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I don’t read other science fiction. I don’t read any at all.
– Jack Vance
But I’ve sure worked at jobs where I have been under inspection.
I worked for half a cent a word. I’m not a fast writer to begin with, so for the first few years I had do other things.
It seems to limit you; when you’re working in an office, you’re a creature in a small cell under somebody’s supervision and surveillance.
Well, I think everything I’ve ever read contributes to the background from which I write.
So I’ll write it, and then I’ll find out that I actually wrote something that is utterly useless. You can’t use it in the story and it doesn’t fit. So I just throw it away. I’ve done that countless times.
I thought that automobiles were going to have mufflers and go fast and airplanes were going to fly fast.
I haven’t sold to the movies. In other words, I haven’t gotten any enormous checks yet.
Sometimes some of these little side excursions are useful and I manage to fit them in the book somewhere.
I just wrote what I felt like writing since they seemed to sell.
I never made lots of money at it, but I sold enough.
These are just the tip of the iceberg, because I read and read and read. I read everything.
Right now I’m so old that if I had a big gush of money, I don’t know what I’d do with it. I don’t travel anymore. I don’t need anything, don’t want anything. I’d give it to my son, I guess, and let him enjoy it.
In fact, almost every job you get somebody watching you.
The story was such that I couldn’t make a graceful ending and then make a graceful new beginning. I could have, but I didn’t want to. So, it isn’t the most graceful way of writing a story. This new story is, I think, is pretty good stuff. I’m pleased with it anyway.
I got done writing Ports of Call and suddenly realized I have far too much material for the book.
I haven’t been to a movie since somebody gave me free tickets to Star Wars, which I went to.
I was a carpenter for a time and everybody watches what you do.
A reader is not supposed to be aware that someone’s written the story. He’s supposed to be completely immersed, submerged in the environment.
Then there was Clark Ashton Smith, who wrote for Weird Tales and who had a wild imagination. He wasn’t a very talented writer, but his imagination was wonderful.
There was a writer in the ’20s called Christopher Morley, who I remember a little bit of, who had some influence on me, but I couldn’t tell you what it was.
I was an omnivore at reading, so that everything I ever read contributed.
As I mentioned, I was a carpenter for a time.
I’d never been published when I was young.
I never worked in an office in my life.
This flattery has been rather slow in coming. I think all of sudden late in life now I’m getting some credit for what I’ve done. Which is gratifying, but it’s kind of a little late.