CNET Book Club: Brad Thor on Backlash and the dangers of social media
Today on CNET book club, Brad Thor he writes a high tech spy thriller just about every year.
His latest is Back Lash and he joins us today.
Talk about surveillance states, online privacy and why he'll never have an Amazon Echo.
All right we're talking to Brad Store his new book is Backlash you do one of these roughly a year which I think is amazing and they all have a lot to do with the dangers we face in the world.
I think one of most fascinating things about you among many is this concept of this red cell group that you said you consult for or work with that predicts future problems, dangers.
You have to tell me a little bit about that.
Okay So I'm a thriller author, so my novels are all fiction.
In fact I call it faction, where you don't know where the facts end and the fiction begins.
And the [INAUDIBLE] cell unit was something that was put together as a Department of Homeland Security shortly after it was stood up in the wake of 9/11 because the government realized the 9/11 attacks happened because of a failure of imagination on their part.
So they said, we're not good.
The imagination space and the creative space.
Let's bring in creative thinkers from outside DC and have them help us stay 456 steps ahead of the bad guys.
So they brought in people like me as a thriller author Michael Bay, the director, and we sat there and brainstorm stuff for them on here's potential targets here's here's ways that our, our tech could be turned against us and used against us all that kind of stuff.
That is the number one thing I think people worry about now is technology being turned against us?
How far in the future did you generally think about that sort of thing?
Did you think about artificial intelligence virtual reality.
Some of it near-term, some of it kind of over-the-horizon threats.
So I was here in New York, I was living in Chicago at the time, but I was in New York before the blackout in the early 2000s.
And my wife and daughter had just gotten on a plane and gone home.
And it was amazing.
The New Yorkers were fantastic because there was still enough camaraderie post 911 but it was it was pretty spooky and it was a it was amazing how many people just gave up like I walked into the lobby of my hotel and people are sitting around saying we can't go upstairs.
I'm like, Why can walk up a set of stairs that will you wouldn't be able to get in your room I said the rooms not connected.
That's a battery.
I can swipe my card and it's going to open the door and people don't even think of it.
So we've become so dependent on particularly the electric grid and particularly the internet.
It's almost nothing is done with a pen and paper anymore for keeping records and you look at how many times a grocery store is resupply during the day, you're grabbing that last loaf of wonder bread, just as the truck with the all the supply side logistics Just backing up and dumping more Wonder Bread into the store.
So I think we're really vulnerable there.
This is an area in fact, one of the rumours was is that it was Chinese crackers, leaving Trojan horses behind in the electrical grids in the software systems that had triggered that big blackout.
That's one of the things they say out there.
So That's something that's very serious.
And of course I hate robots.
I hate them with a passion.
Pardon my French.
My favorite GIF on the internet is when that guy is kicking that dog robot like it Boston Dynamics or whatever it was.
And I'm like, this is how it.
That memory is gonna get downloaded into every robot.
They're gonna come back and kick all our ****.
And so I always posed that saying we will look back and say why didn't we kill all the robots when we had the chance.
Be like Terminator.
Really fast kick them.
Be nice and be nice to them.
Those things are frightening.
Especially way they scramble up the hill.
I mean that that is it.
And of course where we're concerned not just about the physical robots but the but the sort of.
Not entrepreneurial robots the augmented the artificial reality systems artificial intelligence system.
That control what we see online and what we do and how we relate to each other.
How much of, did you feel?
That participating in that fueled your creativity for books the other way around, did they, did they influence each other?
So it's a great question.
So I call the analytic red cell program, the Las Vegas of government programs.
What stays in the red cell program or what happens to the red zone program stays in it.
I'm not allowed to take anything out and put it in my thrillers.
But it's the same mental process that I use for creating my novels that I use for Department of Homeland Security.
So that was pretty cool.
But again, I'm not allowed to take anything out of it and put it into the into the open world.
I will say right before we started, we did tell good Vegas story.
But I told the story.
Yeah, I think it's interesting to think about.
We go into the idea of the thought of where we're gonna be in the future, speaking of AI and systems.
I think the idea of City grids becoming.
We talked to a lot of other writers about this that they're becoming more kind of like surveillance states or these company controlled smart grids like Tim mon to talk about in his book m&a detail.
Some of the dangers of that.
Well, what are your thoughts about how much has been controlled by companies now?
Well, I'll tell you, what's very interesting is to know how terrifying the future is going to be, you only need to look at the recent past.
So if you go back to the 70s, and Senator Frank Church, who looked at what The intelligence agencies were doing back then.
And he was really concerned because he said that if the NSA has giant listening ears are ever turned in on the United States, that will be a Rubicon that we will have crossed, they'll be no crossing back over it.
So post 911 what happens we found out from Snowdon that the NSA was hoovering up all the metadata They outgrew their ability to store stuff at Fort Meads, so they I think it's Bluffdale, Utah where they setup the new server farm, I mean it's immense.
And I always wonder that if they're looking for keywords, if they've got AI or whatever, searching for keywords in conversations.
Well, if they hit on that.
They'll be able to roll back the conversation right is that conversation being, is it being recorded?
Is it just metadata?
That stuff's fascinating, but as I dug into I did a thriller called blacklist that was all about total information awareness.
And it was interesting because there was a software system setup for the federal court system called Promise.
And what Promise did is it would allow you to access a case different ways.
It's like a suitcase with a bunch of handles.
You could go by the prosecutor's name, the defendants name, the type of crime, the judge, whatever.
Anyway, this thing started to spread and it caught the interest of the intelligence world where they said okay how can we track down bad guys and monitor bad guys Based on databases and databases, we can get access to however that access happens.
And one of the things that I didn't blacklist when I was talking about total information awareness was this idea that they could monitor if you if they thought you were involved in a cell and there's five of you, they could monitor the water usage at your house, every single person they're suspecting and so all of a sudden the water usage at your house.
Has gone down and they're like, okay, you're not there.
So start looking at your credit cards, okay, you're buying gas at these gas stations are moving in this direction across the country.
Suddenly this other guy in California who we believe you're associated with, his water usage goes up because it's more toilet flushing, it's more showers.
So all of these things that we consider benign can be weaponized when it comes to data.
And it's it's fascinating.
And the big kind of cherry on top of that terrifying Sunday for me was the Brookings Institute did a study.
Of governments around the world.
They didn't include the United States.
But what they found was, is that as the cost of data storage goes down, surveillance of citizens goes up by governments because it's cheap, it's easy to store.
And then what do you have, you have a prosecutorial time machine where you can go back and make a case against somebody who maybe is a dissident Enemy the state.
That may be deemed an enemy of the state, who's just somebody who disagrees with the ruling elite in that state.
So data is dangerous.
Inherently it's not.
It's like a gun.
I could put a gun on the table.
The gun's not gonna shoot any of us.
It's what you do with that.
So it's what you do with the data, who's using it and what for.
But for a thriller writer, it is a target rich environment.
There's no end to stuff you can do with data and make it sexy and fun and exciting.
We're in the era of endless data.
I remember they were going around I think checking electrical usage and doing infrared to see who was growing marijuana in there.
That was the UK was doing it too for people whose were being inefficient with the use of heating and cooling so that they could find people.
So this is the government can not only imprison you potentially with the use of data but they can find ways to pull extra money out of you as a citizen.
God forbid they find you in London not paying for your TV set.
Yeah the BBC licenses, yeah, boy.
String you up at the old Bailey.
You're in big trouble.
I think it's very interesting.
It makes me think of, in a related way, talking to credit card companies, other people, talking about biometrics It always interests me when they talk about biometrics and the amount of information that can be used to identify you and it's not the stuff that you think it's not the thumbprint.
It's not the Iris scan.
It's the collected You know like a holograph might be called all these things represent.
Yeah typing patterns go back.
We would have survellience of Russian consulants and embassies and back when they used to have the aluminum blinds They could study the vibrations.
Our guys could the study that study the vibrations of the blinds to figure out what was being said inside.
But the gate technology.
I did a couple of books ago for identifying a bad guy and one of the books who was in disguise.
But you can't disguise your gains your gait unless you put like a stone in your shoe or something which the guys will do to mess up how it is doing.
Who knew that this stuff the viewer knew were so unique It's a fingerprint, it's the iris, it's the way you walk.
I mean, it's incredible.
It's cool but it's terrifying.
Do you ever explore, I'll be looking a lot of emerging tech and now [UNKNOWN] AR headsets.
And one thing that's interesting me a lot, I'm talking about Microsoft and HoloLens eye tracking technology.
The degree to which that's a doorway to essentially mind reading and sort of looking at the state of Discussions about looking at not just the state of your brain and your process, but being kind of a pre crime predictor.
I was curious if you you know, be thinking about those-
The whole Minority Report kind of right?
Which you never think about until now until it happens.
So I'm a big.
Conservatorium, i want, i don't want the government spending too much money.
And then i want them governing the least amount possible, cuz i think that's the best.
So i worry when it comes to data we're back to private companies and all that kind of stuff, when your gate can be measured, when your eyes stuff can be an insight into who you are, you cease to be an individual.
If you start, you [UNKNOWN] individuals when you curtail your thoughts or you do things differently online because you're worried you're being watched.
That now starts to erode what this country will set up to be which is a haven for the individual.
I mean, that's why the family documents exists and were written the way they were to protect the largest minority group in the world, the individual.
We live in a republic, everyone is equal before the law but.
If you start changing how you act, because of the incisiveness of the tech, you seize to be an individual you're now responding to outside forces versus what you desire, what you want and it's spooky but it's the way it's going and government always lags behind technology.
So, regulation and all kind of stuff is always a couple of years behind Whatever the tech is.
It's never government figures it out before the private sector does, it's always the tech rushing.
You'll see all the talk now but should Facebook should broken up, should it be more heavily regulated, is it a monopoly like the railroads or the steel industry Industry.
Government is always asking questions.
They're never proactive, suggesting solutions before the problem arises.
The cart has gotten so far in front of the horse that some of these companies are actually asking for regulation now, including Facebook.
With with the hope of being able to influence it, but they realize that that's.
Better for them in the long run than just waiting to see what comes up about it, or continue to operate in this Wild West.
I feel the people already changed their behavior now.
On Facebook, if you see an ad for something weird, you go why did that happen?
What did I do?
That made Facebook think I was gonna buy a boat or that I was pregnant or anything else.
Or the worst thing is, is women who have been participating in [UNKNOWN] depression or groups or they're there cuz they lost a baby.
And now all the algorithms sees baby and so you're getting pushed all the stuff and these poor women have lost babies.
So it's not, it's by far it is not perfect.
Yeah, that's the big secret, it's a lot of these, at least commercial advertising tracking is insanely inaccurate even though they have a lot of data.
If you're gonna look up your profile on any of these marketing companies, where you can actually look up what they have on you, it's usually dead wrong.
Now, it's a lot of stuff and they're still gathering and [UNKNOWN] it, but the conclusions they draw to are so inaccurate, it's almost more dangerous that way.
Skynet sucked in the beginning too, I'm sure.
I'm sure that Terminator wasn't just the first thing to pop out of Skynet.
It had to get there.
They had some bumps they had to get through and then all hell broke loose.
Do you find now, like this is a question we've been asking a lot of writers, it's coming up over and over again, about the present moment being so rapid fire, so crazy that it's being overtake or has overtaken their imaginations of where the future might be going to?
Are you finding that?
Are you finding like in terms of technology, in terms of the acceleration of things Is a changing the way you're thinking about what you've thinking about before or is it kinda mapping in.
It's a great question.
I am such a varatious consumer of news.
Whether it's tech, whether it's stuff happening domestically, geopoliticallu That I don't feel anything's passing me by, there may be some individual things with like a new piece of technology that is stunning to watch.
And the sounds like the ultimate dad thing to say, but it's stunning to watch how quickly my children can adapt to new technology.
And how fast there's I mean they cycle through different apps because they realize it's not a secure your parents can still see it and they're finding ways around the limits we put on their iPhones and things like that.
So, for my individual use of text, some of that stuff is like amazing.
I I use 10% of what my iPhone can do.
I'm sure with all the things that are available.
I'm not a big app guy, because I dont like the data clunch again its back to my reputation side.
If the product is free, you are the product.
That's what there we say.
From my writting, I try to stay ahead that stuff In the be current and put it in the books.
The most interesting thing for me has been the redesign of Twitter because I as a political junkie was an addict on Twitter and I was I was getting those dopamine hits of seeing my tweets, retweet and everything.
I got forced into the new version of Twitter, and I click the opt out button and I got up out for like, I don't know half a day and I'm forced into the new one.
And I don't know if they did it on purpose or what but it has been the biggest buzz kill.
I dont get that dopamine thing-
Like the top tweets versus the timeline?
Yeah and I cant search, its now this scroll, individually, where it used to be this cross of people where you could look at verified accounts versus non verified accounts So Twitter actually unwittingly has answered my prayers which is I want to be unshackled from this dish cruel mistress, and she's gone on someplace else and I barely use it anymore.
And it's been a it's been a relief and I never thought technology would change in such a way that I'd be like, thank you.
I don't want to use it as much anymore.
You've actually helped me break that addiction cycle.
It's amazing, it's the simplest product and yet all they manage to do is somehow make it worse and worse with every iteration.
It's not funny.
All we want was an edit button that's all any of us ever asked for was an edit button.
All he had to do was leave it alone to get out, Just just keep the servers running and that's it.
Nobody wanted any new feature.
I don't know what, I don't think anybody wanted to buy the company either.
I think that's a problem too is how much money you can make with the promoted tweets.
So who knows what the grand scheme is.
I'm just glad to be well dialed back from.
From doing that better future fear that we've been talking a lot about here hi it's me the news bunch recently the concept of the coin keep fix which are which are all videos of people that look real enough to fool you.
Do you think number one we're at the point where it's really viable now to actually create you know, a video that will fool the average person, or is this the ultimate atom bomb that's going to, you know, destroy our trust in any kind of media?
Well, here's my concern.
The world is full of stupid people.
It doesn't take a lot of brain cells to turn your computer on and access the Internet.
So we've got a lot of stupid people with access to the Internet.
A lot of smart people too.
But so net there was just a recent defect that somebody did the Combined two actors, and I forget who it was, it was like Schwarzenegger and Matthew McConaughey.
Or something like that.
Yeah, but lie the guy from Saturday Night Live who does the Schwarzenegger impression, then the [UNKNOWN] turn into it.
So it was really, it was very, very freaky, and I remember I've seen several of them so far.
And I know Marco Rubio has been warning about deep fakes and all this kind of stuff.
Yeah, it is a problem because there are people, the more the technology has advanced I tell people we live in air conditioning Look what we're doing with all the tech in here.
We live in the best.
We live at the best moment in history ever.
This is the best time best country ever we have We have luxuries.
How calloused are your hands?
Mine aren't that calloused.
I'm not out digging ditches or throwing spears at the enemies of Rome.
I mean, we have it really, really good.
People are lazy.
And tech does not encourage people to be more rugged, to be more individualistic.
It doesn't teach them to be more responsible.
People, I think, are lazier and lazier and lazier.
And they're putting themselves into silos.
Where they are in these echo chambers where they are getting the information the feedback they want that reinforces their own biases.
They dont want to have to think they dont want to have their ideas challenged.
So I think deep fakes are a huge threat because theres gonna be a bunch of people out there That want to believe it.
And which there this expression that I love.
When sometimes, media rushes to put things out, too good to check.
Too good to check, and it just sounds like it fits the narrative.
So we're gonna push it out there because it sounds like what this person would do or this person.
And I am concerned that deep fakes are gonna really take a lot of people, and by the way, that's the other thing now.
You're gonna have deep fake sex tapes, but you're gonna have the real thing out there and people gonna, pardon me, it's a deep fake.
Yeah, wasn't me.
Yeah, that wasn't real.
So it's gonna work both ways and both are gonna be equally corrossive.
It's like the X-files, I wanna believe.
Or like endless similar but slightly different variants, which is what I think would be really strange with deep fakes.
Like the eroding of not just, there's that one.
90% real, 10% fake.
Of yeah, a bizarre spectrum where.
Change one word.
There will be some funny ones.
There's got to be some brilliant comedy that comes out of it.
I think overall, net net, it's going to be a loss for us.
So what does that mean?
What steps in then that helps pull us back from that?
I don't know what that is.
How do we become more responsible consumers of information?
How do we check stuff?
Because right now nobody wants to check stuff.
You've got this Facebook group.
I mean, there was just some study out in the last three or four months that like the majority of people in this country are getting their news, or that the number was startling how many people are getting the news from Facebook, a lot about Facebook.
I like a lot.
But I don't want my parents getting their news from Facebook, at least solely, you know, it's an algorithm pushes things to the top, they want it or not yet, exactly a certain number of likes or whatever, they use that as some sort of a validation, which then becomes
Yeah, then that becomes a self fulfilling, it's kind of this cycle that keeps going and becomes a sort of weird fact check.
I feel Pew socially.
So that's it.
That's a desire thing which again [UNKNOWN].
The question is will we get smarter about vetting that stuff out, will there be a smarter way of vetting it out socially or vetting it out by the producers of video content?
And at some point it's going to be an intelligence agency Issue that they're gonna be seeing these things like take a hostage video.
How do we know they really have this hostage?
How do we know the hostage is still alive even though we're seeing the hostage speaking hoolding up today's New York Times.
So we're gonna need a way technology-wise, to be able to filter, study the pixels, something is gonna have to open on the other side to be able to say That's not real, or we've got a big problem from a liberty perspective, from an intelligence gathering perspective.
The one silver lining to that is, in the near future, [UNKNOWN] won't be able to find an actual print newspaper to use.
So that's gonna be the end of that.
I love this concept of your non stop writing adventure where every year there's another book.
I'd love to hear little bit about your process for that.
And kind of, how you work that into being alive and living and doing things and you You treat it like a nine to five job.
I do, it's eight to six to me and that's just my Midwestern work ethic.
But yeah, so I have a family.
I get up, work out in the morning, feed my kids, get them to school, all that kinda stuff, and then it's eight to six in the office.
And I call what I do faction, well, you don't know where the facts begin and the fiction ends.
But it's important that not only do I give you that white kuckle throw ride.
But I like to pick something every year that I use for research.
So backlash, something that I'm not excited about that I think a lot of people aren't aware of.
And then I weave it into the story so that it's still exciting.
I got this short [UNKNOWN] cinematic Chapters and in fact, I have a lot of people tell me I gave your book to my dad or to my daughter who used to read but they haven't read in a long time and you reignited that love of reading cuz the chapters are so fast.
It's a fun book.
But with backlash, I was fascinated by two things that I had put in there.
One is a program started under President Obama, the President Trump kept which is after James Foley, the journalist was beheaded by ISIS.
They all looked around in DC and said, we really didn't have a central clearing house where all the agencies could work together and we could be looking at different streams of intelligence and data.
Now that exists and President Obama's administration Set it up, there's a war room at the FBI where there's NSA has a desk, the Defense Intelligence Agency has a desk, FBI, CIA, Treasury Department.
It's really weird, because they look at okay, could we put pressure on this government or this group via their bank accounts?
Do we need to get the Navy SEALs involved?
So that was a really neat thing because in this book, my main character America's best spy gets grabbed by the Russians.
And this mechanism this machinery in DC gets put into overdrive trying to get them back within 48 hours before they can crack them.
The other thing that I loved about researching this book is something that the soldiers, airmen, Marines, they all go through sere training, which is an acronym for survive, evade, resist escape.
And so I wanted to know what goes through an Americans mind who's had this training when they find themselves in a situation where they're taken hostage.
And they get taught, you may only get one bread, you have to have your eyes open, when you get that bread you take it.
And so this book begins on page one, big action scene has happen, this guy only gets one break.
And it's about how he leverages that one break to the end of the book, and the action starts from page one doesn't let off until the very end.
After trying to get the auxillary power unit back online, the pilot requested the crew to prepare for the worst, They were going down hard.
All this risk he thought, all this danger just to deliver one man, a man chained in back like an animal.
Russian special forces team had boarded him with a hood over his head.
No one had seen his face.
The entire crew would assume he was a criminal of some sort, maybe even a terrorist.
They had been informed that he was dangerous, under no circumstances were any of them to speak with or get anywhere near the prisoner, but that was before they knew the plane was going to crash.
So you always keep sort of a nested process, obviously we're doing a book of the year, you're gonna be doing You got one that you're writing, one that you're researching.
You almost have to keep them juggled at the same time.
Jack London said you can't wait for inspiration.
You have to go after it with a club.
And that's true.
So you have to, if you do a book a year.
And you wanna keep the quality up.
So I don't have another writer working, it's me.
And the readers.
When they leave their reviews online, that's my annual performance review.
I work for the readers, and I want a five star review every time.
So yes, there's no formula to my books.
Each one is different.
I tell people that even though I have a recurring character, it's like the James Bond movies.
You don't need to have seen all the other ones to go see the new one they're filming right now.
25 you can jump in at any point and enjoy a Bond movie.
And that's the way I do my thrillers.
So what's the key?
I mean, obviously, this is goes writing advice for somebody who's looking to keep themselves productive, can be asked could be anybody, but like, what's the key to keep that ball rolling?
You wanna know?
Yeah,>>It's, Yeah, I have to tear the tech out of my office.
I am such a news junkie and a politics junkie that it gets to the point where I'm actually avoiding the writing cuz I'm convincing myself that this is the best line.
I never understood what the Chinese meant by their curse may you live in interesting times.
We live in interesting time.
There is something in the news every single day.
And if I don't
Unplug the tv and, if I don't take the router out of my office I'm online, I can't break it.
I cannot break it and, I physically have to disassemble the tech and, get back to the only tech I have is my laptop but, I make it so it's offline.
Is it force offline?
Dd you like to actually, keep Keep the like
Yeah, yes I disable the WiFi in my office, it's the only way to get iot to work.
It's just, it's old fashion self discipline see the pants, see the chair or it doesn't happen, cuz I convince myself this is an important story
Yeah I've got a brilliant tweet.
Maybe it's gonna go viral.
It's got ten retweets.
Go track again.
It's also like a writing wall connected to the internet thing.
And obviously, world is writing stories and we're always researching stuff all the time.
This endless process but the idea of staying disconnected when writing, I feel like our brains also deteriorate from the amount that we rely on What we're thinking of versus saying, I'll Google it up, or I'll do it.
Well, you've got the word, the digital amnesia, right, where people are not storing.
So there's so much data out there, it's like drinking from a fire hose.
My wife has an awesome theory about memory.
She says that your mind is like an iceberg.
Memories are like penguins.
And at any given time, there's only room for so many penguins on the iceberg.
Now to make a new memory sometimes one penguins gotta bump another one off, and sometimes that one swims around the iceberg and you can get it back on when you need it.
Sometimes it's gone.
But I watch people doing this all day long and walking in the street without looking at my big thing was my kids is How we teaching them to be responsible consumers of tech.
And we balance that with reading because I'm still a voracious reader reading ink on paper because they did a big study that said, if you're using an E reading device, you don't retain as much information as you do with a paper book.
And I love reading devices i have i've got a Kindle or a nook.
I love them.
It's great to be able to take my books on an airplane and everything But we make our kids read not even make they love to read.
So we've encouraged more reading and responsible use of tech, we limit the amount and that's what's worked for us.
And then I've got to practice what I preach because I overconsume tech, just like I think a lot of people, when you're an adult, you can overreach, you can over consume.
You'd have a third martini when you [UNKNOWN].
So it takes a lot of responsibility and we're back to people being lazy.
It's really a lot of people don't police themselves and so, text on a lot of wonderful things.
[UNKNOWN] I am not a Luddite.
I love tech.
I love it, love it, love it.
But it takes a lot of self-discipline and a lot of strength of character to use tech responsibly
Yeah and I've been alternating I think between reading physical books and books
Digitally a brain.
It is good.
I feel like the more you spend time reading disconnected.
It also gets you back to train yourself a bit when you're reading while you're connected to kind of stay.
on task a little bit.
And there's no feeling like holding a book in your hands and you kick back and, I mean, there's nothing like it.
I feel I must be the world's greatest parent now.
I could find [UNKNOWN] loves reading real books, won't read any Book at all.
And then also yells at me when I have too much screen time.
Cuz he knows his limits.
But you're still in your screen, put that down, put it down.
With the kids it's easy.
We got all the books, we've got a whole library downstairs, but it's true, it goes back to what we do.
Or what I do is that I'm the terrible tech addict, and the kids have it under control, yeah.
So the Book for Economics, which was a fantastic book, so we all grew up hearing this, it's a wonderful parental story but it's a myth.
That if you want your children to be great readers you read to them.
That's not the biggest determinant.
The biggest determination of whether your children will be great readers Two things, do you have books in your house?
And do they see you reading?
That has more of an impact than you reading to your kids.
It's important to read to your kids, but it is even more important for them to see you read, because they will model that behavior.
Yeah, now if your kids are old enough to handle the-
Action, and suspense, and danger!
Then you should leave this Lying around for them to pick up Brand Thor's new backlash out in fact right now.
Thank you very much.
Thanks for having me.
I gotta tear the tech out of my writing room.
That's what I'm going to do next.
Put yourself in isolation.
Seriously throw your headsets.
Saltwater tank, just lie back.
And I'm just gonna be doing that soon.
One of those in my neighborhood you can go and flute in New Jersey isolated put one of my garage It looks so faxing.
That's desolation writing.
Don't forget you're in there and they'll find it like a month.
We like dried up because it's all saltwater right so all that moisture has been rolled up.
Yeah that was the movie [LAUGH]
That's a good one.
My God, that was a classic.
We probably should remake that.
Yeah, that's a good one.
That's the one we should do, my friend.
CNET Book Club: Jeff VanderMeer on his new novel Dead Astronauts