November 10, 2016

M. John Harrison Quotes

“A good ground rule for writing in any genre is, start with a form, then undermine its confidence in itself. Ask what it’s afraid of, what it’s trying to hide – then write that.”

“Every moment of a science fiction story must represent the triumph of writing over world-building.”

“I’ve never been to the Himalayas, and I’m not really interested in them. I’m more interested in a dirty old quarry in Lancashire, and by god, they can be dirty.”

“World-building numbs the reader’s ability to fulfill their part of the bargain because it believes that it has to do everything around here if anything is going to get done. Above all, world-building is not technically necessary. It is the great clomping foot of nerdism. It is the attempt to exhaustively survey a place that isn’t there.”

“Writing’s like gambling. Unpredictable and sporadic successes make you more addicted, not less.”