Monday, December 12, 2005

Christmas come early

Just when you thought the world was safe from Voices of Vision reviews, RevolutionSF goes and prints a new one. Yay!
The book is 194 pages, and that's good and bad. The interviews are conversational. Blaschke manages to keep the interviewees focused on the topics at hand. So he doesn't just turn the recorder on and let the writer go, even with Harlan Ellison. Several of the interviews were too short — I could have stood to hear more from Jack Williamson and Elliot S! Maggin. None of these interviews are designed as seminal, autobiographical talks, but conversations, so you may not get everything you want from each individual.

Highlights for me:

Blaschke asks Kristine Kathryn Rusch about her work on Star Trek novels and his legitimate surprise at a response of hers: "You're allowed to use real science in them?"

Scott Edelman details his attempts to stop writing like Stan Lee after working at Marvel Comics. Patricia Anthony talks about seeing ball lightning. Scott Kurtz credits inspiration to Bloom County's Berke Breathed, saying Breathed introduced him to "cruel and sharp wit."

Of course, Harlan Ellison can be counted on for outrageous, hilarious pro wrestling-style rants (He's asked here about the difference between Harlan Ellison "the writer" and "the event.") He details his time working on Babylon 5. He notes that Ivanova actress Claudia Christian "fired herself."

Several of the interviews were done as many as seven years ago, but none seem dated. And it's enjoyable to see interviews in a setting that isn't sycophantic. There are no whiffle-ball questions designed to get the creator to pat himself on the back about his creative process. Blaschke doesn't grill his subjects, but he doesn't shy from asking Neil Gaiman, for instance, about the Todd McFarlane/Miracleman lawsuit.

And there's more where that came from, so hie thee over to the site and read the whole thing. I strongly doubt there will be more VoV reviews forthcoming in the near future (other than the promised Asimov's one pending in early 2006) but that's cool. I doubt I'll ever come close to producing any book that generates the seemingly universal good will this one has.

Now Playing: Michael Giacchino The Incredibles Soundtrack

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