141: How to Interview the Dead

How to Interview the Dead

"Richard Feynman hangs in the air before me, just above the dirty dishes in the sink. He shimmers, shifts, the famous eyebrows drifting like smog. Behind him floats the Trinity nuclear test site, a swarm of nanobots, a sensory deprivation tank, the rubber seals of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

"Bongo drums. Topless bars. The hallucinatory curves of delectable young graduate students. Nobel Prize-winning scientists sure know how to pick 'em."

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... what was the point of this article? I'm serious. I honestly don't get why this made it into the Escapist.

I was about to agree and have a rant...but there's something quite beautifully poetic about this.

You say a lot without saying much at all, which, I think is what was the point. What my comrade above was expecting was something complex and focused, much like the astrophysicists and chemists you make reference to, only to be given something much more freeform and simple, something malliable and fluid to be thought of in its unique way.

Call it piddle and tosh if you wish, but frankly, you're just can't see the wood for the trees.

What the f*** was that? I've seen some nonsensical stuff in my time - I've even read Rudy Rucker's 'White Light', but this is ridiculous. Did some wacko shoot the editor and start greenlighting whatever garbage comes across his desk. I must have wasted at least 5 minutes on that article.

It was a very good experiment, but I agree that it didn't have the same tone as other articles on this site, what with the fiction.

I have no idea what just happened. But it kept me reading the entire time. I liked it.

I read half of the first page, but when I saw that you were actually making a made up bullshit article with some dead guy, I clicked the comments button. WTF WAS THAT? I can understand Holodecks, floating frogs, glowing cats, and air fresheners, but making up a bullshit interview with a dead guy? Come on.


Points for originality, but i dont realy understand what you are getting at.



Future reference for everyone else: If you're going to shit all over someone else's work, at the very least pretend you read the entire fucking thing before you waste more of our bandwidth.

This article manages to take base, seemingly everyday words from the English language and stack or smash them together in such a way as to create a potent and palatable deliciousness.

I demand more Colin Roswell.

Jeez guys, you're talking like you've never been to a run-of-the mill seance before.

I'm not big on gonzo journalism, but somehow this piece still worked for me. Still scratching my head about it, but it kept me reading.

-- Steve

I loved it. Love, love, love. Want to pick out invitations and flower arrangements love. It perfectly captured a specific feeling that I had about four years ago, when I was debating whether or not to leave the sciences to become a professional writer - down to the heated arguments with dead physicists. Sure, it's not exactly the same situation as Colin's - but the feelings and angst I had are right there, mirrored in Feynman's grinning face.

Seriously, awesome job Colin. I can see how this wouldn't speak to everyone, but it definitely spoke to me.

Frankly, I don't like gaming-related articles here at the Escapist. But I read your newsletter and got tempted by the snippet of this article, which I've subsequently read and liked very much. Nostalgic, funny, smart. Congratulations!

Erm...that was...different.

Seriously though, it's all well and good writing stream-of-consciousness, out there articles, but it would be nice if they had at least some semblance of a point or a message. I come to the Escapist to read high quality stuff, not the mad ramblings of someone who's had one red bull too many.


Although the subject matter did not exactly resonate with my current state of mind, I found the article funny as well as refreshing. Challenging the audience is a rare thing these days, when everything is designed for a specific target group or demographic. Challenge means discomfort and people, well they dislike it.

I enjoy anything that has been done with a little bit of originality, intellect and conviction, and this article fits that description.

While an interesting experiment, this article did not really do it for me. Some of the links are interesting, though (spy bugs are coming!).

Brian Name:
I have no idea what just happened. But it kept me reading the entire time. I liked it.

I... think... it's telling us that our science isn't weird enough. But I'm not positive of that, and I think if I think about it any more it'll ruin the effect.

It's not an experiment, it's a distinct style. And it came out interesting, if a little eyebrow-raising. To me, the famous scientist's sassy ghost is old hat, everyday stuff. But the constant mentioning of New Zealand? That was weird.

BTW, I love how the moderators around here are totally lacking in judicial restraint. Fair enough: internet forums are to rudeness what the world of Judge Dredd is to criminal mayhem.

Frankly, I don't like gaming-related articles here at the Escapist.


it was really cool different from this site but its good to have something different


Too often I find people whose profession is writing who can't bloody write. This is an intriguing and beautiful piece, with greater depth than the average Escapist piece. I expect to still be thinking about it later, whereas with most articles I've stopped thinking about them before I even finish.

Please don't be put off by the people who need to levy various accusations which in the end all mean, "I don't geddit". These are of the type that found Shadow of the Colossus dull. How about using your fucking mind for five minutes?


There's a saying: Those who write clearly have readers, while those who write obscurely have commentators.

This took me back to one of my film classes, namely the French New Wave section when our film in question was Pierrot le Fou. The lead thinks himself the sole observer to a kind of metaphysical/cultural pandemic and relates his observations and rebellious intentions through a rambling stream of obscure cultural and literary references all delivered with a kind of detached smugness that's intended to alienate rather than enlighten, despite him saying his intentions are otherwise. In the end, he ties sticks of dynamite to his head and lights the fuse.

I guess what I'm saying here is that whatever genius may have resided in this article was crushed under a heaving pile of pretentiousness.

Clark Kent will never join the football team, never walk home from school at more than a normal pace, never leave the Kent farm, never leave Smallville, and never fly.

Oh, and the cynical jerk in me wants to add: "I feel encouraged by this article; I mean, if this can get published, how bad can my chances possibly be?"


Oh, and the cynical jerk in me wants to add: "I feel encouraged by this article; I mean, if this can get published, how bad can my chances possibly be?"

Yeah, I tried something way off track with this piece and it didn't work how I'd hoped. The Escapist (namely Russ) were generous enough to give me a lot of leeway in 2008, which led to some pretty fun times alongside the missteps - hope the cynical jerk in you gets to experience that at some point, when you're writing for a living.




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