(urth) This Week in Google Alerts: Gene Wolfe podcast interview

Gwern Branwen gwern at gwern.net
Wed Jun 26 09:11:46 PDT 2013

"S&L Podcast – #134 – Interview with Gene Wolfe"; from the Nebula

> Were you expecting a wrap-up episode for Among Others? Sorry kids, Veronica decided to go on vacation, and all you get is this lousy interview with legendary author Gene Wolfe. Just kidding, the interview is awesome.

(47M; 34:28)

Interview starts 02:04, ends 33:37.


- 'science fiction' vs 'fantasy' and 'science fantasy';
- "Beach Hill";
- on another Latro book ('I don't know if I will ever write another
Latro book; I may. Those take a lot of research.');
- ancient Egyptian society, the Persian empire;
- at ~12m, Borges (Wolfe 'went through a period in which I read all
the Borges I could find and I also went to a lecture of his. I never
actually got to meet him but I did see him in the flesh. I was sitting
in the audience and [inaudible] he was just the most marvelous man...2
young people from the Spanish department, and they say 'we are from
the Spanish department [University] and we're here to interpret to
interpret for Signor Borges as necessary, and he begins to speak and
he has English down absolutely pat - he has a Spanish accent, yes, but
he has a bigger vocabulary than 90% of the audience and I never heard
him make a grammatical mistake...He was great.'), Wolfe mentions 'The
Garden of Forking Paths';
- Chesterton's _The Napoleon of Notting Hill_ & _The Man Who Was Thursday_;
- Charles Dickens, where Wolfe brings up a personal story about
reading _Pickwick Papers_ at 14, a friend starting to talk like Mr.
Jingles, who went on to become an Air Force psychologist, met a
'tragic' end, Wolfe misses him, and he brought the friend back in a
story whose name he couldn't recall;
- the Pringle machines and the clever way the Pringle shape assists
manufacture; Wolfe claims that when the fresh Pringles come out of the
salter, they are 'unspeakably delicious';
- screenrights (_Shadow of the Torturer_ options sold '2 or 3 times');
- on the upcoming _Shadows of the New Sun_ story anthology ('some of
my characters as handled by other people, but not as handled by me');
to help with money issues related to Rose being in the nursing home
(arthritis, Alzheimer's) and difficulties in reimbursement (at ~30m)
- _The Land Across_;  "it's about a young American to travels to an
obscure liberal eastern European country who gets into all sorts of
trouble; and as I told someone, there are two attractive young women
and there's an attractive old woman; there's a crazy cult; there's a
truly evil cult; and much other stuff stuff - boats and so on, and
when I got through giving the whole description I thought 'my god I
forgot dogs and motorcycles! No dogs and motorcycles.' He goes to
prison and he ends up as a member of the secret police of this little
east European dictatorship and - and I had a lot of fun"


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