Chatting With Joe

My interviewing duties at Sofacon 2 seem to have gone fairly well. I had an hour-long discussion with Joe Haldeman touching on a number of subjects. Judging by the comments on the convention’s chat room, and on Twitter, we went down fairly well. This comment was particularly kind:

I started off talking to Joe about The Forever War (which was rejected 17 times before finding a publisher, and yet still won almost every award going). When Joe wrote the book, the prospect of same-sex marriage becoming legal was probably deemed less likely than meeting aliens, but nevertheless he wrote a novel with a future society in which same-sex relationships were the norm. There are people around who want you to believe that the SF community was an evil right-wing plot before they same along to “save” it just a few years ago. It is good to be reminded that people like Joe were fighting for queer folks in the 1970s.

We touched on a number of other issues, including gender roles in ancient Rome, the place of women and queer folk in the armed forces, the convention that had Joe dress in drag, and America’s obsession with snipers. There was a lot of really serious stuff about war as well. Joe is a really easy interview, because he’s had such an interesting life and he’s always ready with a smart response to your questions. My thanks to Tony Smith for asking me to do this.

I took a break from the con to have dinner, but I’m now listening in again because there’s a cyberpunk panel with the awesome Pat Cadigan on it.