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May 6, 2013

Us, interviewed
Posted by Patrick at 02:00 PM * 23 comments

Cover of the May 2013 issue of LOCUS The latest Locus features an interview with us. It’s not online—the contents of the printed magazine and their web site mostly don’t overlap—but you can buy a printed copy (or a downloadable ePub, Mobi, or PDF version) here.

It was a slightly disquieting experience, not least because I’ve been reading Locus for (unbelievably but truly) 43 years. The interview was taken in Liza Trombi’s hotel room one morning at last year’s Worldcon. Their basic method is to have a lively conversation with the interview subject, transcribe the whole thing, and then remove all their own questions and prompts, so it looks as if the person being interviewed is a prodigiously voluble monologuist. Or, in our case, a pair of prodigiously voluble monologuists. (Low-hanging fruit. Go for it.) Then they send the transcript back to the subject, for fact-checking and horrified second thoughts.

By and large, their method works well. When we’d finished chatting with Liza, we both had the sense that we’d been dismally incoherent, but when the transcript arrived in our email a few months later, somehow they’d managed to make us look much smarter than we remembered being. It did turn out to be a lot more about our long-ago past in fandom, and 1980s NYC publishing, than I think I expected when I walked in the door. But that’s really okay.

(I posted a brief excerpt from the interview to our calling-card page at nielsenhayden.com, which was about a year and a half overdue to be updated anyway.)

Comments on Us, interviewed:
#1 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2013, 01:35 PM:

I've only gotten to do one interview for Locus, but I really would have enjoyed doing yours! Looking forward to reading it.

#2 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2013, 01:41 PM:

This is just to say

I have gone for
the fruit
that was in
your main post

and that
you were probably
saving
for someone wittier.

Forgive me,
it was hanging there,
so smart
and so true.

#3 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2013, 02:43 PM:

Can a pair of monologuists possibly co-exist?

#4 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2013, 04:19 PM:

Serge: easily. In fact, if you have two dedicated monologuists at your party, the best thing to do is to steer them together, so they can unload their data-streams at each other - neither will care that the other's barely listening, as they're barely listening themselves - and thus save the other, more conversable party guests from being buttonholed.

#5 ::: Steve C ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2013, 04:20 PM:

That sounds like it would be a great SNL skit, a la "The Californians".

#6 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2013, 04:48 PM:

(I posted a brief excerpt from the interview to our calling-card page at nielsenhayden.com, which was about a year and a half overdue to be updated anyway.)

Where, alas, linkrot has set in on the TAFF report, the TAFF archive, and Dave Langford's name (at least).

#7 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2013, 04:51 PM:

It did turn out to be a lot more about our long-ago past in fandom, and 1980s NYC publishing, than I think I expected when I walked in the door. But that’s really okay.

I approve. I approve of sneaking discussion of anything fannish into Locus. Long ago, it turned its back on its origins... but no point in complaining, that ship has sailed.

#8 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2013, 04:57 PM:

Bill Higgins @ 7 I approve of sneaking discussion of anything fannish into Locus

I still miss William Rotsler's cartoons.

#9 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2013, 05:50 PM:

I miss them too. He had a wonderful line.

#10 ::: Jurie Horneman ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2013, 09:38 PM:

You left out the final part of their method: they spread the article over 15 pages, trying to cut it up into the smallest and least convenient bits possible.

So. Annoying.

Um. Congratulations :)

#11 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: May 07, 2013, 10:46 AM:

Rikibeth @ 4... :-)

#12 ::: David Langford ::: (view all by) ::: May 07, 2013, 01:21 PM:

#6 Bill Higgins:

Ah, nostalgia. I emailed Patrick about the broken links – giving working replacements which I won't quote here for fear of gnomes – in October 2011. Patrick, should I send that message again?

#13 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: May 07, 2013, 02:04 PM:

Gnomes are having a Chilling Effect even upon the most-honored fanwriters among us.

#14 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 07, 2013, 03:16 PM:

Bill Higgins -- I don't see to what you are referring.

#15 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: May 07, 2013, 03:34 PM:

He's referring to Dave Langford's admitted self-censoring in the post before, attempting (I believe) to be funny in doing so.

#16 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: May 07, 2013, 04:05 PM:

Some of this Rotsler stuff was just scanned and posted in March of this year.

Longtime publishers in the fanzine net report having hundreds to thousands of unpublished Rotsler drawings, and some of them have been known to forward supplies on to promising new faneds.

#17 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: May 07, 2013, 04:43 PM:

Lenny Bailes... Oooooh...

#18 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 07, 2013, 10:09 PM:

Dave, yes, please resend the link fixes. (I will resend this in email.)

Brain-burning LJ post from Brother Guy: http://brotherguy.livejournal.com/76398.html?view=545646

#19 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: May 08, 2013, 02:11 PM:

The interview arrived here yesterday (with the rest of the Locus) -- quite nice! And unlike the description by Jurie Horneman @10, it's one continuous piece over several pages, with no annoying jumps. Brought back some memories, it did!

#20 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: May 08, 2013, 08:43 PM:

I had a photocopy of a Rotsler cartoon stolen from my wall when my horrible college roommate threw a party. I've never found anyplace that had back issues of Locus available, or I'd go looking for it again. (As well as the wonderful articles on writing that Budrys did. My copies are well-neigh illegible, but I still remember the ones on how Tolstoy would have considered The Dain Curse a promising first draft, and the one describing the why behind some of the narrative tricks in Rogue Moon.

#22 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2013, 09:23 AM:

"The first time we met, it was in 8.5"x11" twiltone mimeograph paper. I noticed that Patrick did really good colophons. He liked my adjectives."

Ah, pulpy romance...

#23 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2013, 11:17 AM:

More, but perhaps not all, of the TNH-PNH interview has appeared online.

Tip o' the Beam Jockey hat to Philip Chee, whose posting I noticed on, of all places, Usenet.

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