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From: =?iso-8859-1?q?Nicholas=20Gevers?= <vermoulian@yahoo.com>
Subject: (urth) Swanwick on Wolfe
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 1999 11:25:01 

In the course of an interview I've been conducting
with him, Michael Swanwick has some interesting things
to say about Wolfe:
1) "he is, I honestly believe, the finest writer in
the English language alive today."
2) On how 5HC helped inspire Swanwick's Nebula-winning
MS: "It would be hard to exaggerate the impact THE
FIFTH HEAD OF CERBERUS, and particularly the title
novella, had on me when I first read it. Not just the
extraordinary beauty of the prose but the wit and
economy of Wolfe's solutions to any number of
technical problems. If I didn't know Gene was an
engineer, I think I'd be able to guess from that work.
It has the same lean elegance that really first-rate
engineering has.

"So there's definitely a debt. As I was writing, in
fact, I thought of the bureaucrat [the novel's
protagonist] as looking like Gene Wolfe. Gardner
Dozois once compared Gene to Dashiell Hammett's
Continental Op, a man so ordinary-looking that if you
looked away for an instant he could disappear into a
crowd without a trace. I wanted that sense of someone
who's unremarkable superficially and yet, inside, he's
... Gene Wolfe!"


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