Une interview de Vonda N. McIntyre


Vonda N. McIntyre, l'auteur de La Lune et le roi-soleil, La Promise et de plusieurs romans dans l'univers de Star Trek est en interview ici.

Elle revient sur son livre Superluminal :
Sue Lange: The title, Superluminal. Practically all of science fiction concerns faster-than-light travel, so why does your book get this audacious title?
Vonda N. McIntyre: I have no idea why nobody used the title before I did. You're right, it would be an obvious choice for half the sf novels in the known universe.

Strangely enough, I wasn't going to call it Superluminal. I was going to call it Aztecs, as it's based on my novella "Aztecs." But not too long before it was published, a very successful book came out called Aztec, by Gary Jennings, a much more well-known writer than I was or am. His novel was in fact about Aztecs, unlike mine, which was about people called "Aztecs" by people who didn't know any better.

SL: That was an interesting slur in the book. Laenea was not too fond of being called an Aztec. Tell us why the pilots were called "Aztecs."
VNM: Suffice it to say the book begins, "She gave up her heart quite willingly..."

SL: So how did this book end up being Superluminal?
VNM: I had come across the word "superluminal" in one of Julian May's novels -- I don't think I'd run across it before -- and she was cool with my using it for a title, so I did.

In an interesting coincidence, a similar thing happened with Dreamsnake. I was going to call it Snake, but a lot of people are phobic about snakes so Houghton Mifflin was sufficiently nervous about the title that they wanted me to change it. Recruiting the help of friends, I offered sixty million lousy titles (I'm not very good with titles) and one good one (Dreamsnake).

But nobody at HM liked any of them, and Dreamsnake was considered too snakely, and a mystery came out called Snake (also by a much more well-known writer than I was or am), so though HM could no longer say that a book called Snake couldn't be published, they didn't want me to call it Snake because of the possibility of confusion between a mystery novel set in South Africa and a science fiction novel set on post-Apocalyptic Earth. Go figger.

And they still thought Dreamsnake would cause snake-phobic people not to buy it, which, it seemed to me, would be kind of a good thing. Who would want to sell Dreamsnake to anybody who was phobic about snakes? But the suits didn't see it that way.

So finally I wrote my editor (who I adored, and who had been doing her best to ride interference for me at the publisher) in despair and said something on the order of, "I can't think of another title. Ursula Le Guin thinks it ought to be called Dreamsnake."

And everybody shut up like a box and lo! the title was Dreamsnake.
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