HomeTechnologyCan Science Fiction Help Solve Our Biggest Problems?

Can Science Fiction Help Solve Our Biggest Problems?


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MC: Well, you did a great job of asking questions, particularly somebody like Neal, who we’ve all been reading his books since we were teenagers. And as you said, his philosophy has sort of permeated our daily lives, whether or not we realize it. It must be kind of cool to interview somebody who’s like fully wormed their way inside of your brain.

AR: Oh, well, that’s a whole other thing. I mean, yes. Not only have I read all … People ask me whether I like the book or whether I think the book is good. And the only thing I can answer is, “I can’t answer that,” because there’s no … What am I going to do? Not read it? I’ve read every one of his books since 1992. I still remember the moment that I, the book I showed him in this interview that I held up to the camera was the copy that I bought, because I was cutting my summer job to go to the bookstore and picked the thing up. I was like, “What’s this?” And you read. The first 30, 40 pages of Snow Crash are some of the best … It’s one of the best leads in the history of science fiction.

It’s like, “What the hell’s this?” And I have read ever since that. It’s like when people ask me whether I think the new season of Dr. Who was any good or something? Well, what am I going to … there’s no answer. I’m not going to not watch it. So it doesn’t really matter. I don’t know if it’s going to be for you, but it’s for me.

And in fact, Neal was one of the first science fiction writers I ever interviewed when I was just starting out as a journalist. I was talking to science fiction writers about kind of the culture of nerdiness that was getting built in the 90s. He was one of the first people I was so excited to get the call. So it was sort of, God, I was about to say it kind of book ended my career. I hope that’s not right.

MC: Well, we hope you stick around a little bit longer.

LG: Yeah. I feel like what you’ve just described is goals for this podcast too, that people are, “Well, what am I going to do?” Now listen to it.

AR: Yeah, how would that work?

LG: It’s Neal Stephenson with Adam Rogers and Michael Calore, and that Lauren person. We have to listen.

AR: I don’t see people figuring out how to not listen to this. No.

MC: All right. Well, we do have to listen to it. So we’re going to take a break. And when we come back from the break, we’re going to hear Adam talking to author Neal Stephenson recorded at RE:WIRED earlier this month.

[Break]

AR: Hi, welcome to another session on RE:WIRED. I’m Adam Rogers, senior correspondent at the publication, the magazine and the website. And I am delighted to welcome one of my favorite science fiction writers, Neal Stephenson. Thank you for being with us, Neal, we really for appreciate it.

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