Celebrated cartoonist, writer, and co-author of the instant New York Times bestselling non-fiction book Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Improve and/or Ruin Everything, Zach Weinersmith, took a break to rap with me about writing a research-intensive book with his wife, the difference between nerds and geeks, and how he draws inspiration for his many creative projects.
Zach is best known for his popular web-comic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (SMBC), a “geek comic” with a vast following. His comics have been featured in The Economist, Glamour, BoingBoing, The Washington Post, Freakonomics, and many more.
His wife is noted research scientist, Kelly Weinersmith (who was also guest on this show), a top 20 podcast host, and co-author of their bestselling book Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Improve and/or Ruin Everything, a book recently named a Wall Street Journal Best Science Book of the Year.
The book is described as, “… a hilariously illustrated investigation into future technologies — from how to fling a ship into deep space on the cheap to 3D organ printing,” and seemed like a natural progression for the couple and the comedic rapport they display on their own podcast,”The Weekly Weinersmith.”
The Cofounder of Reddit said of the book, “Soonish will make you laugh and — without you even realizing it — give you insight into the most ambitious technological feats of our time,” and NPR said, “The Weinersmiths … lay out, clearly and with a wry sense of humor, exactly what it might take to get us there.”
Zach also recently published a tongue-in-cheek sequel to Soonish titled Science: Abridged Beyond the Point of Usefulness, a pocket-sized book that “… neatly summarizes every major field of science … for your favorite science nerd.”
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In Part One of this file Zach Weinersmith and I discuss:
- How to intertwine science and comedy in your writing to great effect
- The author’s love of aphorisms and The Devil’s Dictionary
- Why converted basement offices have their downsides
- How the audience he built around his popular web-comic helped make for a bestselling book
- The complications and joys of being highly creative with kids
- How to write and draw a comic every day
Listen to The Writer Files: Writing, Productivity, Creativity, and Neuroscience below ...
The Show Notes
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- Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Improve and/or Ruin Everything – Kelly and Zach Weinersmith
- Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal – Zach’s web comic
- Science: Abridged Beyond the Point of Usefulness – Zach Weinersmith
- Zach Weinersmith on Goodreads
- “Custom-Printed Cocktails On The Moon? ‘Soonish’ Shows Us How – NPR review
- How Noted Scientist & Bestselling Author of ‘Soonish’ Dr. Kelly Weinersmith Writes
- Zach Weinersmith on Twitter
- Kelton Reid on Twitter