Interview Game: Sam

  1. Leave a comment, saying you want to be interviewed.
  2. I will respond; I'll ask you five questions.

3. You'll update your website with my five questions, and your five answers.

  1. You'll include this explanation.

5. You'll ask other people five questions when they want to be interviewed.

My questions are from Amy of Domesticat.net. Her questions and answers are archived on her site as well.


  1. Is art still relevant in American society?

I think contemporary art is just as relevant in contemporary society as it's always been, which is to say, not terribly relevant. Art reflects society, but I think art is a fairly passive reflection of society, so in that respect I think Art remains relevant to society.

  1. Dogs, cats, ferrets, or fish? Defend your answer.

Cats. Duh. Dogs are too dependent and downright annoying, though I do think there are some pretty neat little dogs. Cuddling fish isn't possible, and if I wanted something pretty to look at I'd by a painting or download a screen saver. I have nothing opposed to ferrets or other rodent like creatures, but they don't match up to cats. I like cats, because they're great company, and entertainment, and they take care of themselves mostly, I also enjoy the fact that while they're fiercely independent, they also seem to bond well with people, which is a nice quality for a pet.

I suppose I should say something about how the cats made me say that, but I can't think of a clever way of saying that, so I'll leave that to your imagination.

3. What books, when you finished the last page, left you a significantly different person than you were when you started reading them? Why? What were the changes?

To answer this question completely I'd probably have to spend a few years, so I'm just going to give some of the more recent highlights.

Reading the last page of "The Great Gatsby" changed me and how I think about my writing interests. The rest of the book was kind of iffy as for it's affect on me, but those famous last words really did something for me.

When I read Robert Heinlein's "Stranger in A Strange Land," I learned what science fiction was capable of and what "Speculative Fiction" really means, and given that I'm a more or less a self identified SF writer, that was really important. I think I have similar feelings towards Asimov's Foundation Trilogy, but Stranger affected me more I think.

While I've never read one of his books (because it's much better to listen to him read his books) I think David Sedaris has had a profound impact of me. He's funny and fun, but he's also brutally honest, and can talk about things that I could never talk about and make people laugh the way he does. I listened to the full length version of the "Santa Land Diaries" and afterwards I've known that that approach to writing stories and anecdotes is something I desperately need to adopt.

Armistead Maupin's "Tales of the City" books have shown me how format, amazing stories, and powerful characters can blend perfectly together. As a result I felt more connected to queer history/culture. It also gave me an interesting, and new perspective about the AIDS crisis, which I hadn't had before (that's the last too books in particular).

That brings me to my reading of the first Angles in America Play by Tony Kushner, which as of right now is the most amazing piece of prose I've ever read. It's powerful; the production style really works with the subject matter. The play was the most complete look at AIDS and all of it's effects, and I was virtually reduced to tears by the last page.

4. The weblogging world is fascinated with the idea of being able to dip into the lives of strangers. Is it possible to truly get to know someone through this particular format?

If you fire up your browser and see the front page of a blog and snoop around a little, you're going to see a little window into the life of a stranger, and this kind of blog 'browsing' may allow you to get to know someone, in most cases this picture is incomplete. It is after all hard to get to know someone on a couple of web pages, (unless the person is really daft).

On the other hand if you've read the entire body of a person's work on the web, you can start to get a feeling about someone. There's a lot of "reading inbetween the lines," and I must admit that there are few people whose blogs I read that I don't chat/correspond with, so I suppose that skews things a bit. People are such complicated creatures that it's hard to really get to know them in any format, but I think it can be done. (Is it cheating if you chat/correspond with people whose blog you read?)

5. Would you ever attend dragon*con? If you would, what appeals to you? If not, why not?

I think I would if I could work out all the logistics. I'm a huge Babylon 5 fan (it's the commonality that brought Chris Knittel and Paula Forbes to TealArt in the first place). I'm also really kind of big into Star Wars, which I'm almost embarrassed to admit, but alas it's the truth. So things relating to either of those fascinations would be pretty high on my list. Also as a writer/fiction buff, the stuff relating to that would be really interesting. The Rocky Horror showing(s) would also get my attention. That's the main stuff, and probably only the tip of the ice burg.

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