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 author Wesley Chu, whose dreams as an NFL punter were quickly dashed when he learned at an early age that he was terrible at every sort of ball sport. Actually, he was bad at every single sport in the known universe that didn’t involve hitting someone or doing backflips. Thus, he did what all ex-gymnasts/kungfu masters did: go into Information Technology while moonlighting as an actor.
Since then, he has been following his new dream of writing books—Science Fiction/Fantasy books with lots of action and no round objects. The Lives of Tao was published in April 2013 and its sequel, The Deaths of Tao, is available now from Angry Robot. You can read an excerpt from the novel here on Tor.com!
Join us as we cover subjects ranging from The Da Vinci Code to martial arts, and more!
Describe your favorite place to read.
The hot tub. Oh yeah…bow chiky bow bow.
Nothing beats soaking in the tub with a good book and a nice dram of scotch. Only problem with that is I’ve accidently dropped and ruined dozens of books, usually after a couple of glasses.
Okay, the time with The Da Vinci Code was on purpose.
If you could choose your own personal theme song to play every time you enter a room, what would you pick?
Growing up, I secretly wanted to join Cobra Kai and kick Ralph Macchio’s ass. I mean, who didn’t, right?
When the writing gets tough, I wander to YouTube and start watching clips of The West Wing. Nothing is as great for procrastination as a television show about a group of incredibly smart and witty people working 18 hours a day making decisions that impact the entire country.
After that, I’m always like “damn, I should go make something of myself.” I’d either get back to work or try to find a way to get Martin Sheen (permanently acting as Josiah Bartlet of course) nominated for President.
What D&D character alignment best describes you first thing in the morning?
Lawful gimmie-some-damn-coffee-injected-into-my-bloodstream-or-Imma-gonna-put-a-flamethrower-to-this-place Evil
Choose your preferred fictional vacation spot: Narnia or Middle Earth (or some other fictional realm)…
This was a tough one since most fictional vacation spots suck. After all, if it was a paradise, it wouldn’t be much of a story, would it?
I’m going to have to go with Xanth. Between The Color of Her Panties, Heaven Cent, and Faun & Games, I’m pretty sure I can have a pretty decent time hanging out here in Xanth.
Not gonna lie; I think at one point in my pubescent years, I came perilously close to writing Xanth Romance fanfic. But then, didn’t we all?
What was your gateway to SF/Fantasy, as a child or young adult?
When I was a kid, my English Professor father wanted me to read more so he took me to the bookstore and told me he would buy me any book I wanted. Of course he steered me toward the literary section first, no doubt urging me to pick up Beowulf or Utopia or something along those lines.
I made a beeline toward the books with the pretty pictures and picked up one with a manticore on it and the other with a glowing sword. Those two books were Piers Anthony’s A Spell for Chameleon and Lawrence Watt Evan’s The Misenchanted Sword.
I’ve been addicted ever since.
What would your Patronus/familiar be?
My Patronus would be a petulant Airedale Terrier who talks to me in Marge Simpson’s voice. She will also be obsessed with chasing the Golden Snitch and think that four-year-old kids are great tackling dummies.
List three things you’d like our readers to know about you and your work.
- There’s one scene in The Lives of Tao that is based on a real event. A few years ago, someone tried to mug me with a knife. I ended up trying to mug him with two empty wine bottles near a dumpster. We called it a draw.
- I used to able to act out every fight scene in The Lives of Tao. I say used to because I’m not quite so limber anymore. =(
- I chose my name which was inspired by Humperdink’s archnemesis.