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Voices of Vision: Creators of Science Fiction and Fantasy Speak

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As the world around us becomes more fantastic, and science itself more surreal, the realms of science fiction and fantasy become correspondingly both more bizarre and more relevant. Voices of Vision offers a rare look into the inner workings of this realm and into the very thoughts and methods of those who make it tick: editors and writers of science fiction and fantasy, and creators of comic books and graphic novels. In wide-ranging interviews that are by turns intimate and thought provoking, irreverent and outrageous, Jayme Lynn Blaschke talks shop with some of the most interesting voices in these genres as well as the people behind them, such as current Science Fiction Weekly and former Science Fiction Age editor Scott Edelman. A host of authors talk to Blaschke about what it’s like to do what they do, how they work and how they started, and where they think the genre is headed. Blaschke talks to writers such as Robin Hobb, Charles de Lint, Patricia Anthony, and Elizabeth Moon; revered authors of comic books and graphic novels, including Neil Gaiman and Brad Meltzer; and icons such as Samuel R. Delany, Gene Wolfe, Harlan Ellison, and Jack Williamson. Editors such as Gardner Dozois, editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine, discuss their publishing philosophies and strategies, the origins and probable directions of their magazines, and the broader influence of such ventures. For devoted reader, aspiring writer, and curious onlooker alike, these interviews open a largely hidden, endlessly engrossing world.

198 pages, Paperback

First published April 1, 2005

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About the author

Jayme Lynn Blaschke

13 books20 followers
Jayme Lynn Blaschke is the author of Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse, coming August 1, 2016 from the History Press.

His fiction has appeared in Interzone, Fast Ships, Black Sails and Cross Plains Universe, among other places. He's the former fiction editor of RevolutionSF, and former media director for Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. A collected volume of his SF-themed interviews, Voices of Vision: Creators of Science Fiction and Fantasy Speak, is available from the University of Nebraska Press. Blaschke lives in New Braunfels, Texas.

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Displaying 1 - 2 of 2 reviews
Profile Image for Rick.
Author 7 books50 followers
October 22, 2007
Bison Books, an imprint of the University of Nebraska Press, is best known for reprinting lost or obscure science fiction and fantasy classics in their Frontiers of Imagination series. Their catalog includes long out of print works such as Gulliver of Mars by Edwin L. Arnold, Beyond Thirty by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Gladiator by Philip Wylie, The War in the Air by H. G. Wells and more. The books all feature introductions and/or afterwards by contemporary fantastical writers often with poor design and amateurish cover art.

Jayme Lynn Blaschke's Voices of Vision is an unusual addition to this line. Not only is this collection of Blaschke's interviews with contemporary science fiction and comic book professionals produced and marketed in of a line of fiction titles, but the design is above Bison's usual standards and while the cover image is disturbing and possibly inappropriate, it is well executed.

The book is divided into four sections: Vaster Than Empires, And More Slow: The Editors; A Source of Innocent Merriment: The Unique Voices in Speculative Fiction; World's Finest Comics: The Comic Book Creators; and I Am Legend: Masters of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Subjects include Gardner Dozois, Stanley Schmidt, Gordon Van Gelder, Robin Hobb (Megan Lindholm), Charles de Lint, Elizabeth Moon, Neil Gaiman, Samuel R. Delany, Gene Wolfe, Harlan Ellison, Jack Williamson, and others. The interviews run from seven to ten pages and originally appeared in a variety of publications including Interzone, The Science Fiction Chronicle, Black Gate, Sf Site, and Green Man Review.

Each interview is preceded by a brief introduction from Blaschke. The interviews often have unique quirks and associated stories associated. In these pieces Blaschke, laments the inherent problems with email interviews, mentions his love of the comic book character Green Arrow, and chronicles Harlan Ellison's generosity. His forewords offer a glimpse into the role of an interviewer in relation to the subject and eventual publication.

The single biggest flaw in Voices of Vision is the lack of a general introduction that would create a cohesiveness to the individual segments of the book. Who is Jayme Lynn Blaschke and why does he get access to all these cool people? The answers become apparent in his brief introductions before each piece, but an overall essay discussing these points would have been nice. Also, if Blaschke knows all these famous/talented people, why couldn't the publisher or writer find someone else to pen an introductory essay?

The other problem is with the interviews themselves. The quality of the interviews is uniformally excellent. Blaschke asks intelligent questions and receives interesting answers, which are edited nicely for maximum impact while keeping the distinct personality of the speaker. The flaw is in the timing of the interview. Some of these were conducted over a decade ago, so elements of the information discussed has changed. For example, Gardner Dozois said in his 1997 interview: “I'll stay [at Isaac Asimov's Magazine] as long as they want me.” He resigned as editor In 2004. There are little things like that throughout. The original interviews should stand unchanged as historical artifacts, but a brief essay after each interview or perhaps updating some facts would have been appreciated.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
119 reviews2 followers
February 2, 2009
An interesting look at the genre of Science Fiction from the perspective of editors and writers. It's a little odd, but also eye opening.
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2 reviews

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