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Cet article est une interview accordée par Glen Cook
à Ceridwen, Harmonia Amanda, pour Wikinews.
Xavier Henault pour elbakin.net,
l'Autre Monde,
Emmanuel Beiramar - Fantasy.fr, le 12 novembre 2011.
Dans cette interview, les liens internes redirigent vers des articles de Wikipédia.
Les questions et les réponses n'engagent que les protagonistes.

[[Catégorie:Interview|Glen Cook]]

Glen Cook au moment de l'interview, aux Utopiales 2011.

Le festival des Utopiales s'est tenu à Nantes du 9 au 14 novembre 2011. Ce festival consacré à la science-fiction s'intéresse aussi bien à la littérature qu'au cinéma ou au jeu vidéo. Glen Cook, auteur notamment du Cycle de la Compagnie noire et de Garrett Détective Privé, y était présent, et a accordé une conférence de presse.

L'interview[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

Question : Just after you met Didier Graffet, who did the covers of the Black Company in France then you have working togever at a meeting? yes? today? or tomorow?
Glen Cook : We just signed together before we came up here. It’s that what you’re asking about...
Question : You said you like his work.
Glen Cook : I love his work.
Question : You have already met?
Glen Cook : Oh yes, yes. We went to dinner last night and we did all the graphing and signing, and we discussed in French for an hour. Just recently, he’s still down here because he insists on putting an original drawing in everyone’s book, and is taking him forever to get through the line.
Question : Could you tell us what was your first contact with science-fiction or fantasy? what was the first book, or movie you remember about it?
Glen Cook : The first book —science fiction book— I read was The Naked Sun by Asimov. It was my father’s book. He caught me reading it, he took it away from me, slapped me upside the head, told me that I didn't want to read that garbage because it would wreck my brain, and then twenty years later he was going in the bookstores and moving my works on the top of shelves and telling people “That’s my kid, buy his books!”.
Question : It’s a bit of a long time since you wrote a standalone novel, like The Tower of Fear or The Swordbearer. Is it because publishers are more interested in series or because you’re more comfortable with multiple book series?
Glen Cook : Usually, it’s more cause publishers are much more inclined to take another book in a series than a standalone book; the standalone books —at least in America now— they tend to take them only because they want to keep you interested in working for their company.

I eventually will have another Black Company book to come out probably in about two years —the way my schedule looks now. I know that I will get a great deal of pressure from publisher when they find out that I’m actually writing it, and want it because they’re going to get a lot of money on that, whereas if I was to do a standalone book, they’re taking a much bigger risk. They know that a new Black Company novel will sell crazily in United States and also extremely well here in France, and it will be translated into probably fifteen or twenty other languages. So, yeah, they want more of what you’ve already done rather than... what you’ve already done and is then commercially successful, than to take a risk on something else.

Question : And, the Tor editor said about your first Black Company as something like « It’s a good story but I can’t publish it because I don't like a single character, is it right? she didn’t like the characters from the Black Company at first reading?
Glen Cook : When I submitted the book originaly, it was given —for whatever reason—, it was given to the horror editor rather than to the fantasy editor of the publisher, and she —even though she was the horror editor— thought it was too dark and the people were too unpleasant, and she rejected the book, but then, four or six weeks later she called me and she said “I can’t get it outside of my head, there’s something here that works, and I want to do the book”. And so we’ve met later on at a fantasy convention in Chicago, and we worked on details about. I would modify that book to suit her prejudices, and yet be able to write the book that I want to write which, until basicaly agreing (Tor editology) when I started out, just planing to write one book, because by the time I finished the three books I knew what the next one was going to be and so on. That’s what I generally do with everything I write, even though the book is a standalone, I know what comes after even if I never write it, because everything is a part of a bigger story.
Question : At the begining of this serie The Black Company, there’s a lot of action; and after the fourth ou fifth book it’s more political aspect. Is it something that you feel the same, or you created just this way and you go ahead?
'Glen Cook : The type of writing that I would prefer to do is the much more complex sort of thing. But I was taught very early in my carreer, by an american writer named Fritz Leiber, that the first thing you have to do is to please your editor, so you write what they want you to write and once you (got them over the board ??) —so to speak—, then you write what you want to write. And there is kind of that going on in the Black Company, but it’s just also... You will probably find that the actual biggest change over that period was the first six books were written by hand and using a typewriter and the last four were written mostly on a computer. And on a computer you just waste a lot of time and get a lot better, a lot more space because you don’t have to retype your manuscript. When you have to retype three hundreds pages or something rather because you’re making changes, that’s just a lot of physical work so you try to get it, keep it short, get it done right the first time, whereas with a computer —you know— you can push the button, and make changes all the way through. So, I think computers are the biggest reason that my books are becoming longer over the years.
Question : Have you already start about an ending for Garrett PI, or is it for you a never ending series?
Glen Cook : It would probably go on and tell —(claquements de doigts) they put me under the ground (rires)— because the editor that I have currently on that series loves the books, and they manage to make a profit (?) and keep her employed (?), so, as long as I’m going to write another one they’re going to publish it, so... Kind of my fun thing to do, the thing that, when I get tired of the stuff that I’m doing, I go and play with the Garrett stuff and have a good time with thoose and take —I’ve got right here, I think it’s the fourteenth I’m working on right here, that’s almost done. And I know what the next one will be. As soon as I live long enough to write it.
Question : The question was that is some of the books of the Black Company, the title in the next book appears in the text many times.
Glen Cook ---> : Oh, nice attention. It happens in a lot of my books. I’ve been signing that the new Instrumentalities of the Night of

they brought out specifically early we have here, but we can what’s the title of the next series are part of my inscription. People won’t know that until I finishing the book, but, then I do that intentionnaly also. The Water Sleeps comes from a turkish proverb. Soldiers Live comes from a poem written by a Viet-Nam soldier about feeling guilty about how he survived, and his friends didn't. She’s the Darkness comes from a song called Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac.

Question : About your Garett book, you say something like “People were fine never (?) wake up early in the morning”. Is it your own phylosophy?
Glen Cook : “People never wake up, flying out to be evil”? They don’t. I mean… If you’re inside the head of the person who... Probably the great... For France, America, the great evil man of the twentieth century was Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler was not evil in his own mind, he was an idealist trying to cure the world of its evils. However the rest of us didn't agree with him about what the evils were. That is basically my philosophy of life, the only — the nearest thing to an evil person that I can think of, in the twentieth

of mind. - actually I start thinking about it... Joseph Staline was -I consider personaly- a lot more evil than Adolf Hilter was, because he was not an idealist, just a power mad idiot that would kill anybody that he was scared of. Some people said he was a complete coward, that’s why he just could not stop killing people , they make him nervous. Pol Pot in Cambodgia, I would consider him much more evil than Adolf Hitler, because I don’t think he was an idealist. And the fellow in Uganda who used to eat his ennemies and stuff... I would consider him rather more evil than Adolf Hitler, but Adolf Hitler had more of an immediate connection with our ancestors and (they ?) not, so we can relate that pressure I guess, that impact upon our cultures more than we can with these other persons.

Hope that answer some kind, make a lot at all.

Question : The fiction is usually used to criticise human societies and humankind vainness. How do you manage to keep the same goal in Garett, which is set in a fantasy universe?
Glen Cook : Oh…
Question : The same purpose, the same speech as a science-fiction, about human society.
Glen Cook : I don’t know whether I have an answer. I understand the question, I don’t know whether I have an answer.

If you look for... If anybody is inclined to accuse me of committing litterature, you’re wrong. If you look for in any depth in my stuff, if it's there at all it's there accidently, and not at all deliberately. I’m not a deep person, I just tell stories, that I enjoy telling. So if you see something else there, and you thing I’m doing something intentionnaly to explicate the world or comment on human condition or something like that, if I am, I’m not doing it on purpose, I’m doing it by accident. I’m just trying to tell a funny story, a story that I enjoy telling. So, when I get asked questions like that, I’m often puzzled because I don’t have an answer, because I don’t feel like I’m doing anything special. The (main idea ?) is that people buy my books (laughs).

Question : I read in a former interview of yours that you might have something like thirty thousand books and magazines of science-fiction. Why do you collect so much? If you know why...
Glen Cook : I guess you would have to... we call it OCD in english it’s compulsive disorder. I collect books, I have as you say probably… I have almost every paperback book published in english in science-fiction, fantasy and horror before about 1980. I have virtually everyone in my collection, even from places like Hong-Kong, South-Africa, Zimbabwe or whatever.

So very unusual stuff in my collection as well as almost complete runs of all of the magazines which were published in english. And I don’t know why, I could not explain why I have them cause I have not read probably 10% of the material, it’s just a have had, when I decided to start collecting it. I also collect postage stamps which… hm... The great many of your countries of Europe I have heard by having collected them since I was four years old, I have an almost complete collection of most countries of Europe, and including some very rare items but it’s a compulsive thing, it’s a thing I have to do, just as writing is also. I would be writing… Once I discovered it and started doing it, I could no more stop than I could stop breathing as far as writing goes.

Almost everything —I’ve been lucky in that almost everything I have written has got published somewhere eventually. The stuff that hasn't deserve it there’re unpublished and publishable, but… I’m not really badly compulsive, but I have this mild socially acceptable compulsion (laughs). I tell <-- note: did I? --> that we just found this guy in Russia who digs up dead women, and was trying to make his perfect woman out of bodies of dead woman. I don’t have that kind of compulsion.

Question : I read you’re fond of series like InuYasha or Power Rangers. You seemed to be as bit ashamed of it. Is it real? You likes things like InuYasha, animation, japanese animation?
Glen Cook : Oh, ok, I got it. Yes. I’m not ashamed (laughs). After forty some years of writing, I finally

have enough income(?...) I can indulge some of my obsessions and so I have turned (...) that I have watching for last couple years once I got hooked on it. I probably got ten meters worth of it on a shelf, and for a long time I was hooked on Power Rangers. I don't know if that was available anywhere in the world but in the United States and Japan. The Power rangers was pretty much like animated only live action I went through. Every couple of years they would change the characters and the title of the show, but it was the same thing, and it was the same formula, and the show would start up, and the power rangers would get beaten up for twenty minutes and then they would suddenly decide to put on the Power Rangers suits and do the power ranger thing and then the bad guys will kick they would get gigantic and it would be over. The Power Rangers would win. And every show was the same for 698 episodes or something like that. But I was hooked on that for a long time. My son and his wife would come over nine-ten o’clock at night, watching Power Rangers on whatever general characters my son has been embarassing.

But that was no help stopping(?) in people in the streets.

Question : To come back to the work of Didier Graffet, it’s the artist that works the most on the Black Company, because of the french edition. Does it influence your way to write now?
Glen Cook : Everything that he has illustrated, was already written before he ever saw any other. So, it has had no influence upon what I do. I have tried to convince my american publishers to use the artwork, but they don’t think that it’s commercial as far as America... the american market goes… I think he’s a genius, I love the work that he does, but everything I’ve got in America right now is

follow names cover doesn’t seem the matter that look publisher it is, they put the same generics, snears on the covers that have nothing to do with what’s inside the book. But they do sell the books so… even if I don’t like them I accept. I have, well, as a writer you have no choice for concern the cover of your books, anyway so. You just... You just have to what ever they give you. But it’s easier to live with that if it sells the book, you know. what’s inside the book You attach, get somebody to take it out and turn it over, look and see what it’s about.

Question : You are named as an influence on some writers, by writers themselves an lots of reviewers. Is that something that puts some pressure on you when you write new books?
Glen Cook : No. Never even. I don’t even think about it. I know I have had an influence on several writers of american generation, probably most strongly Steven Erikson.

Several of american writers that I don’t know any United States,

Joel Becramby(?) and a couple of others,

Steven Erikson had met in college (...) in the same univerities

in the same universe. Couple of people I have had an influence upon, but I don’t think about that. It could make feel good once the while, cause I started out trying to write like the people that I really like, and know I see people doing the same thing (turn (like (that I really like and I see people do the same thing that what’s in my head (but I don’t think about that

It's kind of... It makes me feel good but it also have a kind of negative thing cause now I look in the mirror, “I’m one in the old parts”, and I see like the young people, just try to break in, just a years, when I started getting a lot of attention my (?) here. It has grown on me that I’ve been doing this stuff for fourty some years, and I never thought about that before, and, so yeah, I’m one of the old guys now, the old gard I guess.

Question : Your universes are never introduced with a map, but for universes like the one from the Black Company or the Dread Empire precisely map in your head, or do you have just a global idea of the places geography?
Glen Cook : With the Dread Empire books, in the original editions in the United States, there was — there were— maps in the books. The current editions have me made drop thoose. With the Black Company, I tooked from Fritz Leiber who is my mentor, who said « don’t draw a map, because if you draw a map, as soon as you started drawing a map, you stop

your possibilities, as long as you don’t have a map, you don’t have to conform to certain things. I’ve a big map inside my head, and I’ve seen many maps on the Internet of what people thought in my Black Company world might be like, and they’re not too far of, but nor close It’s north south, it’s part in the middle (?).

Question : Some of your fans are writing fan-fiction inspired from your creations. Did you read some? What do you think about it?
Glen Cook : I don’t know what to say, I didn’t know that. So I guess I can’t express an opinion. I didn’t know that anyone was.
Question : Inspiring maybe younger writers.
Glen Cook : Well, yes that's good. People are… you know, if they’re younger than fourteen years old and they’re actually reading books, and trying to write instead of playing videogames, that’s great by me. I was unaware that these was any fan-fiction based upon any of my work.
Question : You don’t fear to be copy?
Glen Cook : I probably is, as soon as they’re not trying to make money with it, there’s not a problem, just hope that they do… I basically started up writing fan-fiction of Jack Vance, (XXX) and I think most begining writers began

trying to write what they wrote, and I think most writers —beginning writers— do that, They get inspired by people whose work moves them and they try to write the same thing. And after a few cycles, a few efforts, they start finding their own voice, and so… That’s fine, if they want to write Black Company stories, let them, but hopefully they love and after a few trials, and get a just find their own inner voice (?).

Question <! -- 26'37 --> : If I’m correct, one of the last books you published was a new book in the series of the Dread Empire...
Glen Cook : That will be out in the end of january or february
Question : Yes, and you published that work after something like twenty years of break in publishing this serie. Was it a particulary kind of difficulties to come back to a serie after so long?
Glen Cook : It was extremly difficult. It was extremly difficult, and in part, I had to go back to the

1980’s in order to explain that As a beginning writer, I attended a number of conventions of in order to promote myself, and in the 1980’s —early 1980’s. I met a number of people whose company I enjoyed, so my wife I started having an annual party in our house, for people involved in science-fiction, fandoms and (XX)? the country. And those party after a couple of years got up to the point that we had a hundred and fifty people spending the week-end in our house. I the last one we had, someone got into my book collection, stole some of my rarest books, someone got into my files, because they wanted to know what happened next in the Dread Empire they stole all of the developpemental material, all the books

published to that time. I had one page, of a of pages, one hundread thirty-free, on the next book. That’s the only things that survived.

So, when I started... I had stopped writing whose books, cause they were not selling very well, and the Black Company was selling very well, and I was under a lot of pressure from Tor to write more Black Company books instead of more Dread Empire books because they sold ten times as many books. So I set them aside. Then later on, when Night Shade Books bought my entire (backlist) with all the stuff that was out of print, they wanted me to continue the series. We were arguing back and forth. I didn’t want to do it cause it of what we wanna do, cause twenty-five years, and I had nothing but vague memories of what they intended to go. And Jason the senior editor there threatened: “Well, I tell you what I’m going to do, I’m going to have Steven Erikson as writer, he’s going to write.” And I said “No, nobody will even though I love Steven Erikson and I love his work, but nobody is going to write my stuff for me.” So I finally agreed to write the book. And then there was the challenge of trying to remember what I had intended to do, and studying all of the stuff that I had written before, because I didn’t remember any of it. I was completely surprised the first time I read htem. I thought some of it was written by somebody who was a much better writer than I thought I was, and gradually some of it came back and what I did, for the volume that would be coming out, was to combined, most of the highlights basically of what will happen in about three and a half books —cause I have intended to write several more books in the series over all to wrap it up, to complete it. And it’s supposed to be a wrap of the series but really, as you read the book you’ll see that there’s a lot a stuff that even now is not resolved in that book yet, it points out what would be going on later on, involving some children.

All the Dread Empire books now, I have a earlier this month are back in Fance now, so plus the collections, short-fictions and universes, are in print in english but are not available in french.

Question : If I’m not mistaken, you’re currently working on Working the Gods' Mischief, the fourth book of the Instrumentalities of the Night. Will this be the last book of the series?
Glen Cook : I think so. The story will not end, but I think it’ll be the last one that I actually write. I had started out intending to write three books. By the time I got to the end of the third book, each one was thirty thousand words longer than they were supposed to be to begin with; and by the time I’ve got in the third one, I still was a long way of completing the story I had set up to tell. Right now, I have about eighty pourcent done, but I haven’t work done of this year, because my american publisher is not too thrilled about continuing on it has’nt(?). It sold well in hard-cover first editions, but it hasn’t sold nearly as much as they wanted in mass market paperback, so they are kind of reluctant. And my agent —foreign agent right now— is talking about trying to get it published it here in France first before we publish it there, because they have done more here, and seemingly fairly popular here(?). Also, there’s so long that they have expexted one book in the

the most recent. I would probably because I have to, because of compulsion of me, I will finish the book even if nobody publishes it, but, when you’ll see it —if you’ll see it, I can I can podcast, it would be the thing… it would be the project I go back to after I finish this Garett book I am writing right now, which I hope to have done before Christmas.

Question <! -- 33'25 --> : Garrett character loves cynicism. Do you have fun to work with this form of humour?
Glen Cook : Yeah, I enjoy, it’s my relaxation writing. And I just like to go in there…

I wish I could be as funny as Terry Pratchett, but it’s impossible, the man is tremendous that funny you’re talking to it. He just of them and he can’t help himself. You just sit on a panel with him or just having conversation over dinner, something rather and he’s just so funny. Every sentence that comes out of his mouth is as he is in the Discworld book, whereas I... I don’t really work anything hard, but it doesn’t come, it is not as much

nearly as clever or everything, so when I get my mind into the Garett world , and get that sarcasm going in my notice, it’s kind of automatic, it just comes out.

But does that answer the question at all? I just wonder of. I attend Here what I’m writing, I have to go back and throw out hundreds of pages sometimes.

Question <! -- 34'55 --> : You told us earlier about the advice at Fritz Leiber give you, and how you write so your first writing in the style of Jack Vance. Were there other writers who have influence on your works?
Glen Cook : Oh, probably… probably hundreds. Major influences at various points of my life are Robert Parker who is an american detective writer, who writes incredibly spared, his books are probably eighty pourcent dialog and yet you’re able to know the character and everything is going on.

An english writer named —I think— E.R.R. Edison, very… (hésitation) He wrote in the ten’s and twenty’s I think, he has very much english public school, very of the classic type person, who assume that when you read his book, you had the same education, so it was no problem for him to laps in the classical grec or in the latin, ! something like that. I just do a couple pages and or whatever, and he expected you to be able to read it because you will have the same level education that he has. But his style in english was very flored? and for a while I tried to imitate that style and basically discovered that it won’t work at North-America, people wants you to get on with it at all, want to see use this beautiful langage or everything, they want you…

In fact, I’ve found that when I first started writing the Black Company books, I got a lot of criticisms because I just jumped in the story and didn’t explained anything, and just get on with it. Recently, in an anthology that came out in America, I had the first chapter of what will be a future Black Company book, done in the exact same style that I have always, that I used early on, where you jump in the story, just get one with it. And the reviewers of the book complained that us all parts parts like Michael Moorcok waste too much time on building background and stuff, they wish just get on in the story like the younger writers of the book. So, there’s just a generational change there, that when I was accused of thirty years ago, this now I’m on the other hand of the spectrum as far of what people expect from writers.

Question <! -- 38'00 --> : You’re talking about Tides Elba, the short story… Tides Elba?
Glen Cook : Yes. Yes.
Question <! -- 38'18 --> : During an interview, you said that somebody’s stole a copy of your porno novel. I’m curious, was it a book written on command or was it your own true desire to write something like this?
Glen Cook : At the time, everybody in science-fiction was writing that. You could name almost any name who had been published in the late sixties or early seventies, and there were doing it both for the money and just for the secretly whispering : “I did this novel”. Yeah, I said in a party at the World Science-Fiction Convention in 1969; where about twelve–fifteen very well-know writers were sitting around, talking about things and planning out what they gonna do, and they include people like Anne McCaffrey, Damon Knight, Kate Wilhelm. All of… Many of them have already written one, under some pseudonym, and if I can compare

! the american money with what is something now with what we earn now, they’ve sold of hundreds of dollars. Mine sells well(?). The last one I turned up on EBay, I didn’t know anything about it, a friend of mine said that it , but in a half hour, it was over four hundred dollars, so he had to quit, it was sold for nine hundreds or something eventually. This everybody was doing them and some people who were very clever about it, like Mike Resnick —Mike Resnick and his wife, and his daughter— built them on a team basis. They wrote twelve basic scenes and then they just make the scenes and change the names, and sold it so the publishers and they sold seven hundreds of them in one year. And they get two hundred and fifty dollars, five hundred dollars piece for them. What they did was to put themself in the business in a canal, and since they were living up this huge dream a canal that they have ever since. Michael writes what he feels like writing and want not, he writes pretty good stories, but he doesn’t write very many, and many other people —Robert Silverberg, Vernon XXX? — almost two hundreds of them, in a days when you had a type like that it was writing two hundreds porno novels and probably close to fifty or sixty juvenile non-fiction books for libraries, and as well as all the science-fiction he wrote, under about a dozen different names. They were often whole issues of magazines in which he wrote all of the stories under different names. Many other people, even Harlan Ellison —I think that he has never admitted it—, I think Harlan’s did one or two. I think I remember him talking about it a little party in our house, when he was pretty drunk, talking me about one he had written. It’s not things he never confessed or admitted to since.

So yes I did write one, I wrote it on speculation because everybody was doing them, partly because everybody was doing them, and partly because it was easy money, it didn’t have to be very good, you didn’t have to write very long, a typical book was only about thirty five thousand of fourty thousand words, the one that I had published I wrote in 8 days, and got five hundred dollars for it, so that was better money that I was making in my job at the time and I still had my job. The next one I wrote couldn’t sell anywhere, because they kept telling me it had too much story in it. If I can take this stuff about it, about trying to write a fantasy novel ! and to get on but it could not be published, but it was unpublishable, because it was a story. So that was the story of my experience of that. There were just everybody was doing it at the time.

Question : In french, we have only one novel of science-fiction, which is The Dragon Never Sleeps. Will you write another science-fiction book or novel or short-story in next years or will you stay in fantasy?
Glen Cook : I have written The Dragon Never Sleeps goes for twenty years ago roughly, I have insisted I would not do anything more, but I do know what the next story is, and some day I may actually write it. I know where the story goes from there. I have had a number of other things which were marked at the science-fiction. There is the thing called the "Starfishers trilogy", which is really fantasy in space, and it’s very heavily, at least the beginning parts are heavily relying on norse mythology. There is a think called "Dark war", which also involves space going but it’s space going via magic basically, (XXXX). There is a book entitled "Passage at Arms", which is probably the best science-fiction novel that I wrote, and probably the most intense one, but it’s basically submarines in space. It takes a small crew space warship and puts it through the same kind of stuff that a World War Two submarine crew would have had to suffer. I’ve been accused of plagiarizing every submarine book I’ve ever tread in(?) by one reviewer or person or another(?). I never ever have read no more

movies or I have seen the movie "???" indeed but there is no relationship at all. Despite what that particular person accused me, I could see no parallels at all.

What else? A book called "A matter of time" which is a time travel novel. It was published in 1985, it’s now available in a Nightshade edition also —only in english, which is principally a time travel novel, but it’s also a western, a romance, I tried to get every genre that was functionnal or whatever at the time involved in it some way. It’s very much also a kind of Day of the Jackal novel. It has kind of subplot going on in there, where there’s a character who’s doing sort of the same (XXX ?) shooting Charles de Gaulle. He’s shooting a person from the future, in the past. I forget - it is 30 years - who is shooting who, or which one is the time traveler, which one is not, but it involves some kind of security officers. It’s only a 80000 word book but it’s got some of everything in it. Peace XXX(?) [] All of that… and the house, which is the main character in the book lives is my house in Los Angeles. And the neighborhood where most of the action takes place is my neighborhood.

Question : Last question for me : Do you know Wikipedia? What do you think about Wikipedia, and do you use it when you write? or something like this.
Glen Cook : I never have... Well, I take that back. Couple of times, I’ve googled something and the first thing on the list that comes up is the Wikipedia entry. And I think… I wanted to know… The only time I’ve actually gone there and researched to Wikipedia, what’s I wanted to know was what the rank "oberXXXX" (?) was in the german army, during World War II. I wanted to know exactly where it was. And so I looked up and show

all the ranks, and there were an amazing number of them in the german army and It would be the same thing but it would be a different time, or whatever. But that’s the only time I actually used of Wikipedia to find out something for something that I was actually working on. I go there once a while just to see what kind of stories are made up about me, or something like that. I googled myself once and was amazed, amazed that there’s so much stuff out there.

Question : Since a couple of years, digital books is becoming the major issue in the printing - publishing business, specially in the United States. How do you feel about this change, do you feel it changes the way to do books?
Glen Cook : It’s changing publishing dramatically, in the United States, for sure. A lot of print publishers are really crying because it takes away from there [print sales],. As far as my stuff goes, all the backlist —almost all the backlist— stuff that I have is available electronically as well as in paper, in hard copy form. And I like the royalties, I have to say that the royalties are much better on the electronic stuff than they’re on the hard copy because the publisher really has... the only cost they have you know is putting it into digital form, and that's only (XXX?)

works. The stuff that I have done for the last few years all had to be submitted to the publisher electronically anyway, so all they have to do is push a button and it’s typesset. And once it's typesset, that what goes on the digital availability tool, so...

I have mixed feelings you know. I can’t see (XXXX) with a Kindle and I have rather hundred bucks (?). I just like to have the paperback. The electronic readers are getting much much better than they used to be in the first time around, when they tried, there was just so much resistance. They had very poor screens, (XXX) they really didn’t go. Once they came up with the Kindle and —what’s the other one which is so popular right now…

Question : the Nook?
Glen Cook : Nook, yeah. Thoose are very good and getting much better, are getting, I guess now, color availability and stuff like that for illustrations, so I’m sure that… Well, I’m pretty positive that what we call mass-market paperback in the United States, which is a small pocket size, will be completely dead in another few years. Right now, almost the only thing getting published in that format is romance novels. There are only a few in science-fiction, a few in fantasy, the true science-fiction or fantasy (xxx?) were branded as paranormal romance. They aren't published in mass-market paperback anymore, it’s trade paperback today sizes.

publishers electronic (XXX?), it doesn’t cost from anymore to produce but change the form than to retail.

They can have much more runs and make a profit and also there are... Because of the Tax Court decisions in the United-States, the mass-market paperback, because it is what is called strippable you can tear off the cover and send it back to the publisher and get credit for it, because of that, for some reason, you cannot deduct xxx? that in your inventory at the end of the tax cycle as being in inventory, whereas with the trade paperback, which has to be whole copy returned, you can carry it in inventory and note it being non taxable for years and years, so that’s a tax decision that goes back almost forty years but it’s very much increasingly influencing as markets —publishing markets— get smaller, influencing how decisions are made on how things are published.

Question : Speaking of new technologies, you’re a very discrete writer with very little presence online, and your silence speak your work or your parress on the web. Is it a lack of interest in new communication mode or is it a true desire to keep your distance with fans?
Glen Cook : I don’t keep my distance from fans, but I'd rather meet them like me and you. As far as the Internet goes like I just do know how it works. I’m technologically ignorant, and the whole — just the idea of wasting my time doing that kind of stuff, instead of doing something I wanna do, what’s remain to me (?), instead of wasting time on the Internet, yeah?

Younger people seem to live on the internet. And when my wife comes home from work, she spends five hours, four hours, after she comes home doing, looking at stuff and doing stuff on the Internet. I can’t tell how much she wastes her time doing it.

But it’s not —at least I hope it’s not— a disdain for the people that are doing that, it’s just I’m not interested in spending my time doing stuff on the Internet. I probably should have a website, I should have… well. I could probably make myself a fairly good income just selling my books over the Internet, because people can find a lot of them, and plus you can get them signed for free (laughs), signed copies. But the whole thing with like Facebook and Twitter and such other things is that they have apparently to do with me, but I have nothing to do with them. Every once in a while has come to me and said : “Hey! I saw your thing on Facebook!“ I just can't figure out what the hell they are talking about, I have no idea of what was said there, so I don’t even know how to find it, to see what was said there. So, I have never been inclined to put in the time to learn how to do it you know, because basically I don’t care.

Question : A word about the Utopiales. What do you feel about this festival?
Glen Cook : I’m pretty much amazed. I am used to going to science-fiction conventions, the way they were in the United States, and that’s usually very much different. This is so serious first of all. Everybody here is so serious about everything. Also, there is so many people here, I was amazed by the number of people who turned up. I’m also amazed about the number of people who were under forty going here. The first day, there must have been about 150 000 high school and younger children in here that uh... I swear (to God ?) that their teachers must have kept all of the ugly ones home or something like that. There was so many pretty girls, pretty little girls, and handsome young men around here that I couldn’t believe it. And I also noticed that, persons of the french (...) pay to the color black. It seems that almost everybody, one person attending (?), wears something black (XXXXX?) black hair, black (XXX ?). It’s just a cultural thing that I noticed.

Otherwise, I had a great time here so far, I met a lot of wonderful people, I really enjoyed myself. The amount of fuss made over me is to the point of being embarrassing, because I just figure that I’m like a bricklayer or a ditch digger, something (XXX ?). What I do, is basically write stories, I don’t think of it as really anything special, and a lot of people are acting like I’m doing something special, which, as I said, is almost embarrassing (XXX ?). I don’t think I’ve ever done something like this before, in the forty some years that I have been writing, I have never done "press conference" or whatever this may be called; I just tried to talk once in a while to someone who is interested, I’ve done interviews for lots of newspapers. All they would do is some piece on me in the week-end papers, something about… hm. I never got a great deal or attention and never expected it too. So you tell me this is a whole new thing for me, a new experience. It’s good for the ego.

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Catégorie:Science-fiction Catégorie:Interview Catégorie:Utopiales Catégorie:France Catégorie:Culture