Thursday, August 04, 2005

SF Crowsnest chimes in

Geoff Willmetts, an institution among British SF book reviewers, chimes in over at SF Crowsnest on Voices of Vision:
There aren't many interview books around these days and also this is a somewhat slim volume compared to some I've picked up in the past but, nonetheless, such books should be encouraged because they give insight into the thinking of a variety of creators, providing the right questions are asked. As we've been on this side of the fence ourselves, we're also aware the art of asking the right questions is in giving the interviewee a chance to express themselves as well. Jayme Lynn Blasche's interviews here have been in print before in various mags like Interzone, Black Gate,,, amongst others. Some of them were also edited for paper publication and for the most part they've been put back to their original length here so even if you have read these in the past 5 years, there's a little more to keep you entertained here.

OK, so whose been interviewed? Editors: Gardener Dozois, Kristine Rusch, Stanley Schmidt, Gordon Van Gelder and Scott Edelman. Considering over half of them are still active editors, insight into their thinking would be essential for any writer submitting to their publication. From fantasy/speculative fiction: Robin Hobb (aka Megan Lindholm), Patricia Anthony, Charles de Lint and Elizabeth Moon. All discussing the fiction they were writing at the time of the interview. From comics: Elliott S! Maggin, Frank Cho and Scott Kurtz, Brad Meltzer and Neil Gaiman. Blaschke shows a little favouritism towards Green Arrow but he can be forgiven for that as the interviews extend beyond the DC archer. From SF: Samuel Delany, Gene Wolfe, Harlen Ellison (even if he doesn't like being categorised) and Jack Williamson. Of interest here is Ellison's own 3 year campaign to have AE Van Vogt recognised for the Grand Master Award. It's rare to see the internal politics (it does go on, folks) of the SF community allowed to rear its head and Ellison is just the chap to hit it on the head.

Although there is nothing fundamentally new here because of them being interviewed in the past 5 years but unless you haven't read it before, there has to be someone or more in the above that has to take your fancy. So, go read, OK.

I'm gratified that I earned another mostly positive review. I'm even more gratified that my book is now penetrating the British review circles, particularly with Interaction taking place in Glasgow this weekend. I'm just kicking myself for not sending any flyers along with several folks I know who are going (too late now--they've already departed).

Of Geoff's criticisms, well, I make no apologies for my obsession with Green Arrow--the Meltzer and Maggin interviews were conducted for the Fansite after all (now reverted to the Shrine). The slimness of the volume has been a concern for me, however. I'd actually misjudged the length of the manuscript, and left probably too much space for a promised introduction that never came. If I had to do it again, I'd add at least three more interviews to make it an even 20. But hey, that just means the follow-up volume will boast 25 conversations, if and when it gets published.

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