I’ve created a new category called “squee” just for this post.
I received an email from my friend Moshe Feder concerning the work of a friend of his named Ted Krulik. Ted is, apparently, as big a Zelazny fan as I am but more ambitious, and interviewed Roger many times over the years. He is hoping to publish this collection of interviews, and, needless to say, I really really hope this happens. More Roger = better world.
One section of the interviews concerned, ahem, me. It took place at Necronomicon, Tampa, Florida, 1985, and this is the section Moshe was kind enough to send me, and which Mr. Krulik was kind enough to give me permission to post here. With my thanks to them both, I now reproduce it without further comment.
“Helping a Young Writer in Hell”
Steven Brust was just starting out, and his publisher sent me his novel Jhereg just to read and see if I cared to give them a publication quote to promote the book. Along with Jhereg, they included his second book, Yendi. I read them both and liked them.
When Brust heard I’d commented on Jhereg, he dropped me a line thanking me. Then he sent me a copy of the manuscript of his latest novel, To Reign in Hell. He wrote, “Ace purchased this one but, in the meantime, it’s going into a limited edition by a local outfit called Steel Dragon Press. Ace felt that it was all right to use the quote you had given for Jhereg, but I don’t feel quite right about it. If you have time to read To Reign in Hell, I’d appreciate your taking a look. This is an extra copy. You can throw it away. If you don’t have the time, I’ll understand.”
So I took a look at the first few pages and got into it. Instead of giving them a comment, I liked this stuff so much I decided to write something at greater length and help the guy out. I wrote the introduction that was included in To Reign in Hell completely unsolicited. I’d never done that before, but I was particularly taken by his writing.
Most writers have only one strong point, but Brust has several. I like his dialogue and descriptions. He has a sense of humor that is similar to my own. It’s true that someone who might appeal to me most is a writer who sounds like me.
In fact, he called me up the other day. He works with computers, and he said he’s quitting his job. He’s leaving in a couple of weeks to write full time. I hope he makes it.