Neal Stephenson Farms Gold and Changes the World in Episode 47 of The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy

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Neal Stephenson, author of Snow Crash and Reamde, joins us to discuss farming gold, learning Western martial arts, and changing the world through science fiction.

Photograph via The Mongoliad

Geek's Guide to the Galaxy is hosted by John Joseph Adams and David Barr Kirtley.


You can download the MP3 for this episode here, subscribe to The Geek's Guide to the Galaxy podcast feed here, and browse other episodes here.

This episode includes:

Part 1: Interview with Neal Stephenson (1:28)

Topics covered: Reamde, gold farming, inventing an imaginary computer game, video games and exercise, The Mongoliad, Western martial arts, apostrophes in fantasy names, the collective unconscious, title confusion, "Innovation Starvation," Snow Crash inspiring real-world developments, the Hieroglyph anthology, changing the world


Part 2: Guest Geek Keith Burgun Joins Us to Discuss Computer Role-Playing Games (26:20)

Topics covered: Diablo 3, Farmville, Fallout 3, globalized leveling, VATS, 100 Rogues, character classes, time investment, 2D vs. 3D, abstraction in games, animation vs. gameplay, problem of characters growing in power, problems of randomized games, Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer, can the RPG be saved?, Auro, new game development platforms


Thanks for listening!


John Joseph Adams is an anthologist, a writer, and a geek. He is the bestselling editor of the anthologies Brave New Worlds, Wastelands, The Living Dead, The Living Dead 2, By Blood We Live, Federations, The Way of the Wizard, and The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Forthcoming anthologies include Under the Moons of Mars: New Adventures on Barsoom (Simon & Schuster, 2012), Armored (Baen, 2012), and The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination (Tor, 2012). He is a 2011 Hugo Award-nominee for Best Editor (Short Form), his books have been nominated for the World Fantasy Award, and he has been called "the reigning king of the anthology world" by Barnes & He is also the editor of Lightspeed Magazine and Fantasy Magazine. Find him on Twitter @johnjosephadams.


David Barr Kirtley has published fiction in magazines such as Realms of Fantasy, Weird Tales, Lightspeed,Intergalactic Medicine Show, On Spec, and Cicada, and in anthologies such as New Voices in Science Fiction,Fantasy: The Best of the Year, and The Dragon Done It. Recently he's contributed stories to several of John's anthologies, including The Living Dead, The Living Dead 2, and The Way of the Wizard. He's attended numerous writing workshops, including Clarion, Odyssey, Viable Paradise, James Gunn's Center for the Study of Science Fiction, and Orson Scott Card's Writers Bootcamp, and he holds an MFA in screenwriting and fiction from the University of Southern California. He also teaches regularly at Alpha, a Pittsburgh-area science fiction workshop for young writers. He lives in New York.

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