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Dave Luckett

answers the Usual Questions

Dave Luckett looks like an overgrown elf, with plump cheeks, trim white beard and glasses. He is one of those people who took their skills and love of a genre (science fiction) and made the transition to thinking and acting professionally.

There is a difference between a professional and a fan, although fans like to say, "the pros see themselves as fans as well". But the relationship between those who 'do it for money' and those who don't is a peculiar one. Says Dave, "What is this thing about ... if we take money for the thing we love that we must be a prostitute?"

One of Dave's claims to fame is walking the night streets of London with Anne McCaffrey "singing Mozart as it was never meant to be sung".

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

I was a fan long, long before I was a pro. My very first fannish activity was to invite Anne McCaffrey to come to Swancon 5. I remember John McDough and I met her in London and took her to a meal.

I know that there is a huge readership that is not fannish ... I started by entering the Swancon 5 short story competition. Barbara Hanley said "you can write", Lucy Sussex said, "I think you can do a short story for me". It is entirely due to the conventions that I got started.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

Not really. It is necessary for me to remember that I am a fan.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

Ursula K. LeGuin's Wizard of Earthsea, books one to three. One day if I am very good and I pay all my dues ... I might learn to write like that. (Her writing) is like studying the pebbles through water that is crystal clear. I like Jack Vance too, for totally different reasons.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

Terry Pratchett

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

Pass. Anything that I say would incriminate me or them.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

Provided that I've got the necessities of life -- a chess set and a copy of Horowitz on the Openings.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

Personal satisfaction. I'd like to feel sure that its the best I can do. I'm always acutely embarrassed when people say that they've liked it. I spent my childhood being (discouraged from sf) ... teacher after teacher told me you've got to be able to write stories about real things.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

To take a society which I know existed and warp it slightly and still make it believable. To make it comprehensible, so that people will think, "I understand why it is".

I want to write about people ... in worlds that are just a little bit off. I want them to have ... courage, humour. (In Maxine MacArthur's work) I loved her heroine because it was courage.

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submitted by Ali Kayn

September, 1999

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Web site: Official site:
8-Jan-2009 Editors note: this website appears to no longer exist.


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