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John Sladek Quotes
I found some time ago that I have to be careful, while working on a novel, what I read.
I have a kind of standard explanation why, which goes like this: Science fiction is one way of making sense out of a senseless world.
I started writing, or rather, thinking, stories as a child, and at that time the reason was very clear.
I usually like whatever I've recently finished best.
In most conventional novels, God is not allowed to be nuts. Nor are nuts allowed to be God.
Most publishers seem very reluctant to publish short story collections at all; they bring them out in paperback, often disguised as novels.
People have laughed at all great inventors and discoverers.
SF has at least the advantage of not depending on preconceptions.
The future, according to some scientists, will be exactly like the past, only far more expensive.
Whatever I'm reading at the moment seems to influence whatever I'm writing.
Anything can happen in SF. And the fact that nothing ever does happen in SF is only due to the poverty of our imaginations, we who write it or edit it or read it. But SF can in principle deal with anything.
I think these days an SF connection would be a boost to other books; I'm sure more people have read my two little detective puzzles because of the SF connection.
See, I have no journalism in my background, so I wasn't practised at research or writing non-fiction, nor at handling the truth in a journalistic way. Journalists know when to call a halt and write something, but I kept on looking for answers.
The problem and privilege we all have is being alive in this century and able to read this language. It makes any list meaningless except the list of an illiterate.
This is mainly because I spend a lot of time writing and so don't have much time to read; I hate to waste that time reading what may turn out to be junk food for the mind, when there's so much real writing to be read.
To my mind, the best SF addresses itself to problems of the here and now, or even to problems which have never been solved and never will be solved - I'm thinking of Philip K. Dick's work here, dealing with questions of reality, for example.
We didn't have a phone when I was a kid, and I was too shy to smash any public phones, and our town didn't have a pool hall either, so I had to hang out at the public library - and anyway, I told myself stories.
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Henry David Thoreau
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