Words of Wisdom from Walter Mosley: If publishers tell me which genre to write in, "I go to another publisher."

Illustration for article titled Words of Wisdom from Walter Mosley: If publishers tell me which genre to write in, I go to another publisher.

Good news! Walter Mosley, best known for his Easy Rawlins novels, will be publishing more science fiction next year — he has a series of SF novellas coming from Tor, whom he describes as "THE science fiction publisher." They'll be packaged as one or more flipbooks.


A new interview with Mosley in Associated Press is full of words of wisdom. Here are some choice bits:

Now, it is true that publishers try to stop me from writing anything but mysteries, but whenever they do, I go to another publisher... We live in capitalism and capitalism is defined by the production line and the production line is defined by specificity. ... If you see yourself as an artist, which I do, then you can't be limited by that. You can't let somebody tell you, "Well, you can only draw this kind of picture or write that kind of book."

I've always loved science fiction. I think the smartest writers are science fiction writers dealing with major things. People talk about Toni Morrison, who is a great writer, but she's not a better writer than Samuel Delaney. Because it's science fiction, no one takes him seriously, and that's too bad because he's a great writer and a really smart writer. It takes me a long time to read one of his books. It's like, "Uh oh, I better spend the next year reading this one because I don't even know what's happening."

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I'm trying to figure out why he thinks it's a compliment to Samuel Delaney that he can't understand what's going on in Delaney's books. Isn't lack of readability a problem, not an asset?