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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

Classic William Tenn Interview

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Tangent Online Presents:

 

An Interview with William Tenn

 

  Photo by Adina Klass

Interviewers:

Dave Truesdale & Paul McGuire III

Location:

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Event & Date:

Minicon 10

April 18-20, 1975

Part I originally appeared in Tangent No. 3, September, 1975

Part II originally appeared in Tangent No. 4, February, 1976


William Tenn is the pseudonym of Philip Klass (not to be confused with the famous UFO debunker Philip Klass, who died in 2005). Born in London on May 9, 1920, he sold his first story, “Alexander the Bait,” to John W. Campbell, Jr., and saw it published in the May, 1946 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. Many of his short stories are renowned for their wit, satire, and/or incisive social commentary, among them the classic “Child's Play,” “Down Among the Dead Men,” and “The Liberation of Earth.”

Until recently, William Tenn's science fiction could be found in six collections and one novel.


Short Story Collections

 Of All Possible Worlds (1955)

The Human Angle (1956)

Time in Advance (1958)

The Square Root of Man (1968)

The Wooden Star (1968)

The Seven Sexes (1968)

Novel

Of Men and Monsters (1968)

In 2000, NESFA Press issued an omnibus edition of Tenn's work titled Immodest Proposals: The Complete Science Fiction of William Tenn, Volume I, and in 2001, Here Comes Civilization: The Complete Science Fiction of William Tenn, Volume II.

In 2004, NESFA Press issued a non-fiction omnibus of Tenn's articles, essays, and personal observations titled Dancing Naked, the Unexpurgated William Tenn. It was a 2005 nominee for the Hugo Award in the Best Related Book category.

William Tenn was honored as an Author Emeritus at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's Nebula Awards weekend in Pittsburgh in 1999, and was the Guest of Honor at the 2004 World Science Fiction Convention held in Boston.

*

I was twenty-four when I and a couple of my diehard, fellow SF friends and original Tangent staffers made the leap and decided to attend our first real SF convention with Minicon 10, in April of 1975. With a miniscule (but much appreciated) grant from the English department of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, we had started our own mimeographed fanzine a mere few months earlier in February of 1975. The temporary working title we settled on (until we came up with something better, and to my mind, more original) was Tangent. (I never really cared for the name, but it stuck. I was the nominal editor because no one else raised their hand. That stuck, too.) So there we were, young, full of juice, and determined to make this our great adventure. We pooled our meager resources, drove across state from Oshkosh, Wisconsin to Minneapolis and Minicon 10. Again, it was our first real science fiction convention and we had never seen (much less personally met) an SF author; we had not the slightest clue as to what to expect. In those days (I would attend several more) the Minicons were rather large, with attendance in the 1,300-1,800+ range, or thereabouts. The official Guest(s) of Honor, plus those simply drawn to it of their own volition and expense for the sheer networking, professional, and/or personal and long-standing friendship perspectives—made sure there were more science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, editors, and publishers in attendance from all over the country than most attendees—much less I—could have possibly dreamed. (In retrospect, the mid-1970's into the early 1980's was a Golden Age for Minicons. It was a true annual watering hole for pros and fans alike.)

So there I find myself, under the above conditions, at Minicon 10, and it's no stretch to report that nearly everywhere I turned, especially at the nightly parties, that I was literally bumping into some Big Name Pro. In retrospect, that Minicon had the feel of a small worldcon, and I felt more than a little lost at times. I was more than merely a wide-eyed, long-time SF fan lost in paradise. What had I stumbled into? I was unable to sleep most of that weekend for the sheer adrenalin thrill of it all. The fans and authors, without exception, were the friendliest people I had ever met. And the parties—what a wonderful new world I had discovered—SF authors and parties!

Although quite overwhelmed by it all, a number of interviews were lined up which kept me more than busy, and on my toes, the entire weekend. The final interview was to be with William Tenn. It was late-morning on Sunday when Paul McGuire and I knocked on his hotel room door. We were a few minutes late from the scheduled time, and Mr. Tenn was hurriedly packing his suitcase for his departure to the airport. He remarked he was running late himself, graciously dismissing our slight tardiness. Nevertheless—all the while folding shirts, trousers, packing socks and underwear and talking a mile a minute—he gave “the kids,” as you will read, one of the most fascinating and without doubt different interviews I've ever done over the years. Most striking, I think, and this fact never hit me until a few years ago upon a chance rereading, and which just may be unique—a first for an SF interview, or perhaps any interview, I don't know—is that through this roughly 5,000 word interview there is not one mention, or any discussion of, any of William Tenn's short fiction, or novel. Yet this general and wide-ranging discussion of SF on a philosophical, as well as personal level, may, in the long run, give more insight into his fiction than any direct inquiry into any specific story.

I've met Mr. Tenn only once since that interview. I was editor of the SFWA Bulletin at the time and was in Pittsburgh for the 1999 Nebula Awards weekend, where I was to present a plaque to the newest SFWA Grand Master, Hal Clement. Imagine how I felt when I learned that William Tenn was also to be there as SFWA's newest Author Emeritus. I found him in the crowded consuite early on. I introduced myself and reminded him of that long-ago interview he graciously granted the youngster at his first SF convention, and much to my delight he actually remembered. Yes, he really did. It had been twenty-four years (almost a quarter century!) to the very month since that Minicon interview and the only thing that had noticeably changed for both of us was that our hair was a little grayer. Remembering that first meeting, so long ago but still fresh as ever in memory, this time I did not miss the opportunity to have my picture taken standing side by side with him.

I hope you enjoy the following interview. This is the first time it has seen the light of day since its initial publication, thirty-four years ago, and it's high time a new generation of SF readers have the opportunity to discover a bit more of one of the science fiction genres most distinctive iconoclasts—the opinionated, controversial, brilliant, and sometimes eerily prescient, William Tenn. Read his stories at your peril, and delight.

Dave Truesdale


 Part I

 

William Tenn: Now, you ask the questions and I'll do my best to answer them.

Tangent: A new appearance of one of your stories seems to be a rare thing. Why is it that you don't write more than you do?

Tenn: How long do you want this interview to go on? That's a very big question. It has to do with who I am, the complications of my life, and all that sort of thing. So, let me answer that in three or four different ways; I can't tell it all.

One: Since I've been in the university I have found I have much less time to write. I entered the university because I always wanted to teach, and thought I would have more time to write. I find I'm very busy. I'm very much in university affairs and teaching. I'm very committed. And also in the future of the university. So, that's one thing.

Second: I'm also more interested in scholarship, especially science fiction scholarship. Also, what might be called criticism of my world. For example, I've just written a long book called The Stranger in Academe, that began as an article in the Sunday Times Magazine. It is an examination of the university world—the habits of the natives. Tongue-in-cheek, moderately sardonic, in which I've already used many of the kinds of things used in science fiction known as the satiric or humorous approach. But it's not fiction. In addition, I've been writing, over the years, a good deal of stuff outside science fiction—non-fiction, which excites me much more than fiction. Non-fiction is where it's at, experimentally. I came to Penn State to teach fiction courses but I've persuaded them—I've created things like article courses and advanced non-fiction workshops. I'm very much interested in all the experimentation that's being done.

Finally: I have been working off and on on a major work which is a naturalistic novel, and is not science fiction in any way. A very substantial, insane piece of work which has been killing me over many years. And I hope to finish it shortly. But it happens to be about science fiction. It's not science fiction, but it's about it. It has a lot to do with science fiction. I wanted to express many of the things that are relevant to science fiction, that are relevant to myself, that scare the living hell out of me. But, now, we come to the last point—

I don't like science fiction. By that I mean I don't like the world. I have many dear friends in it—many—and far too many people I can't stand. There are too many who have qualities, in terms of their writing, in terms of their personal life, that have cost me very dearly. These people are capable of making me stop writing. In terms of their attitude toward life in general. Among other things, since the early 1960s when SFWA was founded. I stayed out of it until last year, when various people started twisting my arm and made me join. But I've been a holdout until last year.

Tangent: Why?

Tenn: Among the many reasons is that people have used SFWA to make money for themselves. Kind of what I call “literary racketeering.” They use it to develop a kind of critical approach which is very little-magazineish, and this has come into science fiction recently. The look of the literary magazine; it's a bad form, I firmly believe. I don't like it. Therefore, I don't like the kind of writing that is being admired to a very great extent, the kind of critical approaches that are being used with other fields. I don't like various people that dominate the field—in all kinds of ways. Various personalities...

Tangent: Not just per se, because of who they are, but what they are doing?

Tenn: Yes. Well, all these things together. It's complicated. Basically, you might also say, well, I've been damaged seriously by these dominating groups in recent years. There was a period of time when my stuff was anthologized regularly, was criticized regularly, discussed, and many times negatively. The period of time when Tony Boucher was the outstanding critic in the field was the time when I found it dreadfully exciting to work. Early to about the late '50's. Tony was the man with whom I disagreed as violently as anybody else. I admired the living goddamn hell out of him, and I admired his taste in general. And even though he was very frequently utterly baffled by my stuff, he always knew when it was good and he would sometimes say to me—God bless him—unlike Campbell, unlike Gold, who tried to hammer me into their image, he would sometimes say to me, “I don't know what you're doing but you're pointing somewhere, and I don't like where you're pointing, but it's very efficient, probably important.”

I'm a mystic. A very rational Jewish orthodox atheist mystic. So, when he died, when various literateurs took over, when various people who knew little of literature took over, the various “swingers” came into the field—

Tangent: Like who?

Tenn: Are you going to print this next? I don't want to get sued.

[Editor's note: after about five minutes of names, we continue—]

But anyway, a lot of the people I mean came up out of organized fandom, and no reflection on you—I didn't. But they knew each other, and fandom represents something terribly erotic to them. And I got caught in these buzzsaws. Some, like Cyril Kornbluth as well as others, used to have talks with me about how I should stay away from it. And of course he was only fourteen years old when the others were eighteen, twenty, but he was very sophisticated. When I met him, years later, just before he died, he took me out for a long walk and he told me to get the hell out. He told me that they'd chew me alive, you can't survive with them.

I can't go into all the complications, but very negative personal reactions have kept me from SFWA. Why should I lie? Even the great editors in the field, Campbell, who discovered me and picked me up out of the slush pile, was a man I looked forward to meeting. I trembled. I trembled at the thought of meeting John W. Campbell, Jr., who was my intellectual father. After he had bought a story from me he asked to have lunch with me. I had lunch with the man, a man as fully intelligent as I expected, but emotionally very shallow. Horace Gold, who was so emotionally complex that he talked people to pieces, was determined to remake me in his own image. I had to run from Horace. Tony, as I said, was the only one who didn't quarrel with my soul. And just about the time I was about to make a full rendezvous with Tony, bang, he died. So, there are some of the reasons.

But there's some more. There's something wrong with science fiction as it developed in this country. And I don't know why. There's something peculiarly shallow, peculiarly tied to the pulps. There's something wrong with science fiction in this country. When science fiction writers—dear friends of mine—came to Penn State for a scholarly convention, well, a third of them were all right. But two-thirds of the writers—some of them dear friends of mine—stood up in front of these scholars and said, “You know, we're really good, we're writing serious stuff, it's really literature—” Now, why the fuck do they think these fellows had assembled to listen to them? They had this incredibly shrill quality, this incredibly defensive ghettoist quality, and so forth. I find myself in difficulties over this.

Whereas on the one hand I believe that science fiction is the new form, and is the evolving new form of literature, peculiarly modern, and is as significant as the novel was when it developed in the eighteenth century—at the same time I can't evade the idiocies and the bad writing in it, the cliqueishness, the cultishness, the repetition of games in it, which don't really belong in an adult form.

Tangent: Do you think the good in science fiction outweighs the bad?

Tenn: Hmm. I don't know. I'm sorry, you threw me with that one. I don't know. I think so. Okay, okay. Let me say something more about why I haven't written much science fiction. I think it's a highly restricted form. There is something wrong with it that I'm having great difficulties to understand. But let me put it this way: First of all, I tried to walk out of it five times. And each time something happened and I was back in it. I published my first story in 1946. By 1950 I wanted out, I'd had enough. It was over; no more. I wanted to get out of the field completely. And then there was the McCarthy period, about that time, and the only place I could write stories about social pressures—I wanted to examine them—was in science fiction. The last time I tried to get out was when I went into the university. I closed the door on it. I had a half-dozen stories lying around in my files and I didn't want to send them anywhere. I don't want to get caught up in that nonsense again. I'm including some of this novel I'm writing. Well, anyway, I tried to get out of it then, but I got caught up in the scholarship end of it, and I'm very much interested in it; so I'm being pulled back in.

As a matter of fact, I even knocked out a science fiction story last night, with this pen and pad. And I don't really like it. But let me get back to the point: it's a restricted form. It's a restricted form and I can't understand why. But let me put it to you in terms of a paradox, which is true. Now, I have four hundred theories and most of them are heavily weighted with bullshit. But this one I feel is almost exactly true. The trouble with science fiction is that you can write about everything—time, space, all the future, all the past, all of the universe, any kind of creature imaginable. That's too big. It provides no focus for the artist. An artist needs, in order to function, some narrowing of focus. Usually, in the history of art, the narrower the focus in which the artist is forced to work, the greater the art. Give talented artists this limitation and they produce.

Tangent: Wasn't that what Campbell did, with his stricter requirements?

Tenn: That's what Campbell did, and to some extent that's why Campbell—that's why the field bloomed under him—because there was a focus to it. But still, that was an intellectual explosion. An intellectual narrowing. I'm talking here about a total narrowing of focus, with restrictions on the artist. I have come to believe that the artist needs restrictions in which to work. Not for the sake of restrictions, but to provide focus. To put it another way: because the artist needs to work within a tradition, which is another thing science fiction had in the Campbell days. We all knew John, and everybody was reading everybody's stuff. And I came into a later period, the '40's. But it was an exciting thing. But you need more than that. You need a tradition in terms of my father, and my father's father, so to speak. You need This is how we work, this is where we've come from, this is how our tradition has developed.

Tangent: Can't the artist limit, discipline himself to narrow the focus?

Tenn: No. I don't know why, but...it doesn't work out that way. Nothing artificial ever works. It's something you have to recognize as being real. You must accept it in order for it to work. I don't fully understand this. I don't want to go on with it because I'm just giving you the briefest statement here.

But...the very largeness, the looseness, all of that in science fiction is one of its most damaging, difficult characteristics, I have come to believe. And I'm a guy who's highly defensive when anyone tries to restrict me, and tells me what I can write about and what I can't.

Nonetheless, there are some restrictions that can destroy. Look at the socialist-realism in the Soviet Union. Highly restricted, highly focused, and they produce nothing.

Tangent: That's an argument against what you've been saying, isn't it?

Tenn: True, true. Sure. But, well, I can say this: the socialist-realism doesn't have a tradition, and the socialists don't have patrons around who care, and you need that.

Tangent: Couldn't you view science fiction as going through a transitional stage, where things will, in time, become defined, more focused, with trends and traditions established?

Tenn: Well, it could. I keep looking for it and it never happens. What happens is that it narrows outside of the things that make it science fiction. It becomes—and I'm using terms very loosely here—it becomes cutesy, artsy, little magazineish, it becomes cultish, it goes back to fantasy. It moves away from the quality that is science fiction, I firmly believe. And that is, a form which is fundamentally derived from the scientific and industrial revolutions, and the kind of thought that has come out since then. But...the other answer to your question is that I'm not sure that it can. I think that by the very nature of the beast science fiction can't really develop focus.

Tangent: You've kind of thrown us a little here with some of your answers. We frankly had no idea it was going to turn out like this. Very interesting indeed. You have very different viewpoints than most we have talked with.

Tenn: I've always been a rag monkey, intellectually. I've always walked to the sound of a different drum, and every time I'm alone with a group of people I make trouble for myself. Once I was a young Marxist, and now I'm a very filthy reactionary. But anyway, I know that many people in science fiction don't agree with me, and they haven't.

Tangent: How do you teach your own science fiction classes?

Tenn: Well, first of all, I find that the best students in my science fiction courses are usually not English majors. My best students are those who major in other areas. They are the people who will read for pleasure. They are the readers.

So, I tell them that science fiction is a new literary form, struggling, aborning, with lots of vulgarity in it, but that's always got to be in a new form. Elizabethan drama had a tremendous amount of it. So, how do I teach my science fiction courses? Very simply. I teach several prediction courses and several futurology courses, as well as writing courses. I teach science fiction from the historical viewpoint. In the course of it I examine the various things that are coming, that affect it at different times. I teach a work of science fiction from everything I know, not just the work in itself. Its time, its place, its connection. Above all, the social connections. After all, that's what science fiction is. I teach it as a historical phenomenon.

End Part I


 

 


Part II

Tangent: We happened to overhear a remark you made to Cliff Simak last night while talking with him in the Del Rey's bathroom. It had to do with young writers being inexperienced and not knowing what to do about it. Could you explain that?

Tenn: That's very complicated. It has to do with a larger conversation we were having, and by the time it got to the bathroom, well—it doesn't have anything to do with what you're talking about—it's about something I've observed in writers; young people, too. It's a terrifying thing, difficult to understand. There is absolutely no substitute for having lived a certain period of time and having been seasoned. Now, some people can live a very long time and never grow up at all. Cliff Simak has a very child-like mind, not childish but child-like. He speaks with an honesty and clarity of a twelve-year-old, if you would, or something like that. He is a terribly experienced man, and he has grown and deepened. And there are times when communication absolutely breaks down, and it's my job as a teacher not to let it break down. You cannot communicate certain things to young people because certain things are on the order of experience. For example, everything is corrupt. Another example is that because everything is corrupt doesn't mean that idealism is impossible. Learning that you can't expect too much out of anybody—anywhere—because everybody falters. And knowing all of the complexities and living with it and being tolerant.

Tangent: What do you think of the women's movements of today? In and out of the university?

Tenn: Take Women's Studies for example. They published an editorial on me and referred to me as the most endearing chauvinist pig on campus. It seems I'm always saying something that turns their blood into stones. I've been a feminist for years, however. I've been fighting for women's rights ever since I was fifteen years old, and I've been involved with various radical groups specifically on this basis. But one thing I can't stand is insanity. When it comes to anything having to do with jobs, opportunity, with pay, with any of these things, then by god right down the line I'm for it, and so on. When it has to do with what I called—when I had an argument with Heinlein, a very bitter argument back in 1962—the contract between the sexes, I told him I believed he was wrong for the long term but right for the short term. I told him I believed the contract between the sexes, written in the fine print, was written in our glands, and no matter what variations—and we can make many variations and we constantly enlarge in all kinds of ways—we always come back to the basic dance. Because do you know what we are? It's a tragedy: Neolithic savages riding around in jets. We became what we were somewhere in the Neolithic. And there is a long period of evolution before that...and we don't seem ever to get away from that. I've never seen Man getting away from the form that began in the Neolithic. It will take perhaps another, ten, twenty, another fifty thousand years for him to even scratch that. And one of the most important areas that has to do with sexual attitudes is how Man and his family have organized sexual attitudes. And you'll find that here's an exception, there's an exception, but overall, certain fundamental contracts between men and women have been made. And these are things I find hard to communicate, and when I say some of these things to feminists and women's libbers they always come back with, “But, cannot Man change? Isn't it a matter of brainwashing?” And I tell them what they call “brainwashing” is nothing but acculture, without which, we wouldn't even be human. It all goes way back.

Still, we have Neolithic Man riding around in jets, but instead of calling them hunting parties we call them “departments,” which are, like hunting parties, organized under their chairman. And the reason women have a hard time in academe is that they don't know how to function in hunting parties. Boys get practice in boys' gangs at an early age, and all this ties together: boys' gangs, hunting parties, corporations—I don't quite understand this. Which is not to say that women don't belong, it just means that everybody seems to want, as Raymond Garth said to Leakey about the question, that he was horrified to find that Man was basically a warlike animal, his civilization had been created out of war. And Audrey said to him, at a time when we've just come through a second world holocaust, when millions of people have been gassed and turned into soap, when this atomic bomb has just been dropped on Japan, and we're just making the first attempt at a world peace organization, how can you be so horrified? We've tried everything in our quest for peace, it's time we started with the truth for once, instead of, as all utopians do, visualizing Man as honorable, as a fallen angel really—and this is not his line, it's mine—I'm not visualizing him as a risen anything, only somebody who's doing well for what he is. And the same thing holds true for sexual attitudes. How about if we start by recognizing the difficulties that women do have? Certain fundamental difficulties they seem to have in context with what men have? Work from there, and then try to recognize that these Neolithic savages needed special rules if they were to work at all.

That's where I am.

But, in any case...goddamnit, I don't want to run off on this because that's not what you asked me, but I've led a full life. I happened to finally marry a very good friend. The worst thing in the world is to marry an enemy, an attractive enemy.

But, let me say this, and I try to tell this to my students: sex does not mean the same thing to a woman as it does to a man. And this is a terrifying thing, a ridiculous thing to have to state, but it's so. Sex and love are fundamentally different. There's a close similarity, there's a point where they touch, but what a love life is to a woman, what loving is to a woman, is not the same as it is for a man. And vice versa. Now, by that I don't mean the full extent of what it means for a man but, it is as if Nature has designed these two creatures with two really different, separate gestalts, and if these gestalts should occasionally carom off one another, bing-bang, and produce the next generation, then Nature doesn't give a goddamn if they're miserable together. But we make a dreadful mistake when we try to speak of persons, because there are men...and there are women. And they are distinct.

Tangent: We just feel guilty about keeping you any longer.

Tenn: Thank you for that. Thank you. Go ahead, ask me anything.

Editor's note: Before we could ask another question he continued with—

But, just let me say this. Science fiction began out of the industrial and scientific revolutions when men's eyes turned away from the past, as I said in this panel the other day, when Man's eyes turned away from the Golden Age. When the concept of progress began—well, not only progress—but the concept of special power. As in 1984, as in Brave New World. And...Man began to be aware that he was not just a person, not just an animal, but he was a social animal. And then he began to worry about his societies, and the awareness of society, and the difference between societies. Look at Connecticut Yankee; first because it studied time travel, but second because Connecticut Yankee was the first novel anywhere to deal with the clash between two different societies.

And this happened. And science fiction deals with all of these things. The other things that are in science fiction are lovely, but they belong in other kinds of writing. These are the emphases in there. I don't care whether it's hard science, soft science, bullshit science, physics, metaphysics, or aesthetics, it's a disciplined kind of knowledge, and an attempt to understand the world on the basis of fiction. So, these are the things that interest me, the things I care about. The things that excite the hell out of me. And I think that most people in science fiction don't understand it. There seems to be, on one hand, those who want their machines explained, and a blueprint before we get on with the actual story, and on the other hand there are many who say—many of whom are my dear friends—let it be just as diffuse as possible, just so we're kicking off into the unknown. And there are stories in between, which is peculiar to this form. And this...this is what I've spent a large part of my life—which I hate—but is me, which has got to be me, because I'm a modern man. And because I belong to the modern world.

And these are the things now that I'm living my creative life trying to define, and trying to understand in various ways.

So, that's the first thing I wanted to say, and if you're interested here is the second—

Tangent: (An affirmative nodding of little heads)

Tenn: I think we live in the freest goddamn time in the history of Man. Insanely free time. There are freedoms now that I never thought would have been available. Just the kind of language I can use, and I wish—the things I could write about. And this—of all the criticisms of our society—so far as I am concerned, is the ultimate freedom to date. We are the only society who is examining itself in an open way, who is constantly trying to improve itself. I feel very strongly about America, about this country, but the point I am making does not relate directly to science fiction, but in a way it does. I think back to when Man developed such freedoms, and it seems he just can't stand them. And they've got to be ditched. And they'll probably be ditched in your lifetimes. I think the pendulum swings, and in very few and very short periods of history has Man been free.

Tangent: Maybe we'll get used to freedom this time.

Tenn: You might get used to it, but listen: you find you get used to it, but what the hell do you think it was like when the Germans said No More War!? Man has been through the first World War, and has built a social democratic republic. Those older people especially, to whom their children said, in the Thirties, “You're so old-fashioned, you don't believe in war. War is the natural state of Man—”, to them their parents said, “You'll get adjusted to it.” And I don't know how or exactly when, but you kids won't spend the last part of your lives in as much freedom as you had, or have, right now.

All I know is that Man, does not be able to stand, for longer than a short period of time—he does not be able to stand freedom. And this relates to science fiction. Science fiction could only really develop in a highly socially mobile society. The industrial revolution after all... Who were the people in the industrial revolution? The goddamn engineers. These people smashed the class structure. They really smashed it. The class structure that has been with Man since the beginning of time. And now we're coming back to a class structure, we're developing a mandarin society. So, science fiction is a literature involving this crazy freedom. And just as I feel that the artist can't work without restrictions, I feel that Man can't stand the freedoms: political, social, and sexual freedoms we have today. We don't want sexual freedom.

In the last analysis people do want some restrictions. And I've seen it happen again and again, and that's my prediction.

In time, science fiction will be shoved out of the way. It can only flourish in a free society. I think Man is very, very tired—all over the world—of a free society. End of peroration.

End

Copyright © 1975, 1976, 2009 Dave Truesdale

All rights reserved.