SF Author Peter Watts Talks About Hard Science Fiction, and Being Beaten By US Border Guards

Illustration for article titled SF Author Peter Watts Talks About Hard Science Fiction, and Being Beaten By US Border Guards

Peter Watts, author of Blindsight and Starfish, recently got publicity for something other than his Hugo nominations: the Canadian was beaten by US border guards, then convicted of felony "resistance" by a jury. Now he tells all in our interview.


Watts worked for many years as a marine biologist, and makes an effort to write scientifically plausible fiction. Most of our interview is about the process of writing science into fiction, and some of the scientific questions that Watts hopes to pose in his novels. But we also talked a lot about Watts' trial, and he clarified a lot of details that will answer questions people raised when we reported on his case here last month.


Watts and I recorded this interview for the excellent series Bloggingheads, which features a new, lengthy interview/conversation between interesting people almost every day.

If you'd rather watch our interview broken into chunks, the Bloggingheads producers have helpfully divided up our admittedly rambling discussion into smaller bits here. You can skip right to the part where we discuss Peter's recent felony conviction if you want.

via Bloggingheads


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You never get out of the car without first being told to do so by the LEO. Its a safety issue. LEOs are injured and killed every year in traffic stops. You keep your hands where they can see them and you stay in the vehicle. Should they have asked before searching? Yes. If he took issue with it he should have called his lawyer afterward. If it had been me I would have let the LEOs look through my stuff if I had nothing to hide, thought it was bullshit, and then got on with my life because it wouldn't be worth the legal fees.