Sunday, June 10, 2012

Interview with Scott West

Spent some time getting to know Scott West from Sciencefiction.com and decided to pass the learning on to you.  Scott is an intriguing character in his own right.  Nine questions because I was in a single digit kind of mood.  Might need to start up a podcast, too, to let he man riff a bit.  Check it out:


1. Were you always a Science Fiction fan, or did it come on later in life?

I grew up with family members who watched a lot of sci-fi. One of the first movies I remember seeing in the theater was 'Empire Strikes Back'. I was constantly watching 'Twilight Zone', the original 'Star Trek', and sci-fi movies. I had stacks upon stacks of hand-me-down 70s comics, which were a combination of sci-fi, horror, and weird west type stuff mainly so I have always been a fan of sci-fi in general.

2. What was the moment that you knew, yes, this was a genre you had to have more of?

Well... like I said, I always liked sci-fi. But when I first saw the original 'Star Wars' when it aired on television in the mid-80s, I became obsessed. I loved 'Star Wars' for the longest time. Since then, my tastes have evolved to include other aspects of sci-fi, but 'Star Wars' is really what set it off.

3. Of the major science fiction franchises, which is your favorite, and why?

As much as I love the original 'Star Wars' universe and a ton of more modern franchises ('Firefly', 'Warehouse 13'), it's 'Star Trek' that has to be my favorite. Gene Roddenberry's vision of a future that is optimistic. It's refreshing, especially in the face of a lot of popular dystopian futures that are out there. I think that optimism is part of what has kept 'Star Trek' so endearing thoughout the ages. Plus... Data on 'The Next Generation' is one of my favorite television characters ever.

4. What's your favorite sci fi medium, television, movies, literature, or comic books?

I love comics but the majority of comics that I read are superheroes. If you're talking straight sci-fi, I love TV as a medium. I think the episodic nature of a television show allows the writers to explore the corners of a universe that a movie can't. I'm especially fond of anthology television shows like 'Twilight Zone', 'Outer Limits', or 'Amazing Stories'.

5. Which comic book character does it for you today & isn't necessarily a big main stream name?

It seems like, with the onslaught of comic book movies, that even obscure characters are known by somebody but I'm still fond of western and noir heroes. I'm a big fan of Jonah Hex and the Shadow. Yeah... Jonah Hex had a movie but it didn't do too well because it wasn't played as straight as it should have been. The same with The Shadow. I think both of those characters still have potential to become awesome film or television stars.

6. What's the best thing that you've ever written?

My favorite piece that I wrote was a short story about a scientist that had created an android and was dealing with public attacks from a political interest group that was fighting against the AI because it didn't think androids should have rights. It read like a 'Twilight Zone' episode and was published in a small 'zine some years ago. I've written a lot since, but that one is still special for me.

7. Which science fiction writers have had the most impact on you?

I've always had a mean sense of humor and a love of words so, while they're not all strictly sci-fi, the biggest influences on my writing have been British writers like J.R.R. Tolkein, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, and Neil Gaiman. Their writing not only tells great stories, but the language and ideas that they use to convey those stories is like poetry. It's beautiful!

8. If you could guest write in any franchise, what would it be? Where would you take it?

I really don't like to write other peoples' characters. As much as I've written, I've never done fan-fic. I prefer to work with my own ideas. If I were to write something that was in another writer's franchise, I would create new characters within the same universe rather than use existing characters. If I were given the chance, I'd love to take a stab at Joss Whedon's 'Firefly' universe, but I'd like to tell the stories of other characters aside from the crew of the Serenity... maybe someone in the political intrigue of the Alliance and the core planets.

9. What's the next great thing coming up in Science fiction that you've seen?

The thing I'm most excited about is the idea that Ridley Scott might be returning to the 'Blade Runner' universe. The original movie is one of (if not THE) best science fiction films ever made and I can't wait to see another tale in that universe. As you can tell by my answers, I have a thing for sci-fi that uses artificial people and questions exactly what it means to be human.

You can find more of Scott here:
http://www.hydeandgeek.com
http://twitter.com/hydeandgeek

Personally, I follow his Twitter feed, above, and really enjoy his posts.  You would too.