Forum Meet-Up Transcript

Yesterday at 2PM, me and a hundred-ish fans from the WesterForum hung out for about an hour and a half, and I answered many questions. For those of you who weren’t able to attend, I’ have compiled them into this blog post, typos and all! (So. Many. Typos.)


“What kind of juice do you like?”

There are many juices I love. Mango! Pear! (Especially pear cider.) Apple!

“So Scott there’s been a rivalry going on (on the forum obviously) , based on the question : If the crew of the Leviathan got in a fight with Special Circumstances who would win? What’s your opinion?”

I think in a close-quarters fight the Specials would win, because they’re too quick. But in a proper battle, the Leviathan could mess them up with strafing hawks or bat-poo without ever being in danger.


That info will be released at Leaky Con and Comic Con. THAT’S ONLY A FEW WEEKS. But I can’t tell you anything now, except maybe . . . you will SEE HIM.

“Did you use the same models on the cover of Goliath that you used on Leviathan and Behemoth?”

Yes. Same models, same photo shoot on the same day. Sometime I’ll show you guys the unaltered photos.

“At any point in Behemoth, does Dr. Barlow know that Deyrn is a girl? It has been a topic of great debate.”

Hah! Not saying now, but you WILL learn the answer to that in Goliath.

“Have you ever met someone in real life who reminds you of your characters?
Or vice versa.”

Hmm, not really. Although sometimes I see someone and say, ‘Whoa, he/she’s a total pretty!’

“Nice to meet you, btw. (and tell hi to Justine (Mrs. Larbaleister (sp?)) for me, please!)”

It’s Dr. Larbalestier, in fact.

“Can Justine cook?”

She’s a great cook of Thai food, and she wants me to add that she’s a good boxer too. (She’s been taking lessons.)

“What TV shows do you watch?”

Game of Thrones, Treme, just finished Vampire Diaries,

“This isn’t really a question, just a comment. I thought you’d like to know that I used to like history, and Leviathan made me love it again. I might even try writing something historical-ish myself. ”


“Is Lilit lesbian/bi? (Please say yes.)”

They didn’t really have those categories for women back then, but she would be if she was alive today. (Strange but true fact: Male homosexuality was illegal in England back then, but female homosexuality wasn’t because lawmakers REFUSED TO BELIEVE IT EXISTED.)

“In Uglies, there are many messages, some obvious, some not so much. What messages/lessons do you want readers to take away from Leviathan?”

Hmm. I think that the big theme is about how different sides of a conflict (war or just ideological/technological) see each other, and how that can change when people are forced to work together.

“What kind of music do you like? (Do you like Florence+and the machine?)”

I like minimalism and trip-hop, and I don’t know of this Florence person.

“What is your opinion on the Hunger Games? (Will you see the movie?)”

Want to see the movie. Liked the first book, but didn’t read the others.

“When will you go on tour?”


“Would you like to join my band of Ninjas?”

I have already infiltrated your band of ninjas!

“Do you like writing about diseases? Peeps was about parasites, Innoculata had to do with a virus and in So Yesterday the main characters dad is a Epidimiologist (I think).”

I love all kinds of biology, like beasties too. Studied philosophy of biology in college. (Yes, that’s a real thing.)

“Scott-la, in the Uglies series who was the most interesting character to create?”

Hmm, maybe Mr. Simpson Smith, because he talked funny and had a very different view of the world from everyone else.

“Is there a ball, wedding, or some other formal scene in Goliath?”


“Will we ever see Deryn in a dress in the final book?
I need some hope..

Foreign Friday

A couple of recently arrived foreign editions for your weekend delectation.

First, a radical interpretation of Uglies.

The covered face is really dystopian and dark, despite all the vibrant colors. The physical book has lots of shiny on the cover, with that classy trade paperback heft. (And note the locket she’s wearing.)

Here’s something that just occurred to me. Polish, like any other language with adjective/noun number agreement, has plural adjectives. So “brzydcy” is a normal Polish word in a way that “uglies” isn’t. And any translator who didn’t know the English title would reverse-translate “Brzydcy” into “The Ugly Ones.”

This means that all my words like “uglies” and “pretties” sound perfectly normal in Polish, not like future slang or even slightly odd. Obviously this goes for a ton of other languages—all those in which adjectives can be pluralized and used without nouns to mean “the x ones.”

Hmm. I wonder if it feels a bit less alien because of that.

Of course, Australians say “littlies” and “crumblies” anyway. (And “pressies” for “presents,” “Chrissie” for “Christmas,” “musos” for “musicians,” etc.)

Polish speakers can click here for more.

And now from Germany, an old-school sf rendition of Risen Empire.

Loving the title: WorldStorm! Perhaps more properly: Storm of the Worlds, but come on: WORLDSTORM!

An important note: Weltensturm puts Risen Empire and The Killing of Worlds in one volume, like they’re supposed to be.

Thanks to Eduard for sending that.

Update: The cover of Extras will be posted here on Monday.

I Live to Horse

Sorry for the lame posting rate these days. Wiscon, supposedly three days long, has expanded for Justine and I to an entire week. It started last Thursday morning at 4:19, then came the trip to Taliesin, and then the next five days seem to have been spent in the Governors’ Club, as far as I can remember. (And as far as photographic evidence suggests.)

That’s all well and good, in fact, it was an excellent week. But after such a schmooze-fest, the last thing I needed was to return to NYC and find myself in . . . another schmooze-fest. Yes, but Book Expo America waits for no man to recover, and it’s all publishing parties all the time here in the Big Apple. Even though my schoozing clothes are still at the dry cleaners.

I’m signing tomorrow at 3:30, in a t-shirt. Still, it’s the first time I’m seting foot in a big book fair, which is quite exciting.

Other good things since our return: Justine won a book at the litblog party, and when we got back Wednesday night, I found that ex-patriot Lawrence Schimel had brought me two copies of El Empirio Elevado from Madrid. For which he is much thanked.

Surely even the most monolingual among us will recognize that as the Spanish title for Risen Empire. Yay, Spain! I really like the strangely light-hearted colors of this cover. It makes me glad that every country has different ideas of what sf books should look like.

The Spanish reviews seem pretty good. And although I know at an intellectual level that Google tranlsations are a cheap shot, but I can’t resist posting this author bio:

Scott Westerfeld is one of the authors of the sort with more literary quality at the present time. In fact, one of its novels was selected by the New York Times like the best one of the year, by its care of the personages, the attention to the language, and its eagerness to create histories full of rate and sense of the wonder. It was born in Texas and lives to horse between New York and Sidney.

Yes, I do live to horse. But for the moment, I live to schmooze.