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 Stephen Baxter, award-winning author and Vice-President of the British Science Fiction Association. Since 1987, Stephen has published over forty books—mostly science fiction novels—and over a hundred short stories. His latest novel, Proxima, features a penal colony on a distant planet.
If you could choose your own personal theme music/song to play every time you enter a room, what would you pick?
Jimi Hendrix playing the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper theme.
If you regenerated as a new Doctor, what would your signature outfit/accessory be?
1960s James Bond smart suits, Sean Connery chic.
You wake up tomorrow morning as the antagonist in your book: what do you do to change the ending for yourself?
If I’m Yuri in PROXIMA, I stop punching policemen but play a longer game.
If you had to choose one band or artist to provide the official soundtrack to your new book, who would it be?
Jeff Wayne, of the War of the Worlds musical adaptation. He’d do an awesome job.
What’s the best Halloween costume you’ve ever worn?
Rincewind from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld.
Do you have a favorite underrated author?
Nevil Shute (of On the Beach and many more).
Do you have a favorite word?
What was your gateway to SF/Fantasy, as a child or young adult?
My school library had a big set of battered old SF Book Club titles, everything from Asimov to Wells and beyond. Presumably a gift from a former pupil. Now I give books to that library myself.
What is your ideal pet (real or fictional)?
My dog, Lloyd, a cocker spaniel. No ideal beats the reality.