Tuesday, August 25, 2009

There is Hope For Us All

I am not, as you may have noticed, one of the good kids who sit up in the front row, brightly scrubbed and eager to learn. I am, I afraid, one of the bad kids who sit in the back row and say fuck, as Ian MacLeod defined us in "1/72 Scale." So, often, when I'm asked a question like "How important is it for a science fiction writer to go to college?" I won't respond with a proper absolutely-necessary-best-years-of-your-life-rah-rah-rah answer, but with the truth.

No. Not needed. Look at the Golden Age writers who essentially created this genre. Yeah, sure, Asimov and Heinlein and Clarke went to college, but they were the exception. Most of the greats in our field were autodidacts. The kind of stuff we need to know, they don't teach in school.

Still, it's pleasant to learn that high school dropout Fred Pohl has finally received his degree.

You can read the Locus squib here. Or the full-scale New York Times article here.


1 comment:

David Stone said...

Going to college probably doesn't directly help the writing career very much, but at least it gives one something to do while one matures enough to actually be a good writer. Of course, being in college often delays this by several years, depending on what you get up to during that time...