076: Life, Literature, and Everything Geeky – Interview with Ryan Britt

Creative076: Life, Literature, and Everything Geeky – Interview with Ryan Britt

076: Life, Literature, and Everything Geeky – Interview with Ryan Britt

Hey there Word Nerds!

So glad you could be here with me for this awesome episode of DIY MFA Radio! Today we’re here with pop culture and sci-fi guru, Ryan Britt, talking about his new book Luke Skywalker Can’t Read, And Other Geeky Truths. This book is a blend of nerd-ilicious, mind-bending awesomeness, and fall-out-of-your-chair hilarity and as soon as I heard about it I just knew I had to have Ryan on the show. Listen in to hear us geek out about life, literature, and all things nerdy. 

In this episode Ryan and I discuss:

  • The differences between writing for and reading online vs. writing and reading a book
  • What it actually means to be a geek now
  • What benefits there are to being a geek now as a writer

Plus, Ryan’s #1 tip for writers.

Don’t forget, if you want to dig deeper, join me for a “Stop Dreaming, Start Doing” workshop on January 12 at 8pm ET. You can find more information at DIYMFA.com/openhouse.

Also, DIY MFA 101 is open for enrollment. Learn more at DIYMFA.com/DIYMFA101

About Ryan Britt

If the ghost of Marshall McLuhan were to merge with Chuck Klosterman, you’d have essayist Ryan Britt. Ryan has never met a monster, alien, wizard or superhero that didn’t require further discussion, and in his book he answers questions you’ve probably never thought to ask (but now that he’s brought them up, you’re probably wondering about them too). In his book, he tackles topics like: Does anyone in the Star Wars universe read books? Is Pete Best the Bilbo to Ringo Starr’s Frodo? And, what ever happened to Biff Tannen’s parents? If you’re a geek like me (and even if you’re not) you’re going to get a kick out of this entertaining manifesto for modern geekdom.

But seriously, Ryan has written for The New York Times, Electric Literature, The Awl, VICE and The Morning News and is a consulting editor for Story. He was the staff writer for the Hugo Award-winning web magazine Tor.com, where he remains a contributor.


Britt recounts personal stories of coming of age amid the influence of 80s and 90s pop culture; how he learned to take his interests seriously from a big box store manager he nicknames Captain Space Pirate because of he was reminiscent of Harrison Ford; how his first “the birds and the bees” conversation came from asking his father about the pictures in an Omni magazine article entitled “Tyrannosaurus Sex: A Love Tail”; and how his next lesson in sex was from watching Jane Fonda in Barbarella, which quickly evolved into a life-changing epiphany.

Britt’s thoughtful and fun meditations on everything sci-fi and pop culture spins insights on what many of us have not known about our favorite stuff. He shows us how monster movies are just romantic comedies with commitment issues, claims nobody should get mad about super hero remakes, and argues that killer robots are probably harmless authenticity-seeking hipsters. Luke Skywalker Can’t Read tears down the wall between hardcore sci-fi readers and the mainstream, making it perfect both for cosplayers, or those who haven’t worn a costume since grade school.

If you want to learn more about Ryan, follow him on Facebook and Twitter or visit his website.

  Also, if you liked this episode…

Head over to iTunes, leave a review, and subscribe so you’ll be first to know when new episodes are available. Also, if you know anyone who might enjoy this podcast, please share!

For more info and show notes: DIYMFA.com/076

Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome.


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