Wednesday, April 20, 2016

20: Roger Zelazny Quote of the Day: This story came into being in a somewhat atypical fashion.

This story came into being in a somewhat atypical fashion. The first movement in its direction occurred when Gardner Dozois phoned me one evening and asked whether I'd ever done a short story involving a unicorn. I said that I had not. He explained then that he and Jack Dann were putting together a reprint anthology of unicorn stories, and he suggested that I write one and sell it somewhere and then sell them reprint rights to it. Two sales. Nice. I told him that I'd think about it.

Later, I was asked by another anthologist whether I'd ever done a story set in a barroom—and if so, he's like it for a reprint collection he was doing. I allowed that I hadn't. A week or so after that, I attended a wine tasting with the redoubtable George R. R. Martin, and during the course of the evening I decided to mention the prospective collections in case he had ever done a unicorn story or a barroom story. He hadn't either, but he reminded me that Fred Saberhagen was putting together a reprint collection of stories involving chess games (Pawn to Infinity). "Why don't you," he said, "write a story involving a unicorn and a chess games, set it in a barroom and sell it to everybody?" We chuckled and sipped...
The Context: Okay, I know a couple days ago I said I was only going to use quotes from Zelazny's works, not outside commentary by the man. I guess I lied, This is Zelazny explaining the unusual genesis of Unicorn Variation.

Why I like it:  Zelazny was a master storyteller, and I do love the conversational, spin-a-yarn tone of the piece.

No comments:

Post a Comment