On First Novels
It’s a popular delusion to think of a novelist’s output as their children. Yet parents rarely loathe their firstborn and cherish all who came after, while this is commonplace with first novels. Theodore Sturgeon was known to refer to The Dreaming Jewels as The Drooling Jeans.
William Gibson spoke at the Free Library of Philadelphia once. Asked about his first novel, one of the most acclaimed works of science fiction ever, he began, “Well, keeping in mind that it’s been over a decade since I last read Neuromancer and that I’m unlikely to ever read it again…”
Sitting in the audience, I thought: You too, eh, Bill?