Une interview d'Arthur C.Clarke


Le site scifi.com a exhumé une interview d'Arthur C.Clarke. Elle date de 2001 et est inédite.

Tout est ici

Il y parle de quelques personnalités de la SF comme Asimov ou Hugo Gernsback

You're referring, of course, to the famous Clarke-Asimov Treaty, about which Isaac has written in I. Asimov, A Memoir, Doubleday, 1994: "We came to an agreement many years ago in a taxi which, at the time, was moving south on Park Avenue, so it is called the Treaty of Park Avenue. By it, I have agreed to maintain, on questioning, that Arthur is the best science fiction writer in the world, though I am allowed to say, if questioned assiduously, that I am breathing down his neck as we run. In return, Arthur has agreed to insist, forever, that I am the best science writer in the world. He must say it, whether he believes it or not."

Clarke: We always needled each other. Some people probably thought it was for real, but I don't think either of us had the slightest jealousy of the other's success. We only pretended to.

Continuing through my list of names, another writer I admire greatly was John Brunner, who I think was perhaps the most brilliant of all the British science-fiction writers, and never achieved the success he should have done. He died at a tragically early age, of a heart attack at the World Science Fiction Convention in Glasgow, 1995.


Clarke: Moving on. Hugo Gernsback. How could I have forgotten him? I think we only met once. Dinner somewhere. Of course, he's rather a controversial character. His reluctance to pay his authors may have been involuntary, but he certainly had a tremendous impact on the field. The Hugo Award is justly named after him. We did have one comic encounter some years later. He wrote, chastising me for saying that the Orbital Post Office had been invented by me. He claimed to have thought of it first. I was able to reply that it had appeared (1) before he'd said he invented it, in a book of mine, which (2) was dedicated to him! I had a very amusing, contrite reply.

Ian and Betty Ballantine, of course, had a great influence on me. They accepted my early novels, and I was happy to get a Christmas card from Betty only the other day. (Just phoned 80th b'day greetings!) Their impact on the science fiction field was enormous, matched only perhaps by that of Judy-Lynn del Rey and her husband Lester del Rey. There's a photograph, I believe in Locus, of my then agent, the late Scott Meredith and Judy, who came down to Washington to sign the contract for my next two novels. I think they were 2010: Odyssey Two and The Songs of Distant Earth. When Judy passed me the advances of one dollar and ten cents, I passed the ten cents and one penny on to Scott for his commission. Incidentally, I think I can claim to have received the lowest rate of payment any author has or had or will receive [laughs], for a one-page story that Frederik Pohl published under the title, "A Recursion In Metastories," in the October 1966 Galaxy magazine. My title had been "The Longest Science-Fiction Story Ever Told." Fred wrote in his editorial note, "Clever of us to get it on a single page!" It contains an infinite number of words.
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