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That's one thing I like about Hollywood. The writer is there revealed in his ultimate corruption. He asks no praise, because his praise comes to him in the form of a salary check. In Hollywood the average writer is not young, not honest, not brave, and a bit overdressed. But he is darn good company, which book writers as a rule are not. He is better than what he writes. Most book writers are not as good.
When I was seventeen I read everything by Robert Heinlein and Arthur Clarke, and the early writings of Theodore Sturgeon and Van Vogt — all the people who appeared in Astounding Science Fiction — but my big science-fiction influences are H. G. Wells and Jules Verne. I've found that I'm a lot like Verne — a writer of moral fables, an instructor in the humanities. He believes the human being is in a strange situation in a very strange world, and he believes that we can triumph by behaving morally. His hero Nemo — who in a way is the flip side of Melville's madman, Ahab — goes about the world taking weapons away from people to instruct them toward peace.
In the nineteenth century one had to give all sorts of guarantees and lead an exemplary life in order to cleanse oneself in the eyes of the bourgeois of the sin of writing, for literature is, in essence, heresy. The situation has not changed except that it is now the Communists, that is, the qualified representatives of the proletariat, who as a matter of principle regard the writer as suspect.