overton. I picture Dr. Hoffman as Ed Harris. Not the Ed Harris from a Michael Bay film, but the Ed Harris in Snowpiercer. Cold and unfeeling. That brings us to Dr. Emanuel Rodriguez. I think we’d need to find someone kind of quirky. How about Shia LaBeouf? Pepper his hair with some gray and he’d fit the part.
Describe your favorite place to write.
Caribou Coffee on Ingersoll in Des Moines, Iowa. I’m not sure why, but this is the only place I can get my 2-3k word count in. I’ve tried the library, I’ve tried Starbucks, I’ve even tried the local coffee bar. For whatever reason I can’t get in my groove anywhere but Caribou. Where do you think I am right now?
If you could choose your own personal theme song to play every time you enter a room, what would you pick?
“Ghosts N Stuff” by deadmau5. You know, because I could enter doing the robot, and when the music picked up I could bust into full out break dancing.
Battle to the death, which weapon do you choose: A) Phaser, B) Lightsaber, or C) Wand?
I feel like this is a trick question. I’d choose a Lightsaber. Because then I’d be a Jedi, and I wouldn’t need a wand because the force would be with me.
What is your ideal pet (real or fictional)?
I’m biased and would pick my dog, Bella. She is truly the most loyal animal in the world. If I had to pick a fictional pet I’d choose Falcor from The Never Ending Story.
Please relate one fact about yourself that has never appeared anywhere else in print or on the Internet.
I have the largest collection of Star War toys of any adult I know. I take them out from time to time and set them up in the battle scenes I created in my youth, and by youth I mean middle-school/high school.
Name your favorite monster from fiction, film, TV, or any other pop culture source.
Not sure if anyone else would consider the Terminator a monster, but that’s my pick. The idea of a T-800 chasing me down gives me the chills.
What literary or film science fiction technology do you wish existed in our world right now?
Definitely some sort of Hyperdive or Warpdrive. I have this weird obsession with the apocalypse and thinking the world is going to end. I agree with Stephen Hawking. Humanity needs to branch out to the stars if we hope to survive as a species. Faster than light travel is the answer to all of our problems, right?
My novel Orbs takes place in 2061 but this technology still does not exist. The world leaders know they have to jump ship, and they decide to colonize Mars. Will the aliens destroy the planet before humans can leave? Find out in the new Orbs, trilogy. K, that’s my one plug for the book.