Five questions

idonotlikepeas has asked me five questions.

1. What’s the single best video game ending you can think of, and why?

I addressed this topic before, but I didn’t pick a favorite. Probably Fallout, as it plays off of one of my favorite films. It has that epic feel. “And the road warrior? That was the last we saw of him… he exists now, only in my memories.” Now if that had actually been the last we saw of Mel Gibson, it would have been perfect.

Oh – video game endings, not computer games. Well, I remember being quite emotional when I beat Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out on the NES.

2. When’s the next book? Come on.

At this rate the next book will probably be scholarly. I’ve worked on them, there are chapters of at least three books around here, but none is close to done. There’s the sequel to EJ, one about vigilantes that is probably further along than anything else, and a linked-together set of post-apocalyptic short stories.

It would take a three-month-long writing retreat, preferably on a mountaintop, to finish any of them off. Getting a Ph.D is a serious time drain. The next book will, fortunately or unfortunately, be the dissertation. So it’s probably going to be my mid-30’s before I can send out another book. I’m not happy with this but I don’t see another way around it. The writing will be better, though, for the wait.

3. If you had to give up one thing that you loved, what would it be?

My diet. In particular, Coke. There is nothing better tasting that a cold Coke in a glass bottle. But it seems to be the one thing I love that I could do without and live longer as a result. I could also, probably, do away with red meat. But it seems every week or so I manage to eat a burger or a steak, despite not having any red meat at home. I strongly associate any red meat with luxury, I think – a steak in particular was always a huge deal when I was growing up, and still is – and Cokes with relaxation. Letting go of these simple pleasures is quite difficult. I have a lot of sympathy for smokers that can’t quit. It would be a major blow to never drink a Coke or eat a steak again.

4. Students – threat or menace?

What’s the difference between a threat and a menace, exactly? Menace suggests to me an ongoing if somewhat trivial worry; a threat is short-term but more dangerous and immediate. So I’d have to pick menace. They don’t have many hitpoints, and if you stay off campus, they’re harmless. They’re sort of like the cliff racers in Morrowind. Good for archery or hand-to-hand practice, but after awhile, you realize they’re not going to stop coming. Ever.

5. Which would be worse: justice or oblivion?

Oblivion. No contest. Oblivion is as bad as it gets. Remember the back cover of those old Amber paperbacks? “Treason, treachery… and oblivion!” Which is about the same as saying, “A mild cold, a toothache… and oblivion!”� or “A paper cut, a cold sore… and being cut apart by a wood chipper!” Never expect scale from a back cover blurb. “The greatest book of the century… and of all time… and in the known universe… and in any combination of intersecting and parallel universes… including universes Hawking hasn’t thought of while getting up in the morning… (author’s name)’s best yet!”

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