Above all, translators must be native speakers. It's not because they speak the language better -- I understand that sometimes a foreigner can learn a language better than native speakers. It has more to do with having an intimate knowledge of the society for which the book is being translated.
I suppose that literature as it is won't die, science fiction included. But games are becoming an extremely important part of the science fiction world, including games that are adapted from books (or vice versa: books that are adapted from games). It's wonderful to have the opportunity to play and see your favorite characters on the screen, but the opportunity to read a book does not become less attractive.
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An assassin can be found for every president. And for every prophet there are a thousand interpreters to distort the essence of the religion, to replace the bright flame with the heat of the inquisitors' pyres. The time came when every book was cast into the fire, when every symphony was reduced to a popular tune and played in all the drinking dens. A sound philosophical basis could be set in place under any vile nonsense.
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There is no abstract Evil; you have to understand that! Its roots are here, all around us, in this herd that goes on chewing and having a good time only an hour after a murder! That's what you have to fight for. For people. Evil is a hydra with many heads, and the more of them you cut off, the more it grows! Hydras have to be starved to death, do you understand that? Kill a hundred Dark Ones, and a thousand more will take their place.
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You're a Dark One," said Anton. "All you see in everything is evil, treachery, trickery." "All I do is not close my eyes to them," Edgar retorted. "And that's why I don't trust Zabulon. I distrust him almost as much as I do Gesar. I can even trust you more-you're just another unfortunate chess piece who happens by chance to be painted a different color from me. Does a white pawn hate a black one? No. Especially if the two pawns have their heads down together over a quiet beer or two." "You know," Anton said in a slightly surprised voice, "I just don't understand how you can carry on living if you see the world like that. I'd just go and hang myself." "So you don't have any counterarguments to offer?" Anton took a gulp of beer too. The wonderful thing about this natural Czech beer was that even if you drank lots of it, it still didn't make your head or your body feel heavy... Or was that an illusion? "Not a single one," Anton admitted. "Right now, this very moment, not a single one. But I'm sure you're wrong. It's just difficult to argue about the colors of the rainbow with a blind man. There's something missing in you... I don't know what exactly. But it's something very important, and without it you're more helpless than a blind man.
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The laws of nature are not intelligent, ' I replied. 'The force of gravity is not intelligent. Electricity is not intelligent. A savage looking at a television might assume that it's a sapient being, but we-' 'A sapient being? Looking at a television these days, the only possible assumption is that it's a loud-mouthed, hysterical madman suffering from progressive mental debility, ' Anna Tikhonovna said derisively.
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What if it turns out there really are witches and vampires and werewolves living right here alongside us? After all, what better disguise could there be than to get your image enshrined in the culture of the mass media? Anything that's described in artistic terms and shown in the movies stops being frightening and mysterious. For real horror you need the spoken word, you need an old grandpa sitting on a bench, scaring the grandkids in the evening: 'And then the Master of the house came to him and said: "I won't let you go, I'll tie you up and bind you tight and you'll rot under the fallen branches!"' That's the way to make people wary of anomalous phenomena! Kids sense that, you know-it's no wonder they love telling stories about the Black Han and the Coffin on Wheels. But modern literature, and especially the movies, it all just dilutes that instinctive horror. How can you feel afraid of Dracula, if he's been killed a hundred times? How can you be afraid of aliens, if our guys always squelch them? Yes, Hollywood is the great luller of human vigilance. A toast-to the death of Hollywood, for depriving us of a healthy fear of the unknown!
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Many years ago someone told me something that I flatly refused to accept. And I still don't accept it now, despite all the times I've seen it proved right. "The common good and the individual good rarely coincide... " Sure, I know, it's true. But some truths are probably worse than lies.
Do you have a truth of your own, Anton? Tell me, do you? Are you certain of it? Then believe it, not in my truth, not in Geser's. Believe in it and fight for it. If you have enough courage. If the idea doesn't make you shudder. What's bad about Dark freedom is not just that it's freedom from others. That's another explanation for little children. Dark freedom is first and foremost freedom from yourself, from your own conscience and your own soul. The moment you can't feel any pain in your chest-call for help. Only by then it'll be too late
This was how you wound up in the Inquisition. When you stopped being able to see any difference between Light Ones and Dark Ones. When for you, people weren't even a flock of sheep, but just a handful of spiders in a glass jar. When you stopped believing in the future, and all you wanted to do was preserve the status quo. For yourself. For those few individuals who were still dear to you.
Many years ago someone told me something that I flatly refused to accept. And I still don't accept it now, despite all the times I've seen it proved right. "The common good and the individual good rarely coincide..." Sure, I know, it's true. But some truths are probably worse than lies.
I believe it, she's a very good person, kind. There's weariness there, but no bitterness or spite. When you're with a girl like that you feel like a different person. You try to be better, and that's a strain. Men prefer to be friends with her kind, flirt a bit, share confidences. They don't often fall in love with girls like that, but everybody loves them.
What if it turns out there really are witches and vampires and werewolves living right here alongside us? After all, what better disguise could there be than to get your image enshrined in the culture of the mass media? Anything that's described in artistic terms and shown in the movies stops being frightening and mysterious. For real horror you need the spoken word, you need an old grandpa sitting on a bench, scaring the grandkids in the evening.
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It's great to be excited by your profession, whether you are a doctor or a writer. I started writing books when I was in medical school and, by the time I graduated, I realized that writing was more exciting to me than being a doctor. And if I tried to be a doctor and a writer, then both would suffer.
But even if we were to disappear, people would still be divided into people and Others. No matter how those Others were different.People can't get by without Others. Put two people on an uninhabited island, and you'll have a human being and an Other. And the difference is that an Other is always tormented by his differentness. It's easier for people. They know they're people, and that's what they ought to be. And they all have no choice but to be that way. All of them, forever.
It is boring to haunt a writer, and even more so to haunt a celebrity. I would haunt a literary figure! Possibly some superhero, maybe even James Bond. Constant adventures, fights, beautiful women--much more interesting that watching a writer who taps on computer all day long, or a celebrity posing in front of cameras.
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I often use detective elements in my books. I love detective novels. But I also think science fiction and detective stories are very close and friendly genres, which shows in the books by Isaac Asimov, John Brunner, and Glen Cook. However, whilst even a tiny drop of science fiction may harm a detective story, a little detective element benefits science fiction. Such a strange puzzle.
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