I don’t know if I ever mentioned this here before, but I edit the newsletter for the Garden State Speculative Fiction Writers. I like it, because it gives me a chance to conduct interviews with some really cool people. Here’ s one I did that for the most recent issue, reprinted with permission of … well … me, I guess, since I’m the editor. Enjoy.
When I was a kid, I was a subscriber to and avid reader of “Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine.” So I was thrilled when I saw a stack of back issues at a recent book event. I was even more thrilled when it turned out that the guy selling them — in addition to the many fine books he’s authored — was Darrell Schweitzer, one of the people involved in putting out the magazine back in the day.
Darrell was an editorial assistant with Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine from 1977 to 1982. He went on to serve as editorial assistant with “Amazing Stories,” and as the editor of “Weird Tales.” He won a World Fantasy Award for his work with Weird Tales.
Darrell has written three novels, more than 300 short stories, and a number of nonfiction and poetry books. He’s edited numerous anthologies.
He agreed to answer some questions for our newsletter, so here goes. (Note: I think we had a bit of a semantic mix-up. Darrell apparently interpreted “speculative fiction” as a synonym for “science fiction.” I understood it as more of a blanket term encompassing science fiction, fantasy and horror. Since Darrell was responding to e-mailed questions, I couldn’t really straighten it out in the course of conversation. No biggie.)
Q: First of all, I’m really enjoying “Echoes of the Goddess,” because the tone of the stories takes me back to the late 1970s and early 1980s when I was a kid watching the mail for my issue of “Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine.” I realize, of course, that there were a lot of different writers with distinct visions and voices. But do you think there was any kind of a prevailing quality that characterized the speculative fiction of that era?
A: I think what makes you associate ECHOES with the 1970s and ‘80s is the Fabian art. The book very much has the LOOK of that period. The stories, which are fantasy, and not really “speculative” unless you believe the theology, harken back, I think, to a much earlier era. You can see a lot of Dunsany, Clark Ashton Smith, and Jack Vance (THE DYING EARTH) in these. (more…)