Over the years, I've trained myself to speak using the same language I would use if I were typing: meaning using full sentences in the way that paragraphs and scenes are arranged.
I think that somebody with the resources and innovation and the idea is going to come out of nowhere and come up with a successful space travel program.
I always had this non-stop drive. I had to keep sending stories out and every once in awhile I'd get something accepted or get the little trickle of positive feedback.
I'm talking to you and it's basically a direct communication, whereas if I'm writing a letter to you and you read the letter, there are like 12 extra deconstruction and reconstruction steps in the communication.
My dad is a bank president and my mom was an accountant and they didn't think that seeking the life of a freelance writer was very practical, you see. Of course, I was just as determined to do it.
I mean, I wasn't stupid. I knew we'd make money and sell a lot of Dune books.
If you had an alien race that looked like insects, then they would build robots to look like themselves, not to look like people.
I did several interesting jobs, working in restaurants, I worked at a lab rat farm, feeding and watering all these rats. Then I got a full-time job as a technical writer for a large scientific research laboratory.
I wanted the feel in these books to be like an epic fantasy, with kings, queens, dukes and court politics, but of course like what I was explaining before, about making the science make sense, you have to make the politics make sense, too.
Do you want Columbus to go across the ocean, or do you want to put a message in a bottle and hope that it lands somewhere? I'd rather have actual people be there. Whether they look like Americans or like the inhabitants of some other country, depends on who has the most drive.
I got to spend all of my time every day at work reading and editing papers about cutting-edge technical research and getting paid for it. Then I'd go home at night and turn what I learned into science fiction stories.
Dune is the bestselling science fiction book of all time. It's something you really need to read in your lifetime. If you're going to read The Lord of the Rings, which everyone should, then you have to read Dune, too.
Wouldn't you like to have an augmented memory chip that you could plug into your head so you don't have to look everything up and remember everything?
In a certain sense, this guy - who is one of the most evil people in the book - he's not really that bad at running the show, because he knows what he's doing, he's smart and he's got the big picture in mind. He's like the Godfather.
We sat around on a hotel balcony with a bottle of wine and tried to figure out how you would go about blowing up a planet. That's the kind of conversations science fiction writers have when they get together. We don't talk about football or anything like that.
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