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Quotes


Malzberg's favorite of his own novels is Underlay, and stories he is the most pleased to have written are "Heavy Metal" and "The High Purpose."
 
 

By Malzberg:



 
 
 
"Phil Dick had some bad mornings in the early seventies and I had some bad evenings later on in the decade; it was like being trapped in a bad first draft of one's work. Most of contemporary existence — here is an aphorism for free — is indeed a bad working draft of reality."
"...I spent the better part of the decade between the mid-sixties and mid-seventies keeping regular hours at the typewriter, eating huge meals at ritualized times and telling myself I would most definitely Change the Face of My Time. 
I did not change a damned thing (except the outlines of my own face and then by famishment, not by fiction) and was a fool to think that I ever could...." 
"...writers are notoriously slow learners and have to live out their visions before they can truly understand them, pace Joyce." 
"It [the story 'Gehenna'] captures a time, a place, a sadness as does so much of my work...but it does so in resignation rather than outrage which may be a point of difference. I read it over WBAI-FM at 5:30 one morning in April, 1974 and found myself weeping, which may indicate either an extraordinarily strong short-short story or a great deal of a self-pity. Both, I suppose, although perhaps neither. Just an intimation of that greatest of all losses awaiting us which makes all the earlier losses but symbols." 
"It [the story 'Final War'] came from personal and political motivations and except in the vaguest sense I did not know what the hell I was writing about. This is true of most successful—and for that matter most unsuccesful—art and any writer who tells you differently is either lying or not telling the truth."
"...under pressure always go back to your history, a lesson that good pro quarterbacks and cowardly jockeys have both learnt." 
"It [the story 'Notes Just Prior to the Fall'] strikes me as a pretty shrewd, pretty metaphysical, pretty well-crafted work for a young man whose actual life experiences with the material were those of a floundering fool...but I could make that statement about almost all of my work on any subject. Still can, as a matter of fact. Sorry about that. Writers, I have decided, are the least competent of individuals: they write (and the good ones well) to the degree that they cannot manage their lives outside and please pass the salt and damn that music." 

 

On Malzberg and his work:


"There is no one, with the possible exception of Philip K. Dick, whose works, each one of them, are so unpredictable or so outrageous or outraged."
—Theodore Sturgeon

 
"Malzberg will be around to infuriate long after most of us are homogenized in memory....Dammit, how can a man be so much fun and have so little joy?"
—Theodore Sturgeon, Galaxy

 
"Barry Malzberg is one of the few writers in the world whom I will gladly, happily, loudly declare is a better writer than I am."
—Harlan Ellison

 
"One of the finest practitioners of science fiction today."
—Harry Harrison

 
On The Cross of Fire:
"It's a novel that turns the reader everywhichway—invetive, funny, intriguing. The idea of a person getting therapy by taking the place of Jesus in the Bible—with all the conflicts of a modern man overlaid on the past—is quintessential Malzberg, brilliant and thought-provoking. I enjoyed the hell out of it."
—Gregory Benford

 
"Throughout, Malzberg's prose—perhaps the finest in science fiction—weaves a state of lyric darkness...This promises to be the science fiction of the year."
—The Boston Phoenix

 
On Beyond Apollo:
"Horrid ironies, veins of gold...a beautiful and heart-breaking book."
—The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction

 
On Herovit's World:
"Read the book and do your own guessing. This Malzberg is clever....I enjoyed it hugely."
—The Alien Critic

 

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