Accomplishment: Author, scientist, scholar and futurist.
dim the radiant smile and cut to the chase:
Of course not. Though it does generally imply a writer grasps at least the basics of storytelling. Well, sometimes.
Would you see it as an exciting or a retrograde step if digitisation encouraged writers to choose sound and pictures to augment their words?
It's pretty much inevitable. If the author does not lead such a team effort, then the fans will do it themselves. The good news? Such mini-teams will be able to create movie-length dramatizations - call them animated storyboards or graphic-illustrated novels. When these "hit" you'll have a way for writers to be more important - at last - in cinema.
Has a book every made you angry. If so, which one?
Oh tons! I try not to get my blood pressure or dander up too high... heck, I even feel mildly toward Kevin Costner, who on-balance did more good than bad re The Postman film. Only a few works make me stark fuming outraged. See how I eviscerate Frank Miller's horrifically evil and despicably lying piece of propaganda called "300."
Is self publishing the new 'slush-pile’?
It's different. There will always be a need for professional editors. Self-publishing is a great new thing, terrific for widened self-expression! But it causes many new authors to skip steps in their apprenticeship. I have a web page just for them.
Which five books do you wish you had written?
STAND ON ZANZIBAR, RIDLEY WALKER, GRAVITY'S RAINBOW, anything by Alice Sheldon (James Tiptree), Robert Sheckley, Alfred Bester, Christopher Marlowe, Shakespeare, Pericles....
Are you pessimistic or optimistic about the future – and why?
I am known widely as an optimist. This is not quite true. What I am is a contrarian and I see cynics and despair junkies all around me. Around all of us. Even if they were right... and they aren't... they are totally not being helpful. Their attitude is the quintessence of laziness and voluptuously smug self-indulgence. Dig it. All hope has been achieved by problem-solvers. We need all of them we can get
Elmore Leonard listed ten rules, one of which is: 'Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. Think of what you skip reading a novel.' What rule or piece of advice would you add to the list, and if you know his ten rules, which one would you break?
Criticism is the only known antidote to error. Yet it is the one thing we are all tempted to skip and avoid. Learn instead to seek it!
Which four literary characters would you like to invite to dinner, and why?
Odysseus. Lady Murusaki, Ben Franklin, Morticia Addams
Does Science Fiction offer boundless possibilities or is there an element of repetition in terms of theme, plot or science?
Both, of course.
Sheri nudged me. The guy had talked and she wanted a drink. Guy looked like he wanted one too. His lips moved and Sheri moved in with a glass or restorative whisky. "Check out my new book out in June," he whispered. "It's called 'Existence.'
"It's the least we can do, Sheri whispered. "Thank you, David."
I too thought it was a good interview. My only difference of opinion is that I would invite Ben Franklin to dinner four times.
I always learn something from these interviews, forced through pain though they may be. I've bookmarked Brin's web page as a place I'll be visiting often. Thanks for a very informative interview with an interesting and erudite author.