Twenty questions for authors, none about writing. Some questions are not in the form of a question. (Previous Q&As may be found HERE.)
This week we have ROBIN SLOAN, author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore.
- 1. Rename yourself.
RS: John Eliot Sinclair
2. Satan hoofs up and says two words to you. What are they?
RS: “Work harder.”
3. Give us an A+ summer song.
RS: “Merey Mathay” by Kiran Ahluwalia [Youtube]
4. What is the worst injury you’ve ever sustained?
RS: Involved the feet; gruesome; footprints of blood.
5. Form a supergroup using any four musicians, living or dead, that would be thoroughly awesome to experience, for better or worse.
RS: I like the idea of a collaboration between past and future selves, a la Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. I’d like to assemble the Paul Simons of 1972, 1986, 1990, and 2011 and have them all sing in harmony.
6. What was your best Halloween costume?
RS: A member of the Borg. Unfortunately, nobody in my school knew who the Borg were.
7. Tell us something you built.
RS: In my first apartment, I built a bookshelf… out of… BOOKS. Think about it!
8. If you could safely have one non-domesticated animal as a lifelong companion, what would it be? (Fantasy creatures are allowed.)
RS: I want an octopus. They are super smart.
9. What do you like to grow?
RS: Sourdough starter.
10. Name a thing you love that nobody else you personally know also loves.
11. How would you like those eggs?
RS: Fried, with the yolk still runny
12. What’s the worst thing about your favorite holiday?
RS: It’s usually quite cold (at least here in the Northern Hemisphere).
13. You’ve just been turned into a lousy superhero. Who are you, and who is your nemesis?
RS: I am DOCTOR PANTS. I fight the shadowy international organization known only as 34/34.
14. Name a thought that has profoundly scared you in the night.
RS: Mostly it tends to be the heightened awareness of my heart beating, paired with the knowledge that, although they are vanishingly rare, there do exist maladies that cause it to just suddenly… stop.
15. You’re stinking rich. What’s the first thing you add to your home?
RS: Secret passageways and/or tunnels
- 16. What are you up to this weekend?
RS: Going up to Sonoma County
17. Which color makes you feel the most comfortable? The most anxious?
RS: I don’t really respond to colors that way.
18. What is the strangest job you ever had?
RS: My very first job was slightly strange in its simplicity, I guess. I worked at a greenhouse, where I was in charge of the dirt pile. When customers ordered potting soil, woodchips, peat moss, etc., I would carry it out to their car. That’s all I did. I moved dirt.
19. I mean honestly: aren’t you better off living without ___?
RS: …a smartphone? (Allow me to report: yes, you are!)
20. James Cameron discovers something new at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. What do you hope it is?
RS: Unimaginative, but: aliens, alien, always and forever aliens!
Robin Sloan grew up near Detroit and now splits his time between San Francisco and the internet. His first novel, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2012.
Robin Sloan Official Site
Robin Sloan Twitter
Previous Q&As may be found HERE.
Buy MR. PENUMBRA’S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE:
Barnes & Noble