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Walter Jon Williams would be a prolific author if he’d written half as many novels, films, and comics. With more than thirty works of fiction under his belt, I have to wonder when he finds the time to sleep. But I was lucky enough to catch him without a pen in his hand for long enough to ask a few questions.

You’ve written near-future thrillers, space operas, cyberpunk, and more. What’s your favorite genre to write?

I don’t have a favorite genre. My writing is all over the place because that’s how I read.

I’m always trying to become a better writer, and you don’t get better if you don’t try new things. So I’m always experimenting with something new.

Philip K Dick or Neal Stephenson?

Cordwainer Smith.


Of all the places you’ve scuba dived, which is your favorite?

Palau. It’s got everything: reefs, wrecks, currents, caves, and an amazing variety of wildlife above and below the water.


What are you reading right now?

Persepolis Rising, by James S.A. Corey. This is the latest in The Expanse, and you can sense the series coming to its conclusion as themes, situations, and characters established early in the series start pulling together for the series finale.


This is Not a Game merges the online and our “meat-space” world. How much of what you write about do you think may come true in the near future?

A lot of it has come true. SIPRnet was designed to unleash the potentialities of the Hive Mind, and Russia used methods described in the series to astroturf the entire United States in 2016.

I had sort of hoped these powers would be used for good.

Walter Jon Williams has published twenty novels and short fiction collections. Most are science fiction or fantasy—Hardwired, Voice of the Whirlwind, Aristoi, Metropolitan, City on Fire to name just a few. Walter holds a fourth-degree black belt in Kenpo Karate, and also enjoys sailing and scuba diving. He lives in New Mexico with his wife, Kathy Hedges.