Stanislaw Lem. Douglas Adams. Joshua Ferris. Tom Wolfe.
3.Can you name at least one book that you never finished?
Moby Dick. I was within five pages of the end and I just couldn't take it anymore. Please don't spoil it for me - I'm going to try again some day.
4.What word or words do you always have trouble spelling?
Misspell, first of all. I always want to give it one "s". Then when I've verified beyond any doubt that I've spelled it correctly with two (YES, TWO!) s's, I get nervous that the people who read what I've written will not actually know how to spell "misspell" themselves, and they'll think I've gotten it wrong because it just looks wrong with two s's (doesn't it?). So I usually end up inserting a hyphen between the s's. This inexplicably makes me feel better - only now I've ironically mis-spelled "misspell," and worse, I've done it deliberately. Other words that give me trouble include misspelling, misspelled, misspellifists, and dessert.
5.What three adjectives best describe you?
Lefty (as in, I write with my left hand. My political beliefs are TOP SECRET). Airborne (I'm writing this on an airplane). Can I use gerunds? How about, "understanding"?
6.Which of your characters would you most like to be and why?
The ones that are really rich in the end, and the rich are happier than you and me...
7.Which author would you invite to dinner?
Bill Gates, because he'd pretty much have to pick up the check.
8.Where do you write?
Wherever I happen to be. I honestly can't think of a place that I find myself regularly where I've never written (apart from the shower).
9.When do you write?
Whenever it happens to be (I can write for ten to fifteen hours straight, and often do).
10.What makes you happy?
World peace. Puppies. NATO.
11.What do you most fear?
The Warsaw Pact.
12.What is your favorite vice?
13.What is the quality you most like in yourself?
14.What are the qualities you most like in your friends?
A sense of humor.
15.Would you be lying if you said your works were not autobiographical?
My first book is a memoir, so I'd certainly be lying if I said that it was not autobiographical. Put differently, I would not be untruthful were I to deny that it was fictitious. My most recent book is about a guy who is contacted my some highly advanced aliens who are really, really, REALLY into American pop music. And I swear, nothing remotely like that has ever happened to me. Seriously. Ever, ever, ever.
16.What part of your personality do you detest?
“Detest" is an incredibly strong word. I’d certainly change anything about myself that I actively detested. So while I’m far, far, far from perfect, I’m happy to report that there’s nothing about myself that I detest.
17.What is your favorite adjective?
Purple. Always has been.
18.What is your favorite book?
I'd have a hard time identifying just one. But The Cyberiad (Lem), London Fields (Amis), And Then We Came To The End (Ferris), Perfume (Susskind), White Teeth (Smith), The White Tiger (Adiga), Cryptonomicon (Stephenson), A Clockwork Orange (Burgess), and Slaughterhouse-Five (Vonnegut) are all major contenders.
19.What book would you read three times?
How about three that I HAVE read three times? 1984, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and A Confederacy of Dunces
20.To whom would you award the Nobel Prize for Literature and why?
John Hodgman. Because Nobel laureates should have mustaches.