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Scott Hawkins

Goodreads Author

The United States



Member Since
June 2014

I'm forty-nine and I live in the Atlanta suburbs with my wife and a whole bunch of dogs. ...more

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Scott Hawkins Hi Emme, & thanks for the question.

This one's been coming up a lot lately. The short answer is "probably." I'd like to, but it's not a sure thing.

Hi Emme, & thanks for the question.

This one's been coming up a lot lately. The short answer is "probably." I'd like to, but it's not a sure thing.

I'll be a little bit vague here to avoid spoilers, but there are reasons why it might be tricky to find a suitable antagonist for this hypothetical sequel. I think I might have an idea for how to get around that, but there are also some issues around creating a satisfying character arc. That part I'm less clear on how to fix.

Having said that, I spent last weekend working on a short story set in the Mount Char universe. Working in that world again was really fun. So yeah, I'd like to.

Side note: The short story will be put up as a freebie on my web site,, at some point in the next few weeks. I'd do it sooner, but the web site doesn't actually exist yet. I need to get on that. Also I need to vacuum. And the garage is a mess.



Scott Hawkins Hi Amel,

Thanks! I'm glad you liked it, and it's a huge relief that some of that is finally making it onto the page. The worst part about starting out …more
Hi Amel,

Thanks! I'm glad you liked it, and it's a huge relief that some of that is finally making it onto the page. The worst part about starting out as a writer is that when you do the book, it's always vivid to you. Mount Char is my first published novel, but the fourth one I wrote The thing is, this one is no more or less vivid to me than were the other three. Reader reactions indicate that I am alone in this. :-)

Anyway, as far as Pelapi--that was one of the core ideas of the book, but it mutated a little during the writing process. The gist of it is this:

When I was at school I took a lot of courses that dealt with the sub-field of artificial intelligence called natural language processing (NLP). NLP is the attempt to get machines to understand written and/or spoken languages that people use--Spanish, English, French, whatever. So I spent a lot of years gazing into my navel and trying to figure out what we really mean by 'understand' and 'communicate' and 'think.'

One of the things that came up during this time is a notion called the Sapir-Worf hypothesis. That says, essentially, that the language you think in to a large extent determines what you can think about. There does appear to be some truth to this notion.

For instance, I (vaguely) remember reading an article about how tribesmen from the amazon were being displaced by deforestation. These guys had essentially grown up in the stone age, but when the logging company moved in they had to move to Sao Paolo or wherever. So all of a sudden they're surrounded by TV, cell phones, all that stuff. Naturally they were curious, but when people tried to explain to them how it worked, they ran into a language barrier--these guys just didn't have the notion of "electromagnetic spectrum" and "radio" in their language. Cell phones had to be explained in terms of "the invisible sky spirit carries the message" or whatever. And no matter how you explained it, it was still going to look an awful lot like magic.

So, one of the core notions of Mount Char was to turn this on its head. It crossed my mind that these fish-out-of-water tribesmen might have words in their language for thinking about reality, manipulating reality, in ways that look an awful lot like magic to modern eyes.

As originally conceived Mount Char was going to be more of a fish-out-of-water comedy type of thing. This REALLY old dude who grew up thinking in neolithic language had somehow stumbled on the secret of immortality and is now living in the suburbs. He's lonely because he doesn't have anyone to talk to--he's fluent in English, of course, but there's no one who understands how the world really works under the hood. So he takes these kids and teaches them in the old ways so he'll have someone to talk to. Eventually you end up with this one peculiar neighborhood where they can (for instance) raise the dead, but nobody knows how to make a phone call. I thought there was some comedic potential there.

Anyway, that was fine, as far as it went, but then we needed an antagonist, and so forth and so on. So the emphasis shifted a little bit.

Anyway, thanks for the question & hope that helps!


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Movie Roundup

Triple 9

This was an interesting heist film. The director, John Hillcoat, is probably best known for Lawless and The Proposition, which I liked. Hillcoat also directed The Road, which bored the hell out of me. The cast (Chiwetel Elijofor, Aaron Paul, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, that guy from Walking Dead) was stellar. I thought Kate Winslet was an especially interesting choice for Russia

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4.5 / 5 - Maybe not a timeless classic, but it certainly made an impact.

I was broadly familiar with what happened to the Donner Party from the way Stephen King alluded to them in the Shining, when the snow started piling up around the Overlook Hotel
Scott Hawkins answered Ryan Hakes's question: Scott  Hawkins
Probably the main way the computer day job influenced the writing was by coloring what I didn't want to write. Before I actually had written any books I had kind of vague notions of doing some sort of techno-thriller, in the William Gibson / Neal Ste See Full Answer
The Library at Mount Char by Scott  Hawkins
"Interesting and unique fantasy book with A WHOLE BUNCH OF UNNECESSARY DOG MURDER in the middle.

Seriously I would have given this 5 stars if it hadn't killed all those dogs.

(A lot of people die too but some of them come back, and also, fictional dogs " Read more of this review »
The Library at Mount Char by Scott  Hawkins
"The New Weird genre, a fairly new genre, was, most likely, created for and by readers such as myself; those readers who enjoyed fantasy but weren’t in love with the traditional “swords and sorcery” Tolkeinesque genre. People like Jeff VanderMeer, Chi" Read more of this review »
Scott Hawkins and 63 other people liked J.D. Barker's review of Cari Mora:
Cari Mora by Thomas  Harris
"With CARI MORA Thomas Harris does what he does best - takes us on a spine-tingling, edge-of-your-seat ride steeped in intrigue and nail-biting suspense. You will not sleep. You will not eat. This book screams to be devoured in one sitting. "
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“Steve sighed, wishing for a cigarette. “The Buddha teaches respect for all life.” “Oh.” She considered this. “Are you a Buddhist?” “No. I’m an asshole. But I keep trying.”
Scott Hawkins, The Library at Mount Char

“Peace of mind is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it.”
Scott Hawkins, The Library at Mount Char

“Erwin gave no fucks.”
Scott Hawkins, The Library at Mount Char


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“I had begun to perceive my genitals as imaginary beasts in some epic fourteenth-century Scottish poem.”
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Comments (showing 1-3)    post a comment »
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Brianna the Bibliophile I'll just leave this link here:, 100 Wonderful, Strange and Unusual Novels. I came across your book on this list, too!

message 2: by Scott

Scott Hawkins Brianna the Bibliophile wrote: "Congratulations on all the publicity on GR recently! Every time I log on, your book is featured on the news feed as one of the best reads a GR author has to offer! And I have to agree completely, L..."

Hey Brianna,

Yeah, this is really neat! We did the paperback launch a couple weeks ago, so it's probably getting more of a push from the Crown guys than usual, but the response has been fantastic.

Also, re: Top 10 -- I'm sincerely honored, especially coming from you. I see your status in my feed and holy crap you read a lot. :-)

Brianna the Bibliophile Congratulations on all the publicity on GR recently! Every time I log on, your book is featured on the news feed as one of the best reads a GR author has to offer! And I have to agree completely, Library at Mount Char has quickly moved to my top ten favorite books of all time!

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