Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Talking with Barry Malzberg

with 2 comments

In the course of researching my book Astounding, I got to know the author Barry N. Malzberg, who by any estimation has had one of the most singular careers in all of science fiction. Over the course of three sessions in July 2019, I interviewed Barry about his life and work in a conversation that ended up lasting close to two hours, which I’ve finally put online. We spoke about his influences and early career; his time at the Scott Meredith Literary Agency; the rise and fall of the softcore erotica market; his friendships with Dean Koontz and Bill Pronzini; his brief stint as editor of Amazing Stories magazine; his encounter with the editor John W. Campbell; and the origins, legacy, and “bad karma” of his novel Beyond Apollo. I think there’s some good stuff there, so enjoy! (If you get the chance, you might also want to check out my recent interview with the science fiction podcaster Mikel J. Wisler, in which we discuss a similarly broad range of topics, including my New York Times review of Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir.)

2 Responses

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  1. Barry’s dark skepticism makes a vital point in sf’s history: beware.

    Gregory Benford

    July 11, 2021 at 2:53 pm

  2. He’s an essential voice! I’ve learned more from Barry—in print and in person—than just about any other living SF writer.

    nevalalee

    July 11, 2021 at 5:14 pm


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