IamA Science Fiction Author named Peter Watts. I am not any of those other Peter Wattses. AMA, within reason.
Aug 26th 2014 by The-Squidnapper • 16 Questions • 173 Points
MeFi etiquette apparently dictates that I start this thing with IamA. Let's start with an IamNot instead.
I am not Naomi Watts's dad. I was not Pink Floyd's road manager back in the sixties. I never had anything to do with Mott the Hoople. I am not the bald guy from Millenium. I am not the @peter_watts who's all over twitter from some secret base in London, or the other one who takes pictures. I do not make wine (although I convert more than my share to urine). If I were Peter Watts the biblical scholar I might possibly kill myself.
I am definitely not the Peter Watts from Upper Dicker, whose collection of child porn got him all over the news way back in 2004, on the very same day that I told all my friends to google my name because Wired.com quoted me at length in one of their articles that happened to go up on that date. Even though I am the same age as him. I am not that Peter Watts.
IamA science fiction writer and former biologist, is what I am. I am significantly more cheerful than most people seem to expect. I am here to answer your questions this very evening at 7pm EDT, but you may want to post now and avoid the rush (especially since some folks out there might still think I'm the pedophile from Upper Dicker).
I am also an announcer of sorts, here to tell you that the people going by the handles "/u/mrtherussian", "/u/cjv89", and "/u/TheGreat-Zarquon" have won signed copies of my latest novel, Echopraxia. (I suppose I should get going on that.) Echopraxia was released today, and the reviews so far have been pretty glowing; I expect them to get worse over time, though.
You could ask me about that, if you like.
(Oh, right. They demand "proof" that I'm who I say I am, so: proof.)
Hi Dr. Watts -- big fan! I was the one who put together this in-depth guide to your work the other day for anybody unfamiliar -- thanks for dropping by in the comments!
I was curious about the names you chose in Blindsight -- they seem split between the fairly ordinary (Susan James, Amanda Bates, Jim Moore) and the unconventional (Siri Keeton, Isaac Szpindel, Jukka Sarasti). What made you decide on these names? Do they have any deeper meaning?
edit: Heh -- for anybody wondering, the "MeFi" in Dr. Watts' OP is referring to MetaFilter, the community blog I posted that guide to and invited him to visit yesterday. This is Reddit, man -- don't cross the streams!
You get dibs because of all the work you did on that link farm. I especially liked the juxtaposition of "fasciitis" and "fascist".
I tuckerise a lot of characters. I take people out for beer and pick their brains, and then stick them into the novel they've informed to die a horrible death. Susan James is a real person, with a background in linguistics. Isaac Szpindel is a real neuroscientist. Jim Moore was some dude who won a contest-- I've never met him, but he still exists.
Siri Keeton, OTOH, came to me in a dream. And Jukka was the name of a friend of my first known overseas fan, in Finland; I was looking for a name with overtones of icy albino psychopathy, so who better than the Finns? (Actually, the Norwegians-- but I didn't have any Norwegian connections back then.) Little did I know that every third male in that blasted country is named "Jukka". When I did my book signings, I ran into so many Jukkas in the first five minutes that I thought either a) the whole damn con was yanking my chain, or b) Blindsight had been so influential that half the male population had had their names legally changed.
Rule of thumb, if the name seems unremarkable, it's probably the name of an actually human being. Otherwise I hallucinated it.
He posted in there a few times already. But yea, would love to see more of him there.
Okay people, I'm out of here. Thanks for the questions: I'll try to get to the unanswered ones over the next few days. Assuming the admins haven't banned me by then.
It was fun.