Episode 8 – Interview with Dr. Charles Gannon

posted in: Author, Podcast, Science | 0

Recorded at:

The Maryland Regional Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention
Balticon 39: May 27 – 30, 2005

with Paul Fischer
Balticon 39 Interview with Dr. Charles Gannon
From May 28, 2005

We discuss the need for getting release forms for TV, self publishing, and Podcasting.

We talk about the audio equipment used to record the interviews. I recorded the Podcasting panel with Tee Morris (Episode 1) with a mixer and two Shure microphones. However, that was on the first floor. When I tried recording on the 22nd floor my mixer started picking up the local Latin radio station. I was forced to switch over to an iRiver MP3 recorder and a Griffin Lapel Mic.

He participated in panels on how the military is using aspects of fiction in development initiatives, humor, sci-fi, and technology.

He publishes fiction and non-fiction.

His current book works include Rumors of War and Infernal Machines : Technomilitary Agenda-setting in American and English Speculative Fiction and he is writing more while
on sabbatical this year.

He talks about the value of knowing you’re going to get paid before doing more writing projects. Projects are nice, but contracts pay the bills.

We talk about the Fullbright program, which he is participating in as a senior specialist talking about technology and fiction. Mostly military, bio tech, and space technologies.

How medical technologies are causing major friction between science and religion. Charles predicts a major conflict between medicine/science and religion.

Charles doesn’t give advice. He is more of a reporter or cultural critic.

He talks about Luther and the real reason he got in trouble with the church.

Their (the public or the media I wasn’t sure who “they” were) foolish dismissal of science fiction. Man people dismiss science fiction because of the mind candy available in the genre. They miss the serious subjects explored and the real depth provided by a great many authors. The future today happens much quicker today than it did 10, 20, or 30 years ago. He talks about the repercussions of science and medicine in the long run. How the threads are gathered together to make the cloth of life. And who but science fiction writers try to look at what we’re doing today and see the consequences many years down the road.

He talks about Aldus Huxley’s “Brave New World” as the model for autocracy and social oppression. Obedience takes place by seduction. It’s a soft sell. He talks about genetic manipulation and how we will soon have the ability to select traits in our children. If this isn’t made available without consideration of economics, then it will only be available to the rich. Capitalism will become the driver for the inherent differences in capabilities of humans.

“Everything is a whet stone upon which to sharpen the keen edge of our intellect.”


This week I couldn’t settle on one track. I narrowed the field down to two songs by Jonathan Coulton and couldn’t decided which one really matched the themes expressed by Charles Gannon in this interview. I decided not to limit what you hear, so you’ll be hearing both Better and The Future
Soon. Better comes from the sound track Jonathan did for the September issue of Popular Science Magazine. What a trip! Someone did a soundtrack for a magazine issue. How’s that for a future you never thought would happen. The Future Soon is from Jon’s album Where Tradition Meets Tomorrow.

More information about Jonathan Coulton and his music can be found at his website.

You can purchase his CD’s Smoking Monkey and Where Tradition Meets Tomorrow on Amazon, and CD Baby.

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