John Scalzi took to Twitter in conjunction with Apple iBooks for a chat during Tuesday afternoon, answering questions about his new novel, Lock In under the hashtag #AskScalzi. Apple started things off, asking questions about Scalzi’s blog, the ideas behind Lock In, and the possibilities of a follow up! Then they turned things over to the fans, who asked about everything from Old Man’s War to Redshirts. Check out the recap below, and head over to iBooks to order your copy of Lock In.
@iBooks: Where did the idea of Lock In’s Haden’s syndrome stem from?
@scalzi: The idea for Haden’s was me wanting to try an “apocalyptic” scenario where instead of the world ending, we survived… and then deal with the aftermath. Haden’s would be enough for the world to change, but not enough to end it. Plus, I know the idea of being trapped in one’s head creeps out a lot of folks, which made it an interesting topic.
@iBooks: How much research did you do for this book?
@scalzi: I did a bit of research into how communities get built; the deaf community in particular was an inspiration…
@iBooks: What do you think your life would be like if you were “locked in”?
@scalzi: In today’s world and with today’s technology? Very very very very frustrating. And scary. Prefer not, please. In the world of the book, however? Could be interesting. BUT would still be a vastly different life than what I had, and one doesn’t want to understate just how disruptive such a change would be to anyone’s life, mine included.
@iBooks: Tell us about your Whatever blog. What inspired you to start it?
@scalzi: I had been a newspaper columnist in the early 90s and thought one day I might get back to that, so Whatever was a way to keep sharp in the column format. Ironically, in many ways it’s offered more exposure and opportunity than a newspaper column would have (especially now). I’ve been doing it for 16 years now. Which is kind of amazing.
@iBooks: Did you read sci-fi growing up? Which authors inspired you to pursue writing?
@scalzi: I read a lot of SF/F as a kid and Heinlein, Bradbury and Alan Dean Foster in particular were early favorites. BUT…Most of my early writing idols were outside the genre: HL Mencken, Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, William Goldman… … Which is to say that I think reading widely, at any age, is key to good writing, in any genre. So read everything!
@iBooks: Will we see a follow-up to Lock In?
@scalzi: Honestly? That will depend on whether people like the book and buy it. If it’s a hit, the case is made for another, but if it flops or only does okay, then I’d have a hard time convincing my publishers to do another. That said, if there’s a demand for another, I already have an idea for a story. AND IT SO COOL. So make it a hit, folks!
@DngrMse2001: “You’re probably tired of being asked this….but….will there be more novels to “Old Man’s War” coming out?
@scalzi: In fact I’m writing another Old Man’s War book RIGHT NOW, and it will be out in 2015, a sequel to Human Division.
QuothTheRavings: How do you organize a book’s plot? Outline? Software? Some other way?
@scalzi: I DON’T organize the plot before I write; I make it up as I go. This fills some writers I know with horror.
@culfinglin: How much mileage would the Manosphere get out of you and I having an arm wrestling contest?
@scalzi: As I am pretty sure you could totally own me in an arm-wrestling contest, probably quite a bit.
@ricegirl2: So when are you coming South Africa to play with us?
@scalzi: I would love to visit South Africa. I’m waiting for an invitation! That comes with plane tickets! #AskScalzi
@howardtayler: Given your choice, which non-novelist storytelling career would you prefer?
@scalzi: I would love to be a lyricist, actually. Would need a lot of practice, however. LOTS of practice.
@esoskin: What similarities or differences from yourself make a character hardest to write?
@scalzi: I’m a snarky guy, so I have to fight NOT to make all of my characters snarky. I don’t always succeed.
@iswim2fly: What happened to theRedshirts TV series?
@scalzi: The Redshirts TV series is still being written! We’re a ways off from it being on TV yet. Patience!
@KeithMKolmos: You recently tweeted a review that called Lock In “your best writing to date.” High Praise or damning with faint praise? ;-)?
@scalzi: Depends on the writer’s point of view! In this case I think it was pretty high praise. I’m happy, anyway.