interview with Junot Diaz, nice mention of Delany
- Hi guys, I was reading this (well worth your time):
There's a nice mention it in of Delany, and his influence on Diaz. Made me
laugh with the Shaolin Temple reference and all. --Z
*Wired:* Speaking of writers of color, I saw you say that one of your
ambitions was to be a Dominican Samuel R.
or Octavia E. Butler <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octavia_E._Butler>.
*D�az:* Did I actually say that? That�s so deranged! I think that was one
of my younger ambitions. Sort of like when you used to have a dream about
going to Shaolin Temple <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaolin_Monastery>.
Me trying to be Octavia Butler or Samuel R. Delany really is like the
40-year-old guy wistfully thinking about how if only he had run away when
he was 14 and gone on a tramp steamer off to Hong Kong, and from there
slipped across the border into the new territories and gone up to Shaolin
Temple and practiced his wushu<http://en.wikipedia.org/Chinese_martial_arts>,
my god, if only I�d done that I�d be already the absolute master killer.
Let me tell you something, that tramp steamer has sailed and gone, my
friend. I�ll be lucky if I can write another two books before I�m in the
These writers are absolutely remarkable and important. The depth of their
metaphors � you know, when you think about what science fiction does best,
whether we�re talking about
of the novum <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novum>, or all the different
ways that people approach the central force of science fiction, these
metaphors that allow us to address sectors or areas of our reality that
aren�t being addressed, that aren�t being openly discussed, that are
cloaked in silence or taboo. I look at both of them and I think that they
have done wonderful jobs of exploring our realities, and exploring our
anxieties, and dreaming of futures in a way that allow us to better see our
present. They�re absolutely indispensable, and they�ve certainly given me a
vocabulary of ways to think about my present and my future as a person of
African diasporic descent, and just as a person living in the U.S. I said
that I�m working on a book right now that�s an apocalyptic, giant-monster,
zombie-virus invasion story that might not ever come together, but if
there�s anything that�s useful and good about that, I certainly would love
to put that at the feet of these two writers.
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