December 19, 2006

Knowing people

I finished the excellent sci-fi novel Old Man's War this past weekend, and immediately jumped into its sequel, The Ghost Brigades. The author, John Scalzi, acknowledged many folks in the former book, among them a Ted Rall. Was this the same radical Bush/Republican hater who draws those vitriolic cartoons? I e-mailed Scalzi to find out ... and indeed my wondering was proved correct! Scalzi said that he has known Rall for a long time, and that he has many friends all across the political spectrum, among them Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds who he acknowledges in Brigades (which I didn't know until Scalzi told me).

I find much of Rall's work disgusting and distasteful, but I responded to Scalzi that this fact certainly would not prevent me from reading his (Scalzi's) novels. After all, he said he has known Rall for a long time, so obviously he knows much more about Rall -- the person -- than do I, especially since I've never even met Rall. Rall may actually be a terrific guy in the flesh. Who knows?

This got me to thinking more about my post from earlier today -- Down With Absolutes' Mike Matthews claims he has received a lot of info from people about DE State House Majority Leader Wayne Smith that claims the leader is not "very well liked." He even states "he wouldn't doubt" the info. My question would be: Based on what? Has Mike met Wayne? How many times? How well do the people who sent Mike these "parcels" know Wayne? My guess would be "not very well." Which is OK, of course. Wayne is a public figure as well as a big boy, so he can take care of himself. But he is a good acquaintance of mine -- I've known him and his family a long time -- and I know that he is a good person. You might not like his politics (hell, I've had heated debates with him) or how he runs business in the State House, but these are a separate issues. To be sure, Matthews has mostly confined his criticism of Smith to the professional realm. I would hope he keeps it that way, 'cause from my perspective, there is plenty of reason to doubt that "info" you received.

Posted by Hube at December 19, 2006 06:37 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Great post! I like the comparison between you and Rall and Mike and Wayne Smith.

Also, OMW is great, and The Ghost Brigades is good too. I can't wait for the third book!

Posted by: Ryan S. at December 19, 2006 09:23 PM

I have to agree with your assessment -- though I found out about Scalzi's politics by reading his blog. Talk about Bush Derangement Syndrome!

Still, his first two books are fantastic (though I definitely like OMW better than the TGB.

By the way, if you want a near future SF book that is just out, might I suggest Orson Scott Card's EMPIRE -- great writing, set in the very near-term future.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at December 19, 2006 11:30 PM