The Interview

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Steven Lyle Jordan, author and futurist

Steven Lyle Jordan, author and futurist

The following comprises an interview script I wrote for fun… because I don’t expect to get a chance to film it, unless I use puppets or something…

Steven Lyle Jordan Interview Video

Int. Hallway

Steven Lyle Jordan (SLJ) walks down a deserted hallway with numbered doors on either side.  He is beside himself in excitement, and turns to speak over his shoulder at an unseen audience.

 SLJ

This is so exciting: My first televised interview!  When this airs, it should give my books sales a serious kick in the ass!  And can you imagine being interviewed by anyone better than… 

SLJ notices the door he’s looking for.

SLJ

Okay, here’s room 6.  Here we go!…

INT. Studio

SLJ steps into a small room with two chairs, two cameras, each pointing at one chair, a few lights, and no one there.

SLJ

Oh… am I early?  The schedule said…

SLJ notices a note on the chair facing him.  He crosses over, picks up the note, and proceeds to read it aloud with rising degree of surprise.

SLJ

Dear Steven, sorry about this but just got a call to interview Amanda Hocking… feel free to do interview anyway…

SLJ looks about, confused.  An interview with one person?…

SLJ

Just sit in the chair and answer the questions on this sheet as if I’m asking them to you.  We’ll film my part later in post.  Good luck!

SLJ looks at the chair and cameras, and eyes the rest of the room as if this is some kind of sick joke.  After debating, he finally sits down in the chair, looks awkwardly at the camera next to him pointing to the opposite chair, then looks at the opposite chair.

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if expecting it to do something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ stares at the chair for a moment in confusion, then looks down at the paper, reading.  After a moment, he looks hesitantly back at the opposite chair, and prepares himself to try to get through this farce.

SLJ

Uh… okay, uh, Hi… it’s nice to be here.

SLJ pauses, looking back down at the paper and reading the next question.

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ looks back up from the paper… he’s trying to get the hang of this.

SLJ

Yes, uh, the convention’s been going great!  There’s been a lot of interest in my Verdant and Kestral series—series-es?—and the people I’ve met have been very friendly.

SLJ pauses, looking back down at the paper and reading the next question.

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

Well, the numbers aren’t huge… yet.  After all, I’m still a relatively unknown author out there. But I’m hoping that more appearances like this one will be a big boost to my notoriety down the line.

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

Right.  I love science fiction stories for their willingness to explore the elements of science and nature, and how they affect the human condition.  They can be intellectual, they can be fun, and they can be very enlightening.

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

Yes, it’s true: Science fiction isn’t the hottest of genres right now…

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

Uh, yes. I like writing, but the primary reason for me to do it is to supplement my income.  I put a lot of pride and effort in my writing, and that’s worth something—

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

I’ve considered it.  But nothing attracts me the way science fiction does.  It’s always been—

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

Oh yes, I know how popular vampires and zombies are…

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

No, I really have no interest in writing about vampires and zombies, no matter how profitable they might be in the short term.

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

No, sorry; no magicians or dragons, either—

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

Nor elves or hobbits—

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ is getting visibly upset.

SLJ

No, no magic dragons ridden by vampires chasing zombie elves!…

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

Hey, those things just don’t interest me; and I believe there are plenty of readers out there who don’t want to read fantasy…

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

No.  Not even for a million sales.  So can we get back to what I do write?

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ calms down and resumes the interview.

SLJ

Yes, the Verdant series is about the aftermath of the eruption of the Yellowstone Caldera, which many people realize is a supervolcano in the middle of our country which, in fact, is considered overdue to erupt.

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

No, it erupts on its own—

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

No, no magicians cause it!

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

No, it wouldn’t be a better story!  Verdant Skies is a scientifically plausible story! It—

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

Are you serious?  Everyone should care about science!  Science gives us everything in our modern world! It gives you that camera to record this interview and broadcast it around the world in an instant!

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

Yes, faster than a vampire can fly—will you stop that!  There are no vampires!

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

Oh, now we’re doing IRS jokes? Look, let’s get back on track, or this interview is over.

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ visibly calms down, as if satisfied the interview is turning around.

SLJ

Okay… yes, the Kestral series is much more light-hearted adventure SF.  It’s about a military officer who’s discharged from the military through no fault of her own, so she begins a new life as a freighter captain with a small crew.

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

Well, it was originally inspired by Star Trek, but it actually reads more like a cross between Trek and Firefly—

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

Yes, I’ve heard Firefly called “cowboys in space.”  But the characters in Kestral aren’t like cowboys.

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

Because they live on their freighter, picking up freight jobs for money and incidentally getting caught up in adventures on the planets they visit.  In their first adventure, they help the government to get a needed cure for a virus to a planet before the creatures that spread the virus can catch them.  In the second, they help in a labor dispute on a planet that has apparently come alive.  And in the third, they—

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

No, there are no Klingons.  Most of the galaxy is populated by humans, but some of them have been genetically altered to be able to live on the many terraformed worlds—

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

Yes, altered to make them stronger, or lighter, or more tolerant to atmospheric gasses, that kind of thing.

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

Yes, they look like humanoid aliens in some cases.

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

The difference is that Star Trek’s aliens were all humanoid, and the likelihood that aliens will be like humans is almost impossible.

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

It’s a big difference!  It explains why my characters from different planets all speak the same languages, can eat the same things, have a shared culture for communication…

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

Star Trek did it because they wanted to make the stories easy to follow. And cheap to make.  That doesn’t make it realistic.  My stories, on the other hand, are very realistic in that—

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

Uh… well, yes, ships use faster-than-light drives to get from planet to planet…

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

That’s true: I believe faster-than-light drives will be forever out of our reach.  The power requirements are flat-out impossible, even if there wasn’t the limitation of the speed of light.

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

I use it for poetic license, basically.  It’s become so common in science fiction that no one bothers to question it; so, for the Kestral stories, I used it, too.

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

Because I didn’t want unrealistic aliens and unrealistic worlds! I wanted it to be as realistic as possible—

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ is getting exasperated again.

SLJ

—with warp drives!

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

Yes, it’s inconsistent, but—

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

I’m giving readers what they want to read!  I don’t see—

studio: empty chair

POV fixates on the empty chair for a few moments, as if it is saying something.

studio: SLJ

SLJ

No, they don’t fight space dragons!! —all right, that’s it!

SLJ surges out of his chair and throws the paper on the floor.

SLJ

F this noise!  If I’d wanted to be poked fun at, I could have logged onto SFFWorld!

SLJ storms out of the room, grumbling obscenities under his breath, and slams the door shut behind him.  Camera pans down and zooms onto paper.  Seen clearly under the instructions is the name of the interviewer: Stephen Colbert.  Unseen, the door is heard to open, and footsteps approach slowly and evenly.  A hand picks up the paper, and a smug voice is heard.

Stephen Colbert

Couldn’t have done better myself…

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