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Intoxication has remained a years-long literary obsession.
My politics remain those of the hippies, punks, and grungers.
Flipping through these tales, I feel a mixture of nostalgia, pride, and embarrassment.
I used to write as if women were wonderful, fascinating aliens—over the years I’ve gotten better at depicting them as people.
My primary goal is not to make useful predictions that businessmen can use.
I’m more interested in exploring the human condition, with literary power chord standing in for archetypal psychic forces.
Like many professions, writing is something one learns on the job.
Over the years I’ve published five print anthologies of my stories: The 57th Franz Kafka (Ace Books, 1983) Transreal! (Four Walls Eight Windows, 2000) Mad Professor (Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2007). Initially I thought it would be futuristic to abandon print and to have my story anthology take on the form of an ebook, published by my own Transreal Press.
If a story hews to some very familiar pattern, it feels stale.I see my tales as simulated worlds in which the characters and tropes and social situations bounce off each other like eddies in a turbulent wake, like gliders in a cellular automaton graphic, like vines twisting around each other in a jungle. (4) My early mentor Robert Sheckley was a supremely witty writer.Over the years I got to spend a few golden hours in Sheckley’s presence.In practice, it’s intractably difficult to visualize the side effects of new technological developments.In order to tease out the subtler consequences of current trends, a complex fictional simulation is necessary; inspired narration is a more powerful tool than logical analysis.
If I want to imagine, for instance, what our world would be like if ordinary objects were conscious, then the best way to make progress is to fictionally simulate a person discovering this.