Character Interview: Maylin

Maylin Sòng — Anne’s bunkmate from A Brief Stay at Earth Human Camp — was kind enough to agree to be interviewed for my June 15-29, 2015, blog tour — and to provide the Top-20 Vintage Sci-Fi Watch List she sent to Anne and Atticus after camp! Here’s the interview:

Q. Welcome, Maylin! Thanks for agreeing to talk to us. Should we get started? What is your favorite thing about yourself?

A. Oh. Well, that’s kind of an embarrassing question. So-o-o … hmm. Okay, I guess I’m — wait, really? I mean, I hate to use up my pass on the first question but … Yeah. Pass.

Q. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
A. Much easier! I would be more — patient? When I have something on my mind, I can’t think about anything else. Even if there’s nothing I can do about it. Like right now, for instance. Anne’s parents gave me an email address so I can write to Anne, but I won’t hear back until they get moved into their new house and someone sets up her computer and hopefully a phone. Right now we can’t video or even talk because Dark Ages! How did people live before technology?! It’s only been one day — and I may only have to wait a day or two more — but I can’t take my mind off it. It’s a problem. I need to talk to her. When she finally logs on, she’s going to see about 50 emails from SO-not-patient me!

Q. You talk about your mom in A Brief Stay at Earth Human Camp, and we meet her at the end of camp. Who else is in your family?

A. *shrugs* My dad’s not really in the picture, you know? It’s okay that you asked, but I don’t really want to talk about him. And I totally hate it when someone gets all “oh I’m so sad for you” over that, so please, don’t be sad for me! I’m not sad so I don’t know who you’d be sad for. I live with my mom and Aunt Mingmei (my mom’s younger sister) and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Maylin's anime family
Q. No judgment! Sounds cozy! So what’s your favorite thing to do together as a family?

A. Yay! Another easy one: Watching movies. We all love it. If competitive analyzing and talking was a thing, my mom and Aunt Mingmei would be world champions. When I was little, they sat on either side of me and talked to me through every movie we watched to make sure I got stuff! I loved it then, but when I got older it got annoying because I wanted to get stuff on my own. So get this: Now they take notes so they don’t forget what they want to talk about! After the movie’s over, I just sit back at let them go at it. It’s hard to listen as fast as they can talk! But the thing is, they’re super interesting. And I totally love it when I say something they didn’t think of. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, they go quiet for about 10 whole seconds, then take off again, only on the reboot they include what I said! Okay, so it’s nerd joy …

Q. In A Brief Stay at Earth Human Camp, Anne and Atticus go to camp for the first time. But you’ve spent other summers at the same camp. How was this summer different?

A. Wow, how wasn’t it different? Did you ever do that thing with two magnets where they jump together? That’s how Anne and I became friends. It was instant. I never had a friend like that before. But it wasn’t just us. Everyone was different — and not just because we were a year older. Anne and Atticus were so new, they questioned everything, and that made the rest of us start asking ourselves some of the same things. Like yeah, why is so-and-so so mean all the time? And why do I hang out with this person and not that one? You know? It’s like we all suddenlysteampunk-gearsrealized we had choices — and snap! — these invisible gears rotated, shuffling people I already knew into this new perfect group of friends! Who knew that was even possible?! Amazing. And that doesn’t even touch on the bad stuff — which Marie said I can’t talk about because spoilers — but when I think about the bad stuff, I have a much shorter answer: Before and after. My life will be forever divided into what it was like before this summer at camp and whatever comes after it.

Q. It’s pretty clear from A Brief Stay at Earth Human Camp that you really like sci-fi …

A. You can say it, it’s okay: I am a little obsessed. No, wait. You can’t be “a little” obsessed. Obsessed means “a lot,” right? So okay, I’m just obsessed. I don’t skip meals or not do my homework because of it or anything, but I’m definitely into it. Wait – what was the question?

Q. I haven’t asked it! If you could be in any sci-fi movie ever made, which one would you choose?
R2D2 & C32PO
A. Wow. Right back to before and after. You do get that my life became sci-fi this summer, right? So before camp, I would have said Star Wars. But I wouldn’t want to be a character. I’d want to be behind the scenes — the techie in charge of the robots. I kind of have — had — a thing for C3PO and R2D2, and my dream job was keeping robots in line. But that’s all changed. For as far as I can see into the future, I think reality’s going to be enough for me — maybe even be more than I can handle.

Q. What would be the perfect gift for you?

A. *lets smile say, “You’re kidding, right?”*

Q. I sense that you are thinking about your perfect gift …

A. *lets bigger smile say, “Come on, everyone knows this one …”*

Q. Okay, you’re right. This is a no-brainer. A robot?

A. * giggles while nodding vigorously*

Q. All right, Maylin. Thank you so much for talking to us today. In A Brief Stay at Earth Human Camp, you promised Anne and Atticus you’d send them a vintage sci-fi watch-list after camp, and I understand you’re going to share it with us, too. Is there anything you want to say about it?
A. Oh, yes! Thanks. Well, first of all, this list could easily have been 100 titles long. It was SO hard to keep it to 20! To make it work, I defined sic-fi as our relationship to science, space, or the future. That eliminated paranormal and horror, which is an arguable distinction but helped me stick to the limit. Also, I tried to choose an early representative of what you might call each subgenre, then didn’t repeat other examples in that category. For example, I included Gozilla, but left out Mothra and King Kong. The way I see it, if you love Gozilla, you’ll be motivated to seek the other ones out. As another example, I included The Thing From Another World, but left out The Blob. (Heehee, notice I just secretly added some titles to the list?) There are definitely some places where this gets blurry, but that probably reflects my personal taste. The only other thing I would say is that you can’t leave out sci-fi books! But that’s a topic for another day.☺

Click here to see Maylin’s Top-20 Vintage Sci-Fi Watch List!

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