was designed - if I recall Harlan's words correctly - as a place for stories that were too dangerous, or too experimental. Stories that other editors wouldn't publish. 'In the Deadlands' certainly fit that category. It was rejected by every editor ~n the field, mainly for typography reasons, although a few were honest enough to say they thought it stunk.
Harlan is among the latter category. He rejected the story, admitting that he hadn't finished it.
I will not say that the story was too dangerous for Harlan, nor will I say that if was too experimental for him - but it did fit into that category of being too dangerous and too experimental for more conventional markets, and therefore was more deserving of a place in A,DV than WITH A FINGER IN MY I. I can only surmise that Mr. Ellison did not understand 'In the Deadlands'!
If Mr. Barbour thinks it mean of me to publish my story in paperback before A,DV has had suitable lead time on the market, I find it curious that he is silent about Harlan Ellison's rather vicious introduction t~ Be. Harlan's comments about 'In the Deadlands' as being pseudo artsy-craftsy, overly long, and moronic (something to that effect, were not only rude, they were unprofessional. The story was thus prejudged in the minds of a lot of people.
Howevert ,In the Deadlands' did win itself a place on this year's Nebula Awards ballot -much to the surprise of both myself and Mr. Ellison, and to that extent: at least, I feel (if I may use the word) vindicated.
~. Barbour's review of A,DV was interesting in many respects - but in general, it was wrong. He has taken Harlan Ellison at face value - and not looked at the subvocal meaning of some of the passages of Harlan's writing.
I refer in particular to his reaction to Harlan's comments about Joanna Russ, 'When It Changed', and women's lib in general. I suggest that ~. Barbour read that introduction again. There are several major fallacies about womens' lib in that intro.
First - that women are somehow more noble than men - and second, that they have more common sense. Hell, man - they're no better and they're no worse. That's what any lib movement is about: that the minority in consideration not be generalized about.
Harlan gives himself away though with his last line of that Joanna Russ introduction. "Besides, she looks better in a bathing suit than your editor ..." With one sentence he has negated everything he has spent paragraphs and pages establishing.
With one sentence he has again reduced Joanne Russ to an object in a bikini to be stared at, rather than appreciated as a human being. That's womens' lib? Hell, that's either hypocrisy, stupidity, or failure to understand the idea in the first place.
My quarrel - no make that quibble - with Harlan is a simple one. The man has all the information upstairs. In his head. That's good - he can make a good argument in favour of all the right things. The trouble isI ~t just hasn't percolated down to his heart and his gut yet. And that includes dangerous visions as well as womens' lib.
* Spec readers will find out more about 'In The Deadlands' next time in a long article which discusses four of David Gerrold's latest SF titles. Meanwhile, returning to Goran Bengtson's remarks on the subject of Robert Silverberg:-
PO Box 850, Norwalk,
AS Brian Stableford's 'Postscript' On Silverberg was the first thing I read in SPEC-32, I'll comment on that, otherwise I wouldn't know where to begin.
The 'Postscript' is certainly more substantial than the eariler piece, which, as one reader notes, was little more than a catalogue. Stableford mentions several literary influences on DYI44G INSIDE. He might have mentioned two more, both important and both alluded to in the novel itself: Samuel Beckett and T.S. Eliot. Beckett's postwar trilogy - especially the middle volume, MALONE DIES - gives Silver~ berg's novel much of its mood and verbal music. To Eliot the book owes its literary montage - its pulling together of many quotes and sources and integrating them.
Graham Boak specks of a flaw in Silver-berg's writings due perhaps to ',some as yet uneradicated hack styling caused by the speed of this work." This is close to the bone. There is more plot, more 'business' in the latter part of DYING INSIDE; some of the pressure of the writing is lifted, its intensity relaxes, and the book suffers. The old necessities of plot and resolution once again asserted themselves over the novels own development.
Silverberg can put together any chance collection of elements and fuse them into a story with the seams scarcely (but only scarcely)showing. That's what a good hack does, that's what we mean by craft, by all those metaphors of carpentry or tailoring, when we speak of hack writing. But Silverberg is becoming an artist, I think; which, incidentally, is one of the pleasures of science fiction - watching; a writer develop from his first forgettable stories to artistry, or close to it.
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