A 1996 Interview with Samuel R. Delany
The Center for Book Culture has a 1996 interview with Samuel R. Delany.
SRD: I suppose the questions I dont like include: “What makes a good plot?” “What’s your definition of SF?” “Where do you get your ideas?”
When an interviewer asks me such questions, I have to reconstruct why I don’t believe there is such a thing as plot for the writer in the usual sense; or why SF belongs to a category of object, as do all written genres, for which it is impossible to find necessary and sufficient conditions (that is, it belongs to a category of’ object that resists definition in the rigorous sense of the word); or that ideas are not things but–even the simplest of them–complex processes and as such don’t “come from” any “place” but are rather process-responses to any number of complex situations. With such questions, many of the ideas I’m dealing with are counterintuitive. And counter-intuitive ideas can’t be explained quickly to someone who doesn’t have a firm handle on them already.
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