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All Quotes by author - Paul Di Filippo
" Any debut novel is usually a case of spitting into the wind - or, just maybe, casting your bread upon the waters. Without an established audience in place, first-time authors have to hope for resonant word of mouth and a receptive reviewer or three. "
" Blending consensus historical events and personages with imaginary occult forces is a strong recipe for counterfactual storytelling goodness that combines the best of two worlds: resonant history with wild-eyed fantasy. "
" Consensus wisdom has it that all modern commercial fantasy novels fall into two camps: those derived from J.R.R. Tolkien and those derived from Mervyn Peake. The 'Lord of the Rings' template or the 'Gormenghast' mold. "
" Critics, at least generally, want to regard works of fiction as independent entities, whose virtues and failures must be reckoned apart from the circumstances of their creation, and even apart from the intentions of their creator. "
" Every Luke Skywalker needs his Darth Vader. "
" Every new generation of SF writers remakes cyberpunk - a genre often laced with dystopian subtexts - in its own image. "
" Everyone can guess what 'Corn Flakes' tastes like, even if you've never had them. But what, pray tell, does 'High School Musical' or 'Spider-Man' cereal possibly taste like? In this late era, we have reached the ultimate deracination between product image and what actually sits on our spoon. "
" Generational change within a genre is hard to parse while it's happening. Only in retrospect can the passing of the baton from ancestors to progeny be clearly discerned. "
" I suspect that authors who start their careers writing for an adult audience - and who eventually produce a young adult novel or two - are more common than authors who begin by writing for young adults and who then gravitate toward composing something for an adult audience. "
" It's certainly a cliche to remark that a nonfiction book 'reads just like a novel,' but in the case of Jonathan Eig's 'The Birth of the Pill,' I have no other recourse, since his narrative is full of larger-than-life characters sharply limned and embarked on fascinating doings, their story told in sprightly visual fashion. "
" Jeff VanderMeer's fiction has always been entrancingly, engagingly, enthusiastically weird, a winning combination of mimesis and the fantastical that privileges neither component: perhaps the very definition of that mode categorized as the 'New Weird' and exemplified most famously by the groundbreaking work of China Mieville. "
" Once anthropology and geology had opened up the pre-recordkeeping darkness of humanity's long, slow, sustained infancy as suitable grounds for speculation, writers began trying to imagine human existence as it must have been with only stone-age technology. "
" Quite often, intent on conveying how things can go wrong for a culture (science fiction) or an individual (horror) or all of magical creation (fantasy), works of fantastika often preclude comedy, because humor gets in the way of messages of doom or struggle. "
" Science fiction is a literary field crowded with strong opinions, and no SF novelist delivered himself more memorably of his views - on politics, sexuality, religion, and many other contentious topics - than Robert Heinlein. "
" Science offers no brief for the telekinetic powers of Darth Vader and hardly any greater justification for the faster-than-light travel that makes his empire possible. And yet what is 'Star Wars' if not pure quill SF? "
" Sometimes magnificent visual art takes root in the humblest of soils. Advertisements painted on old barns, tattoos, fruit crate labels, hot rod embellishments - all these media and many other non-galleried forms have hosted and fostered esthetic delights that satisfy any rigorous definition of art. "
" Stephen King consummately honors several traditions with his rare paperback original, 'Joyland.' He addresses the novel of carny life and sideshows, where the midway serves as microcosm, such as in those famous books by Ray Bradbury, Charles Finney and William Lindsay Gresham. "
" The constituents of tragedy may be universally acknowledged, easily invoked and deeply felt, but the elements of comedy are, I think, more widely variable from person to person. "
" The impossibility of a sequel ever recapturing everything - or anything - about its ancestor never stopped legions of writers from trying, or hordes of readers and publishers from demanding more of what they previously enjoyed. "
" The lives of most authors - even, or perhaps especially, the great ones - are necessarily a catalogue of tedious inwardness and cloistered composition. Globe-trotting Hemingways and brawling Christopher Marlowes are the exception, not the rule. "
" The science-fictional motif of lethal, infectious information - bad memes - is a fascinating one, with an extended history. One of the earliest instances is Robert W. Chambers's 'The King in Yellow' from 1895. Chambers's conceit is a malevolent play: read beyond Act II, and you go mad. "
" The sentient beast has long been a staple of fantasy fiction and its antecedents in myth and folktale. "
" The SF genre, of course, is really an organically evolved, marketplace-determined, idiosyncratic grab bag of themes and signifiers and characters and icons and gadgets, some of which hew to the realistic parameters and paradigms embraced by science, others of which partake more of fantasy and magic. "
" The three touchstones that woke Buddha up - sickness, old age, and death - are a pretty good place to start when crafting a tragic tale. And if we need to get more specific: heartbreak, destruction, miscomprehension, natural disasters, betrayal, and the waste of human potential. "
" War has always been a part of science fiction. Even before the birth of SF as a standalone genre in 1926, speculative novels such as 'The Battle of Dorking' from 1871 showed how SF's trademark 'what if' scenarios could easily encompass warfare. "
" Writers begin changing the instant they append 'The End' to a novel. Readers begin changing the moment they encounter that same phrase. And even the novels themselves, through the strange transmutations of time and shifting tastes and mores, exhibit changes as we look backward upon them, acquiring retroactive meanings and tonalities. "
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