Sunday, June 6, 2021

Article about Gene Wolfe

Gene Wolfe in 2005.  Creative Commons photo by Cory Doctorow. 

If I may be permitted to link to an article about another writer I like, here is a piece about Gene Wolfe that I had missed, by Brian Phillips, published in The Ringer in 2019. It's interesting even if you aren't particularly as Gene Wolfe fan. 

The story is a good reminder of the value of persistence; as talented as Wolfe was, he struggled for years to break into print:

In 1965 he writes a ghost story called “The Dead Man” and sends it out to magazines. The most prestigious, at the top of his list, is The Atlantic Monthly. The least prestigious, at the bottom, is Sir!, a nudie mag. Sir! buys the story. He gets a check for $80. This is how his professional writing career begins: in his mid-30s, as text filler in a jerkoff magazine. At this point, he’s been sending out work and having it rejected for eight years.

Wolfe and Wilson share one thing in common; they were both edited by the late, great David Hartwell. Hartwell edited and published Cosmic Trigger, Masks of the Illuminati and the three Schroedinger's Cat books. He edited most of Wolfe's books, including the four Book of the New Sun novels. When I interviewed Hartwell (you can read Part One and Part Two,) the interview was interrupted one or two times because Hartwell was fitting me in while he paid attention to Gene Wolfe, who was attending the same convention.

Wolfe died in 2019. He left behind a posthumous novel, Interlibrary Loan, I need to get around to reading it. And you can read the interview with Wolfe I did in 2015. 

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