Friday, April 16, 2010

The Future is WOW!

Today's guest is our very own Steve Hockensmith, an Edgar finalist for his wonderful Holmes on the Range series, and New York Times Bestselling author of the new Dawn of the Dreadfuls. Steve is one of those rarities in life: a whip-smart, wicked funny, good-lookin' fella...who's also and incredible writer and just an all-around great guy.

(Steve also happens to know a whole lot of secrets that somehow slipped out over drinks late one night, so Sophie and I are now bound to him in some sort of evil otherworldly's all very complicated.)

Please welcome Steve Hockensmith, aka our favorite Zombie boy!

I can’t help but notice that technology’s really taken it on the chin here this week. I mean, here we are living in what once would have been considered the far-flung future, yet no one seems very happy about it. Sure, we were promised Star Trek and ended up with Soylent Green, but look on the bright side. At least our genetically engineered ape-slaves haven’t risen up to destroy human civilization...yet.

Yeah, alright, so 2010 doesn’t look much like an Amazing Stories cover. As has been pointed out a lot lately, no one’s handing out jet-packs and robots. You know what, though? That’s fine by me. I barely trust myself to drive my 1996 Corolla. Strap a jet-pack to my back, and I’d end up pancaked against the side of a high-rise in less than 30 seconds. And robots? Oy, the trouble the unions would kick up. Have we learned nothing from NAFTA?

And let’s not forget the many wonderful things technology has done. You’d think it had never given us a little something called the ShamWow. Or -- hellllllllo, people! -- the Snuggie. And trust me, if we could send a freshly nuked Hot Pocket through a wormhole to Albert Einstein, the dude would be whipping up a time machine after the first bite just so he could have access to a frozen food aisle circa RIGHT FRAKKIN’ NOW. Yet all we have to do is get in our 1996 Corolla (assuming we all have 1996 Corollas or their equivalents) and drive to Safeway without getting caught in the crossfire of a drug deal gone bad, and it’s pepperoni pizza turnovers ahoy!

Truly, we live in an age of wonders.

Yet still people complain. They even seem a little afraid. And I think I know why.

The fine folks who contribute to this blog all have one thing in common. No, it’s not that they’re all smokin’ hot!!! Well, they are, as you can see from the picture at the top of this page. But that’s not what I’m thinking of. Well, now I am, but you brought it up. Geez, you got me all distracted. Where was I?

Oh, yeah.

The fine folks who contribute to this blog all have one thing in common. They’re all writers. Smokin’ hot writers, but that’s beside the point. As writers, smokin’ hot or otherwise, they have reason for concern. The publishing industry is struggling. Fewer people are reading. Books, some say, are headed the way of the dinosaurs -- and I don’t mean the cute baby ones from The Land Before Time who manage to have hilarious misadventures and learn valuable life lessons even as their respective races are wiped out forever.

And why is all this happening? (Not the destruction of the dinosaurs, but the book trouble stuff.) Technology. Who has time to read when they’re wrapped up in their Snuggie eating Hot Pockets and watching the latest ShawWow commercial on channel 9,457? I’ll tell you who.

You! Me! Us, in other words! Because there’s been another development that’s going to ensure that the reading of fine literature continues forever and ever, amen. It’s not a technology, per se, but it is a direct outgrowth from it. It’s called multitasking.

Do you know what I’ve been doing while I typed this into my iPad? You guessed it: gorging on Hot Pockets and watching infomercials from the comfort of my very own Snuggie! And I’ve been reading War and Peace while I did it! And if I can do all that, then surely --

Damn, Hot Pocket spill! Ow ow, hot cheese, ow ow! Oh, god, it’s in the Snuggie, IT’S IN THE SNUGGIE! Ahhhhhh! Why am I still typing when I can smell my own flesh burni23[p90rjpoiajk[fp0o9jke[09’mdfads

*Steve’s blog post ended here. Check back for updates on his medical condition.*

Steve Hockensmith writes the "Holmes on the Range" mystery series for St. Martin's Minotaur. He recently made his debut on the New York Times bestseller list with Dawn of the Dreadfuls, a prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. He is currently at work on this bio. Visit him at


Juliet Blackwell said...

Thanks for dropping by the Smokin' Hot Pens, Steve. (Actually, I sort of like could be our new name;-))
Dawn of the Dreadfuls is such a treat! Had me laughing and cringing and dying to read more. Here's to more zombies!

Sophie Littlefield said...

Everything Mr. ZB does or says is a little pearl that I tuck away to review and enjoy later. He's so durn talented it's almost criminal. Thank GOD we nabbed him to be our personal gadabout pal before anyone else did....

Unknown said...

Steve, thanks for a Friday smile (and Diet Pepsi sprayed all over the computer screen via my nose. I'm sure it'll clean off more than it will short out!)...

I for one will take 24-hour Fox "news" if that's what's required to keep polio vaccines and clean running water as a way of life.

Unknown said...

Thanks for visiting the Pens and making us laugh!!! And very big congrats on the NYT :) :) Look forward to meeting you one day- after you're released from the burn ward. :)

Daisy Bateman said...

You want to know what the future is? This is the future:

(Sorry, I just saw this this morning and I think it's the coolest thing. By the way, I am a big freaking nerd.)

Gigi Pandian said...

Steve, Steve, Steve -- You've got to pick your battles with the multitasking! Sure, I'm writing this as I eat my lunch, read the paper, and check my email -- but reading a novel will have to wait until I can *focus* back at home. While I'm doing the laundry. And helping cook dinner. And heating up my tea in the microwave because I always forget about it once I start reading a good book. And texting my friend back. And heating up my tea again. OK, perhaps I see your point ;)

Congrats on hitting the NYT bestseller list!

Steve said...

Thanks for the invitation to guest blog here, as well as all your kind, kind words! You can't see it, but I'm blushing. (You can't see it because I refuse to get a webcam, so I guess I'm not on board with *all* techno-gadgets. I just seem to like the ones on late-night cable TV. I didn't have time to work in Mr. Microphone or the Popeil Pocket Fisherman, but if I ever blog here again, rest assured I'll squeeze them in somehow.)