Интервью Роджера Желязны (на английском языке)


The latest "Amber" book, Prince of Chaos, is Roger  Zelazny's  tenth. Did he ever think he'd do so many? "I considered the possibitity of  doing nine, initially. One of my first ideas was possibly tell  the  same  story from a different viewpoint, using all nine  princes.That  was  a  sort  of Lawrence Durrell 'Alcxandria Quartet' idea  I  had, but l  abandoned  thaf fairly early. I was stuck with Corwin.The only thing that remained of that early idea was the automobile accident  they  kept  redescribing  in  each book, revealing a little bit more about it, or changing the interpretation of what really happened. That was just a little hommage to that idea.
"The 'Amber' books are  a  comment  on  the  nature  of  reality  and people's  perceptions  of  it.  I  was  thinking  of  Lawrence   Durrell's 'Alexandria Quartet' when I began the first book. I liked that  particular series just because of the way he retold the  same  story  from  different characters' viewpoints. His was a more general comment on  the  fact  that you can't know everything. He could as easily have written a fifth book or sixth book and kept changing it. That spilled over into the Shadow  Worlds and oceans on the different parallel worlds where things are just a little bit different and eventually you  get  further  away  and  they're  a  lot different. That was in the background.
'I thought I finished after  five  books.  I  had  used  up  all  the material I had in the back of my mind. So I decided when I  picked  it  up again, I'd  kick  it  into  the  future  and  use  a  different  viewpoint character. Again, I didn't plan on  it  being  five  books.  I  originally signed to do three. One of the differences between  this  series  and  the earlier one is that in the earlier one, I'd write a book and then  I'd  go off and do some other books and stories, then come hack and write  another volume. I did a few things  in  between  here,  but  this  was  much  more compressed. I was pretty much doing one right after the other, compared to the earlier series. So as much as I enjoyed them, I'm happy now to be free to move on to some other stuff. I can take a vacation now.
"After a while, if became something of  a  joke,  that  I  had  these cliffhangers, so I started introducing them intentionally, just to make it a running gag. Thcrc is something close to a wrap at the end of the  tenth one. I brought it to a point where  it's  a  satisfactory  place  for  the reader to say, 'OK, I'm gonna stop here for  a  while.'  But  I  could  go farther, I do have a few other things I'd like to say....
"There's a similarity, in a way, between the 'Amber' books and a book I did called Roadmarks, where I played more with time than  space.  I  got the idea for that book during an automobile drive. I was coming  up  l-25, which is a nice modern highway in New Mexico, and just on a whim, I turned off at random on a turn off I'd never taken before. I drove along  it  for awhile, and I saw a road which was much less kept up. I turned  onto  that one, and later on I hit a dirt road and I tried it, and pretty soon I came to a place that wasn't on the map. It was just a little settlement.  There were log cabins there, and horses pulling carts, and it looked  physically as if I'd driven back into the l9th century. I started to think about  the way the road kept changing, and I said,  'Gee,  that  would  be  neat,  to consider time as a superhighway with different turnoffs.' I went back  and started writing Roadmarks that same afternoon.
"That notion of the unexpected turn taking you into a different  kind of reality than you were in right before  you  made  it,  and  leading  to something unexpected, is a similar thing to the  shadow  walks  or  shadow rides that I had in the 'Amber' series. The original idea of  the  'Amber' books had come to me in a strange  part  of  a  strange  town,  where  the turnings kept taking me into unexpected places,  and  I  started  thinking about shiftings of reality then. Only then I  was  thinking  in  terms  of space - different  alignments  of  familiar  features,  until  you've  got something very strange - whereas the highway business, I started  thinking of time as if I were shifting backward through it  as  I  drove  along.  l think the two are akin, even though the stories don't have  that  much  in common."
After  this  latest  extensive  boul  with  Amber,  he  returned   to collaboration, working with Robert Sheckley. "We both have the same agent, Kirby McCauley, and Kirby suggested our of  the  blue  that  it  might  be interesting if we did something together.
I had a few ideas already which I ran by Sheckley, and  we  ended  up choosing the one we used for the forthcoming book, "Bring Me the  Head  of Prince Charming". That was the only time we talked about it  face-to-face. We worked it our in  general  then.  It's  a  medieval  fantasy,  somewhat humorous in nature. Heaven and Hell have this contest, once every thousand years, at the turning of the millennium.  The  side  that  wins  is  given control of human destiny for the next thousand years. Our  story  involves the putting together of Hell's entry for the contest: the Prince  Charming story, which is done in a somewhat unusual fashion. Beyond that,  I  don't want to spoil the plot."
He will do another  collaboration  with  Sheckly  "fairly  soon.  The working title for this one is The Shadow of Faust. As for my  own  writing right now, I'm still kicking around a couple of  ideas.  Simultaneous,  or parallel in course, with the next book with Bob Sheckley, l'll be  working on a book of my own. I just don't know which one it will be yet."
Zelazny has hecn involved in collaborative novels for  more  than  20 years, bcginning with a book he did with Philip K. Dick. "Phil had done an immense amount of writing over about a three-year period, and had  started this book, Deus Irae. He had a general outline, and he'd written the first 50 pages and gotten blocked. Finally it came to the point where  Doubleday asked him whether he'd mind if they brought in somebody else  to  work  on it. They showed it to Ted White, and he had  it  for  several  months  and decided he couldn't do it, but he  hadn't  given  the  manuscript  or  the outline back yet. I happened to be in town, and had  dinner  over  at  his place. He showed the manuscript to me, and I rather liked it. So he called Phil and he called Doubleday. I was working for Doubleday  anyway  at  the time.
"That was '68. A few months later, I came out for  Baycon,  and  that was the first time I met Phil. We decided that I would have to continue it right from the point where he'd left it. I changed my  style  -  I  didn't want it to seem too discontinuous, so I aimed for something sort  of  like Phil but not quite. I sent him a chunk, and he liked  them,  and  said  he thought he might be able to continue writing himself from that  point.  He look it from where I'd stopped, and he wrote the  next  section.  It  just went back and forth that way, until we finished the thing.  This  went  on for several years. There was no rush, until Doubleday finally  did  notice this old contract outstanding and called Phil and said, 'Hey, when are you going to give us the book?' Phil needed the money, and said we were  close to the end. I finished the book in something like three days. He wanted  a few changes. The last four pages were his, as a sort of wrap. Then we sent the whole thing off to Doubleday. There wasn't a complete overall rewrite.
"I still don't do that much rewriting. I do a lot of the  composition in my head, and when I do it at the keys, the sentences are pretty much in the order they appear in the book. I wrote  "Doorways  In  the  Sand"  and "Jack of Shadows" first draft, no rewrite."
He has also done some collaborations vnth Fred Saberhagen. "The first book we did together, "Coils", was my idea. I did a general outline of the story, and Fred then took my outline and elaborated  on  it,  producing  a big, chapter-by-chapter breakdown. He  does  wonderful  outlines.  He  can knock out an outline that runs like 60 or 70 pages - which I won't do.
My own material, I tend to do most of my outlining in  my  head,  and just jot a few notes. Fred is much more meticulous.  But  I  like  working with an outline like that. The more recent book, "Black Throne",  was  his idea. Fred's a big Poe fan - gives a party on his birthday every year. For "The Black Throne", first he got me to read all of Poe, and  the  critical biographies and so forth, so I was pretty well immersed in the material.
"Collaborations are fun. I learn a  lot.  I  like  seeing  how  other writers operate. That first book with Fred. I was  really  surprised  that his approach to writing a book was what it was.  I  learned  a  lot  about outlining from him. Even though I don't do it on paper, I can do it in  my head, using some of the devices he has. Working with Phil Dick, I got some practice in learning to  assimilate  another  person's  style.  It's  nice looking at something from another writer's point of view. It's a  learning experience. I've been learning things from Bob Sheckley too. Fvery now and then it's nice to stop and just look over what you've been writing and the way you've been writing it and sort of reassess  it,  and  see  if  you've fallen into bad habits or there's something you'd like to get  better  at. One way of reexamining your own work is to work with somebody else. It's a learning experience. I don't want to get into a rul."