Animated interview with Ayn Rand

"I have no faith at all. I only hold convictions." Audio from interview conducted by Mike Wallace in 1959. (Blank on Blank)

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Kage Baker obit by David Hartwell

Science fiction editor David Hartwell has written a sweet and moving obituary for writer Kage Baker, who lost her struggle with cancer on Jan 31.

Two years ago, I had a plan to get together with Kage Baker. After several years of knowing her only through phone calls and the occasional meeting at a conference, I was pleased to have the opportunity to better know this witty and imaginative author. I was in Southern California at the Eaton conference in Riverside, and she and her terrific sister Kathleen were supposed to drive over. But their car broke down and I didn't get the chance to spend time with her that day. We tried again last June, when I was out to Los Angeles for World Horror, but in the end she couldn't make it over (I didn't know she was already ill).

And now it is too late.

On Kage Baker

Previously: Audio from science Fiction panel with Cory, Kage Baker, John ... Read the rest

Neil Gaiman in the New Yorker

Nice profile of Neil Gaiman in this week's New Yorker, written by Dana Goodyear, who really followed Neil around to get the story -- caught their duo act at the WorldCon in Montreal last year, where Ms Goodyear was being introduced to everyone who had a good Neil story to tell.

Gaiman, who is forty-nine and English, with a pale face and a wild, corkscrewed mop of black-and-gray hair, is unusually prolific. In addition to horror, he writes fantasy, fairy tales, science fiction, and apocalyptic romps, in the form of novels, comics, picture books, short stories, poems, and screenplays. Now and then, he writes a song. Gaiman's books are genre pieces that refuse to remain true to their genres, and his audience is broader than any purist's: he defines his readership as "bipeds." His mode is syncretic, with sources ranging from English folktales to glam rock and the Midrash, and enchantment is his major theme: life as we know it, only prone to visitations by Norse gods, trolls, Arthurian knights, and kindergarten-age zombies. "Neil's writing is kind of fey in the best sense of the word," the comic-book writer Alan Moore told me. "His best effects come out of people or characters or situations in the real world being starkly juxtaposed with this misty fantasy world." The model for Gaiman's eclecticism is G. K. Chesterton; his work, Gaiman says, "left me with an idea of London as this wonderful, mythical, magical place, which became the way I saw the world." Chesterton's career also serves as a warning.

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