Malzberg's favorite of his
own novels is Underlay, andstories he is the most pleased
to have written are "Heavy Metal" and "The High Purpose."
"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
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."
"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?"
"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."
"One of the finest
practitioners of science fiction today."
On The Cross of
"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."
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."