"A good story is a good story, period."
November 22, 2014 3:24 AM   Subscribe

Anyway, I had just finished reading a story I thought was really bad; I closed the book and said to myself, “I can do that.” I realized quite a bit later that I had given myself permission to write a bad story, but nevermind. I wrote a story in a notebook, the three-ringer lined paper kind, and I rented a typewriter. At least I knew it had to be typed double space, but that’s all I knew. I had never met a writer and there wasn’t a wealth of how-to books back then. I used the anthology for a clue about where to send the story and came up with Astounding Magazine. I sent off the story, and while I had the rented typewriter I wrote another story in the same notebook, copied it and this time sent it to Amazing. John Campbell at Astounding Magazine sent me a letter of acceptance along with a form to be notarized stating that it was an original story and I was the writer. I had no idea that that was not standard, and followed the instructions, and presently I received a check. I bought the typewriter with it.
For Amazing Stories, R.K. Troughton interviews should be a SFWA grandmaster already Kate Wilhelm, writer & novelist, co-creator of the Milford and Clarion Writing Workshops, designer of the Nebula Award.

More recent Kate Wilhelm interviews: on her first published story and talking about her latest book, the Barbara Holloway novel, By Stone, by Blade, by Fire.
posted by MartinWisse (7 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Where Late, the Sweet Birds Sang is one of my favorite books of all time. I don't have much more to add than that.
posted by snwod at 4:08 AM on November 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

That was a good interview. Thanks for posting it.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:30 AM on November 22, 2014

After Mom got her Kindle, she read all the Barbara Holloway novels, and found a few more Kate Wilhelm titles in the library's sharing system. She liked them, but she kept wondering when the mystery part was going to start.
posted by xingcat at 5:34 AM on November 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Very cool interview! Thank you for posting to it. As an Oregonian, I can't help but be proud that Kate Wilhelm's interview was posted on the same day as Ursula K. Le Guin's speech at the National Book Awards ceremony. Wednesday was a big day for our grande dames of science fiction.
posted by LovelyAngel at 7:06 AM on November 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Kate helped blaze the trail for women in the science fiction industry, when she published her first short story in 1956.

She didn't publish it. John Campbell published it.
posted by IndigoJones at 9:47 AM on November 23, 2014

For years, I was occasionally struck by a memory of a story I'd read - clearly science fiction, but not overtly so until very late in the plot, and full of some deep emotional resonance and characterization. One day, I sat down and started googling from vague terms and misremembered details at the beginning to discover that it was by Kate Wilhelm. Of course. (It was "Forever Yours, Anna", published in the July 1987 issue of Omni)
posted by rmd1023 at 12:40 PM on November 23, 2014

Wilhelm and Knight were quite the power couple.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:06 AM on November 24, 2014

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