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The Order of Oddfish

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A Doctorow Rave, a Philosophical Chat, and I’m in 20×2!

July 25, 2022

Cory Doctorow has come through again! I woke up today to find he had posted a very positive review of Dare to Know. Anyone who knows modern sci-fi knows Doctorow is a powerhouse, and yet for all his success he still finds time to read and promote lesser-known authors. It was a real pleasure to be reviewed by someone as informed as Cory, because not only did he clock my obscure references (the video games Aztec and Prince of Persia!) and adroitly situate Dare to Know in the history of SF (Heinlein’s “Life-Line”! Machine of Death!) but he also charted how it relates to The Order of Odd-Fish, which he had positively reviewed many years ago. I’m really grateful.

But wait, what’s that video above? I was interviewed by Greg Sadler for his philosophy YouTube channel. I had met Greg in real life when I did an author appearance at Boswell’s Book Company in Milwaukee a few weeks ago. Since Greg is a bona fide professor of philosophy, we were able to go deeper than usual discussing Dare to Know. And since I have a few interviews under my belt at this point, I’m more coherent than usual. So please check it out, he’s a great interviewer!

One last thing! I was invited by literary fellow-about-town Andrew Huff to speak at 20×2 in Chicago back in June. The premise, per their website: “What happens when you take 20 handpicked creatives and luminaries, give them each two minutes before a live audience and the same (fuzzy) question to unravel?”

I had a great time! The question was “Who Cares?” and I tried as best I could to answer it in two minutes below. Readers of Dare to Know will recognize a riff about the Beatles at the beginning of the video—this is because I had googled the phrase “Who Cares” and found that the first result to show up was a 2018 song by Paul McCartney with the name “Who Cares.” After that, I was off to the races:

But the real fun for me that night was meeting all the other “creatives and luminaries” and seeing how they answered the question “Who Cares.”

Some, like the hilarious Alisa Rosenthal, I had met long ago in improv classes, and it was great to reconnect with her (here’s her entry, a song about junior high school awkwardness).

I had also previously met Felix Jung (here’s his unexpectedly emotionally affecting short video) when he and I both made videos for the Museum of Science and Industry’s “Month at the Museum” contest (my entry here features a very young me, Heather, and Lucy).

Other luminaries I met just that night, and I was blown away by everyone’s talent and guts, especially when Lily Be did a stage-dive and when Brenda Scott Wlazlo did a show-stopping number in a Care Bears costume.

I hope to be invited back to 20×2 someday! You can find all their videos here.