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Writing Down the Middle
(excerpted from Locus Magazine, July 1997)
Photo by Charles N. Brown
other interview excerpts
Eric S. Nylund grew up all over California. He finished his first two novels, Pawn's Dream and A Game of Universe before attending Clarion in 1994, though both books appeared later, in 1995 and 1996 respectively. He wrote his third novel, Dry Water, while living in a shack in a Florida orange grove for a year. Then he moved to Seattle, helping Microsoft with its multi-media encyclopedia, rewriting articles by famous scientists. He still lives in Seattle, now writing full-time.
"This last year, I wrote Signal to Noise. I have described writing as a cross between a religious calling and a heroin addiction. There are a lot of bad things that go along with it, and a lot of ego gratification, grubbing for fame and money -- visceral things. But that's part of it. Anyone who says otherwise is a saint or a liar, I guess."
"Signal to Noise, scheduled for next year, uses a lot of virtual reality to pull out some of the characteristics and psychology and psychosis of the character. A lot of the virtual reality, in the way the world is set up, is subliminal and leaky, so a lot of things just kind of leak out of his subconscious, and he has to control them. The book is science fiction, but secretly everything I write is fantasy. It's got nuts and bolts, real mathematics, some real programming. But it's written in such a way that it's richly textured, and there's a lot of psychology going on -- not happy-go-lucky psychology but dark, visceral psychology."
"I view science fiction and fantasy as a spectrum. At one end you have media tie-in low-end fiction. At the other end, you have very literary fiction -- you might call it impenetrable. I try to write right in the middle: well-written stuff, but not hard to read."
|© 1997 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.|