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We're basically after Joe's beer money, and Joe likes his beer, so you better make sure that what you give him is at least as pleasurable to him as having his six-pack of beer would be.
We do a hard fantasy as well as hard science fiction, and I think I probably single-handedly recreated military science fiction. It was dead before I started working in it.
To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection.
There were probably, what, 300 science-fiction members in the SFWA, of whom probably a hundred were active members in the sense that they were selling something every year, or every couple years.
The importance of information is directly proportional to its improbability.
The hard part of writing at all is sitting your ass down in a chair and writing it. There's always something better to do, like I've got an interview, sharpening the pencils, trimming the roses. There's always something better to do. Going to a writer's club?
The Aztecs believe they started up in what's now New Mexico, and wandered for 10,000 years before they got down into where they are now, in Mexico City. That's a weird legend.
Somebody's always getting me to come lecture to their writing class, and I don't talk about writing at all, I talk about the business of making a living at this racket.
So, I guess the answer to your question is very few people can bring off a novel of the future because it's just so damn hard to make it look like the future.
One the other hand, the publishing trend is ghastly, isn't it? Two hundred and something distributors are now down to 10 or 12? And what's the recruiting drive?
In any ethical situation, the thing you want least to do is probably the right action.
I think it takes about a million words to make a writer. I mean that you're going to throw away.
I started in this racket in the early '70s, and when I was president of the Science Fiction Writers of America, of which I was like the sixth president, I was the first one nobody ever heard of.
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