back to John Hertz, fanwriter


from Vanamonde (2005)

Realism in art is paradoxical. Art springs from the artist's imagination; by definition it is not reality; its merit stems from not being reality; we set conventions about how realistic it should be, which, like many things that we forget the source of, we fuss over. Perhaps strangeness in science fiction, like any point which can give rise to a genre, is good when it seems integral to an artwork. [Van 615]

Don't you think "self storage" sounds like a Van Vogt novel? [Van 622]

As a partial moral relativist - I think things are relatively relative - I'm exhilarated by cross-cultural contact: it's like a refiner's fire. [Van 625]

Are you keeping your aesthetic accounts? The challenge of any art must apply to fanwriting: nourish oneself, reach others, and, with due thought for variety in points of view, touch truth. Neglect any of these and invite collapse; find them honestly, with the ideal of continuing to grow, and I believe one can do well. [Van 632]

Repentance is vital; we may wonder how far it should be the business of our secular legal system. The notions behind our calling jail a penitentiary were lanced by Dickens in David Copperfield, an author we could not regard as amoral, callous, or unsentimental. [Van 643]

I've taken Ben Massoglia seriously for a long time. In fandom it doesn't matter so much whether you're seventeen, as he is, or eighty-eight, as Art Widner is. [Van 650]

It's a big universe, and certainly looks complicated. By the prevailing currents of thought, complicated is admirable; but that ain't necessarily so. Conceivably the universe is far simpler than we imagine. I'm not prepared to suggest how that might be: in fact, I can't imagine it: but we'd be weak philosophers not to bear it in mind. [Van 654]