My first thought was always a cigarette. It still is, but I haven't cheated.
That's the method: restructure the world we live in in some way, then see what happens.
Stephen Hawking said he spent most of his first couple of years at Cambridge reading science fiction (and I believe that, because his grades weren't all that great).
You look at the world around you, and you take it apart into all its components. Then you take some of those components, throw them away, and plug in different ones, start it up and see what happens.
The science fiction method is dissection and reconstruction.
I'm doing a book, 'Chasing Science,' about the pleasures of science as a spectator sport.
In terms of stories I would buy for a science fiction magazine, if they take place in the future, that might do it.
It's clear that science and science fiction have overlapping populations.
The big new development in my life is, when I turned 80, I decided I no longer have to do four pages a day. For me, it's like retiring.
The head of Fermilab was reading Astonishing Stories when he was ten.
I did that for 40 years or more. I never had any writer's block. I got up in the morning, sat down at the typewriter - now, computer - lit up a cigarette.
If you don't care about science enough to be interested in it on its own, you shouldn't try to write hard science fiction. You can write like Ray Bradbury and Harlan Ellison as much as you want.
I was thinking of writing a little foreword saying that history is, after all, based on people's recollections, which change with time.
A lot of the cosmologists and astrophysicists clearly had been reading science fiction.
I'm pretty catholic about what constitutes science fiction.
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