Author Matt Ruff checks in from Seattle and we talk about his brand-new novel, 88 Names. We get into what gaming and the internet reveal about human character(s), how he handles VR nausea and whether VR measures up to what Neuromancer semisorta promised us, the pros and cons of a virtual book tour (including an upcoming one on Altspace VR on 4/17/20), the fluidity of identity in the virtual landscape, the bookstores he can’t wait to get back to, post-pandemic, the origins of empathy, and more. Give it a listen! And go buy 88 Names, and check out my 2017 podcast with Matt and the rest of The COVID-19 Sessions.
About our Guest
Matt Ruff is the author of the novels Fool on The Hill (1988), Sewer, Gas & Electric: The Public Works Trilogy (1997), Set This House in Order: A Romance of Souls (2003), Bad Monkeys (2007), The Mirage (2012), and Lovecraft Country (2016), which is being produced as an HBO series by Jordan Peele, Misha Green, and J.J. Abrams. Bad Monkeys is currently under development as a Universal Studios film, with Margot Robbie attached to star. His most recent novel is 88 Names.
Credits: This episode’s music is Fella by Hal Mayforth, used with permission from the artist. The conversation was recorded remotely via Zencastr on a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone feeding into a Cloudlifter CL-1 and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack 2×2 USB Recording Interface. All processing and editing done in Adobe Audition CC. Photo of Matt by . . . maybe his wife? Regardless, it’s on my instagram.