ANDREW LIPTAK Part 2
Wednesday, December 08, 2010 3:33:36 PM
Our first Posse Interview is with ANDREW LIPTAK. He is a self-proclaimed "geek" (more on that in the interview), military historian, Stormtrooper and many other things. His blog covers his "thoughts on Science Fiction, History, and the world around [him]," often in a fascinating way. He is also a regular contributor to SFSignal. You can follow him on Twitter as well. This interview was conducted over emails. Read on!
PART 1 | Part 3
This is PART 2.
4 - Your blog's set apart, in a way, because you also include music reviews, as well as academic essays and book reviews. What kind of music are you passionate about? Do you have a musical background?
Anything that catches my ear, really. My computer at home has a lot of musics on it, with just about every genre, (except A Cappela or Barber Shop Quartet - can't stand those!) represented. I tend to like Rock, Indie Rock and soundtracks, but there's a lot there that fascinates me. Lately, I've been collecting songs that relate to Science Fiction and Fantasy - there's a lot out there.
a) What are some of the SF/F-themed artists that you've discovered? Readers here might be interested to seek them out!
Oh, there's a bunch. Jonathan Coulton and John Anaelio come to mind right off the bat, but then there's the classics like David Bowie and Iron Maiden. I've made some other discoveries, and Jed Whedon (Writer for Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible) released an album called 'History of Forgotton Things', which is excellent, Rasputina is awesome if you're into Cello / Steampunk indie rock, The Mountain Goats have a great rock album called Heretic Pride (Lovecraft in Brooklyn is fantastic!) Josh Ritter's 'So Runs the World Away' has some great speculative elements, and of course, Anais Mitchell's wonderful album Hadestown, which I like to describe as an indie-folk opera retelling of the legend of Orpheus in a post-apocalyptic setting.
5 - What's the last military SF/F Book you got excited about?
Not many, honestly - I just picked up New Model Army, by Adam Roberts, because it has an interesting premise. The last series that I really loved was Karen Traviss's Wess'Har Wars, which was an excellent series of boos that covered a lot of ground. There's been a bunch of books out lately that fit along the military lines that I've read - smart, political, well reasoned stories that will stray into military lines. The next one up for me is The Dervish House by Ian McDonald.
6- What do you feel is lacking in Military SF/F?
A story beyond the need to show a lot of action and people shooting at one another while the authors pontificate on their knowledge of guns and kit. There's some stories out there that I've found to be good versions of this, such as John Scalzi's books, but for his works, there's others like John Ringo's, which I'm struggling to get through because it's just so badly written and conceived of, with poor characters, story and dialog.
I talked on io9 about this sort of thing: I think what's most needed is for an author to have a clear view of what he's telling, and to understand, and think through a lot of what is required for military actions. I'm not talking about the intimate details of logistics, guns, organization, but about how things are used, and why things are used in the way that they are. Basically, if you're going to propose futuristic technology, don't use navel tactics from the 1800s to carry them out. Warfare is a dynamic and ever changing element.