Cameron Stracher Predicts Water Apocalypse in Episode 33 of The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy

Illustration for article titled Cameron Stracher Predicts Water Apocalypse in Episode 33 of The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy

Cameron Stracher, media lawyer and author of the dystopian YA novel The Water Wars, joins us to talk about water scarcity, trademarking the word "superhero," and why he gets paid to watch Dog the Bounty Hunter.


The 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.


Read on for this episode's fabulous SHOW NOTES!

0:00 Introduction

Interview: Cameron Stracher

1:22 Interview begins

1:29 Stracher talks about his latest novel, The Water Wars

2:03 Why write about water scarcity?

3:01 What kind of research went into The Water Wars?

3:34 The importance of aquifers

5:21 Will Yemen be the first country to run out of water?

6:36 How can we use our water supply more wisely?

8:03 Taking The Water Wars from a concept to a full novel

10:40 Inspiring Science Fiction authors

11:50 How well have movies dealt with the theme of water scarcity?

12:51 On the flip side: Waterworld

13:28 Any film or television interest in The Water Wars?

13:47 The Iowa Writers' Workshop

15:03 What kind of cases does Stracher handle in his day job?

15:43 How Stracher improves Dog The Bounty Hunter

16:51 Strange or noteworthy cases

17:09 "A lot of lawyers are frustrated writers"

18:38 Double Billing

20:16 Can you trademark a word like "Superhero"?

22:06 Dinner with Dad and how being a parent affected Stracher's life as a writer?

23:37 The invasion of the eReader

24:52 Why is so much YA science fiction so apprehensive about the future?

26:05 What does Stracher think of recent YA dystopian novels?

27:08 John recommends Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

27:55 Any new or upcoming projects from Stracher?

28:50 Will there be a sequel to The Water Wars?

29:41 End of interview

Dave and John talk about dystopian fiction and Brave New Worlds

29:49 Actually, Waterworld didn't bomb at the box office

31:10 Was Waterworld as bad as we remember?

32:16 What is dystopian fiction?

33:12 Even Shirley Jackson's mom didn't like "The Lottery"

33:55 Jetse De Vries' Shine will cheer you up!

34:43 Why is there such confusion about the word "dystopia"?

35:47 The difference between post-apocalyptic fiction and dystopian fiction

36:47 What are the "core" stories included in Brave New Worlds?

37:53 How'd John decide to include "The Pedestrian" by Ray Bradbury in the anthology?


39:46 The Three Californias Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson

40:31 Which dystopia was the most awful?

42:52 How many of these dystopian societies could actually happen in real life?

43:51 "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

44:26 Does dystopian fiction need a message?

50:17 The classics of dystopian literature and the popularity of the sub-genre

51:38 Which dystopian fiction should be part of the school curriculum?

52:31 Paolo Bacigalupi on Episode 2 of Geek's Guide to the Galaxy


54:05 Real world dystopias

54:27 State of Mind

56:35 Eric Garcia on Episode 18 of Geek's Guide to the Galaxy

57:12 Show wrap-up

Thanks for listening!

Illustration for article titled Cameron Stracher Predicts Water Apocalypse in Episode 33 of The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy

John Joseph Adams is an anthologist, a writer, and a geek. He is the bestselling editor of the anthologies By Blood We Live, Federations, The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Living Dead (a World Fantasy Award finalist), Seeds of Change, andWastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse. His most recent books are The Living Dead 2 and The Way of the Wizard, and he is currently assembling several other anthologies, including Brave New Worlds and The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination. Barnes & named him "the reigning king of the anthology world," and his books have been named to numerous best of the year lists. In addition to his anthology work, he worked for more than eight years as an editor at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction,and is currently the editor of Lightspeed Magazine and Fantasy Magazine.

Illustration for article titled Cameron Stracher Predicts Water Apocalypse in Episode 33 of The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy

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.

Snownotes compiled by podtern Aidan Moher

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I like Guy Gavriel Kay's attitude toward stories with messages. He basically says you should write a page turning plot, and then at the end the message will be like a small knife that you didn't notice he slipped in your side. Maybe I should try to get into one of his books.