Last week, I read a post on Making Light about Spin, a novel by Robert Charles Wilson. It sounded like a good book, and we were about to go on a long weekend snow trip, so why not? We were killing time at Borders until the traffic died down, so I snagged a copy, thinking I’d read a little bit of it when I wasn’t on the slopes.

I inhaled it. Started Friday afternoon and didn’t put it down until driving home Sunday when the sun was too low in the sky. It is a stunning novel, the kind that gives you a shot of Wow without any winking jackassery. I so dug it that I wrote Robert Charles Wilson an email saying as much.

And today, he wrote me back.

And I remembered what it’s like to be a fan, and just how cool that can be. I didn’t analyze the book, I didn’t look for any narrative goodies I could pinch, I didn’t critique the thing at all. I just read it and enjoyed it like a regular reader would, then sent a fan letter and got a response.

And that’s why I want to do this stuff.


Friday night is Dork Night at our house. That’s when we watch Battlestar Galactica and whatever other science-fictiony stuff the Tivo caught for us (new Doctor Who in March!). I digs me some Galactica, have ever since the mini-series. It is a Great Show, full of surprises and messiness and Hot Cylon Babes.

So, being a geeque, that means I have to absorb as much extra data as possible, which makes show creator Ron Moore’s blog and podcast commentariess so awesome. It’s mondo geeque, extra stuff that makes the experience of the show that much deeper. Or cooler. Whatever.

Especially the podcasts. I love commentary on movies and shows that explains the writing process, and Ron Moore’s podcast is loaded with that kind of goodness. He sits at home, lights up a smoke, and talks into his recorder as he watches an episode. It’s loose and informal. And loud. You hear leafblowers and traffic in the background, and I think it adds to the charm.

Some folks, however, don’t. They bitch about the noise because it detracts from the nerdiness. They don’t like the distractions of the ringing phone. They especially don’t like the BEEP that lets the listener know it’s a commercial break (though I do agree with the complaints about the BEEP; it’s murder when you’re wearing headphones). Nerds are unafraid to let the world know they’re unhappy, especially in the empowered era of the Internet Forum. The people who make tv and movies know that a vocal audience can wreak havoc, which means that some geeks get a sense of entitlement. We’re fans, the show’s for us, so make us happy.

Which is why it was so refreshing to hear Ron Moore tell the whiners to get stuffed on the podcast for “The Captain’s Hand.” It’s his show, it’s his podcast, and he’ll run it the way he damn well likes, so shut the hell up and enjoy. And it wasn’t without any malice or arrogance (“You’ll take my abuse and like it, nerds!”), just a reminder that, hey, it’s still a show, people.

I love being a nerd. I love being a fan. But, still, the BEEP has got to go.