A good science fiction story should be able to predict not the automobile but the traffic jam.
You can't really predict the future. All you can do is invent it.
You don't think progress goes in a straight line, do you? Do you recognize that it is an ascending, accelerating, maybe even exponential curve? It takes hell's own time to get started, but when it goes it goes like a bomb.
I did that for 40 years or more. I never had any writer's block. I got up in the morning, sat down at the typewriter - now, computer - lit up a cigarette.
I was thinking of writing a little foreword saying that history is, after all, based on people's recollections, which change with time.
That's really what SF is all about, you know: the big reality that pervades the real world we live in: the reality of change. Science fiction is the very literature of change. In fact, it is the only such literature we have.
For someone to be taken seriously it was valuable to have the appearance of someone who deserved to be taken seriously.
Advertising reaches out to touch the fantasy part of people's lives. And you know, most people's fantasies are pretty sad.
The science fiction method is dissection and reconstruction.
I don't think the scientific method and the science fictional method are really analogous. The thing about them is that neither is really practiced very much, at least not consciously. But the fact that they are methodical does relate them.
The big new development in my life is, when I turned 80, I decided I no longer have to do four pages a day. For me, it's like retiring.
My first thought was always a cigarette. It still is, but I haven't cheated.
You can't trust reason. We threw it out of the ad profession long ago and have never missed it.
What were we doing here? Traveling hundreds or thousands of light-years, to break our hearts?
They were two lovely choices. One of them meant giving up every chance of a decent life forever...and the other one scared me out of my mind.
Science fiction is the very literature of change.
That's what life is, just one learning experience after another, and when you're through with all the learning experiences you graduate and what you get for a diploma is, you die.
When I sit down to the feast of life ... I'm so busy planning on how to pick up the check, and wondering what the other people think of me for paying it, and wondering if I have enough money in my pocket to pay the bill, that I don't get around to eating.
People as me how I do research for my science fiction. The answer is, I never do any research.
I'm doing a book, 'Chasing Science,' about the pleasures of science as a spectator sport.
My old English buddy, John Rackham, wrote and told me what made science fiction different from all other kinds of literature - science fiction is written according to the science fiction method.
On this day I want to tell you about, which will be about a thousand years from now, there were a boy, a girl and a love story.
It's clear that science and science fiction have overlapping populations.
If you don't care about science enough to be interested in it on its own, you shouldn't try to write hard science fiction. You can write like Ray Bradbury and Harlan Ellison as much as you want.
In terms of stories I would buy for a science fiction magazine, if they take place in the future, that might do it.
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