Unexpected Questions with W.B.J. Williams

An Information Security executive by day, Walt is also an author.  His publishing credits include: The Garden at the Roof of the World (2013) currently being shopped for a TV/film deal, and The Reality, Mythology, and Fantasies of Unicorns (2021) with Dragonwell Publishing and two information security nonfiction titles with CRC Press which he swears won’t put you to sleep. His short story “The InfoCoup” was published by Abyss and Apex in 2019 and featured in their The Best of Abyss & Apex: Volume Three. His second novel, Johnny Talon and the Goddess of Love and War, will be released by The Wild Rose Press shortly. He is a frequent panelist at ReaderCon, Arisia, Boskone, and served as a panelist at the 80th World Science Fiction Convention (Chicon 8) in 2022. Though rumored to be living, he is often found haunting the used bookstores of Boston.

 

If you could have any sci-fi gadget in real life, what would it be and what practical uses would you have for it?

I’d be delighted if the matter transporter of the Star Trek franchise could be done in real life. I’d use it to go to all of the conferences I have to attend for work, to all the science fiction and fantasy conventions, to all the sites I want to research for my novels so that I could always get the descriptions right, and still be home in time to cuddle with my wife in our own bed. Unfortunately, I’d probably never use it even if it were real. I’d be too anxious that all I was doing was sending soulless clones of me that pulled molecules from somewhere where they were better needed to make pizza or something truly important and the real me would just go puff and die or something. I really don’t want a clone of me cuddling with my wife.

If you were to create a superhero that had a weakness for something totally unexpected, like pickles or bubble wrap, what would it be and why?

I find the concept of a superhero totally absurd, imagine someone zipping around in tight clothing solving all of their problems with violence. Not to my taste. I think that the best weakness would be: If you turned the TV on, they’d be hypnotized and couldn’t stop watching – kind of like too many of us, but heck, if everyone is super than no one is.

If you could have any fictional pet as a companion, what would it be and why?

Everyone who knows me expects me to say “a unicorn, of course!”. HOWEVER, unicorns are large, require more land than I have, and I’m no longer a virgin so there might be problems there. Instead, I’d be delighted to have one of the fire lizards from Pern as a pet. Affectionate, easy to take care of, and would likely get along famously with my cat.

If you had to choose between having the ability to speak with animals or plants, which would you choose and why?

I already speak to my cat and my plants, the trouble is they don’t speak back in a way I can understand them. Useless ability this is.

What Pre-1960s SF television show or movie would you like to see get a big-budget remake, and why?

In some ways, remaking Forbidden Planet should be forbidden. It is that good, BUT there are some things in that brilliant movie that haven’t aged well. For starters, having an alcoholic cook on a spaceship may have played well for laughs with people who served in the military prior to the movie’s release, however to contemporary audiences this doesn’t make sense. Second, it would be good to get rid of the ‘girl falls in lust for the handsome captain’ subplot, it is a bit problematic. It would be good to have the use of modern special effects to make both the technology of the Krell and the monster from the Id actually look futuristic instead of very dated.

If you had to choose one of your books to be turned into a cheesy made-for-TV movie, which one would it be and who would you want to play the lead roles?

Since a TV producer is actively trying to make a 3 season TV series from the Garden at the Roof of the World and I’m desperately hoping it won’t be cheesy, it would have to be Johnny Talon and the Goddess of Love and War. This book is funny enough to thrive as a cheesy TV movie. As one of the inspirations for this book was Twin Peaks, I’d love to see Kyle McLaughlin play Johnny Talon but he’s too darn old and Johnny Talon is no Dale Cooper. Shame Peter Faulk is dead.

If you had to choose between being a time traveler or a space explorer, which would you pick and why?

I’d have to be a space explorer. If you traveled in time you find that the earth is no longer where it was and you’d die in the cold vacuum of space. At least as a space explorer I might still die in the cold vacuum of space, but first I’d ride the gravity waves on the back of space debris after a sentient bomb exploded prematurely preventing the proper construction of the needed exit ramp.

If you could time travel to any point in history, which era would you choose, and why?

Right now I’m writing a bit of nonfiction about the 13th century which I’m calling The Time Traveler’s Guide to visiting the 13th century. This will be published by Dragonwell Publishing in 2024, so actually visiting the 13th century would be a business trip and I could deduct the expenses on my taxes and I’d have color photos that I could use in the book without any licensing fees.

If aliens were to visit Earth, what do you think their first impression of humans would be?

They’d probably get the broadcasts of the various shows produced by Ernie Kovacs over the years well in advance of their arrival and think we were funny, creative, chaotic, and lived in a world without color. God help us if they got I Love Lucy instead.

 

Walt’s new novel, Johnny Talon and the Goddess of Love and War, will be available February 21, 2024 at your favorite book seller. It is a noir inspired contemporary fantasy. The novel was inspired by the surreal art of Paul Delvaux, Max Ernst, Leonora Carrington, and Rene Magritte, and the Sumerian myth of Inanna’s Descent into the Underworld.

The spirits, sorcerers, and truly desperate in San Francisco’s seedy neighborhoods know Johnny Talon, a private detective who can solve impenetrable cases in a way no one else can. His use of lucid dreams and subconscious insights lead him to the truth.

Talon has his work cut out for him when he’s hired by Eve, a sex worker, to find and free the soul of her deceased wife from a sorcerer who hopes to entrap Eve. The closer he gets to finding the soul of Eve’s wife, the more Talon’s life may be on the line as he learns that there is more to his client than an angry woman. When his investigation leads him into hell, Talon has an epiphany: if he’s going to free Eve’s wife, he has to uncover Eve’s true identity. The things a gumshoe does to pay the rent.

You can find more information about W.B.J. Williams and his fiction at any of these fine locations:

https://wbj-williams.net/
https://wbjwilliams.wordpress.com/
www.linkedin.com/in/wbjwilliams
www.twitter.com/wbjwilliams
https://mastodonbooks.net/@wbjwilliams
www.facebook.com/wbjwilliams
https://www.instagram.com/wbjwilliams/

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