Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Jeffrey Ford interview excerpts

LocusOnline provides excerpts from the Locus interview with Jeffrey Ford. He mentions his latest work in progress:

Currently, I'm finishing a novel, The Girl in the Glass. It takes place in 1932, the Depression, along the Gold Coast of Long Island, and is about con men who put on séances for the grieving rich. The head of the confidence operation is quite cynical, but during one of the séances he believes he sees a real ghost of a girl whom he later discovers has been murdered. The ensuing mystery involves the Ku Klux Klan (huge on Long Island throughout the '20s) and a eugenics lab in Cold Spring Harbor, funded by Henry Ford (a major anti-Semite) and prominent US banks. The writing is a departure for me — much more pared down, more dialogue, less florid. I was very influenced in writing this by Dashiell Hammett, especially The Thin Man.

He also has some interesting comments on genre:
I also have a hard time delineating the difference between SF and fantasy. Both attempt to transcend everyday perceptions. I do recognize that classic difference between a scientific method where you're going out and collecting empirical data and Plato's concept where you contain all the information of the universe and you look inward for answers. It's not that one mode of inquiry is better; they both genuinely work. But the best is when they meld together. I like to get an idea that has some kind of metaphorical resonance to the characters' lives or their situations. If you make the connection between these two, it makes for a good story.

It figures this is the one issue of Locus that hasn't turned up at my local bookstore.

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