Mike Resnick, off the record

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Every Tuesday, Release offers you a chronicle, interview or portrait linked to a science fiction text making the news. This week, we look back at the January 9 death of American writer Mike Resnick.

“I discovered half a century ago that nobody knocked on my door or called me between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. It has become my work day for fifty years. “ So Mike Resnick spoke of his creative bulimia in 2016, in an interview with ActuSF. The French publisher had just reissued the infernal comedy, trilogy released in the United States between 1989 and 1993, and translated for the first time in 1998 (Denoël “Présence du futur”). The American, who disappeared January 9 at the age of 77 from lymphoma, was very prolific. He held, according to the American magazine locus, the record number of science fiction short stories, some 280, and ranked fourth in novels, 80. Not to mention the hundreds of erotic and other fictions, published under various pseudonyms between the 1960s and the mid-1970s. “My ideas come from everywhere, he explained in 2009. One of my favorite sources are the movies and plays that missed a better story […], stories that I don’t agree with at the beginning or the end. […] Many come from observations from my travels. ”

Born March 5, 1942 in Chicago, Michael Diamond Resnick studied at the university from 1959 to 1961, the year he married Carol, with whom he had a daughter, Laura, also writer. He briefly worked as an employee before devoting himself to writing and editing. If he started publishing SF, especially the Ganymede cycle (1968), he moved away from it for some time to write erotic and Gothic texts under the pseudonym. He also collaborated in magazines, wrote horse or dog chronicles. The Resnicks took care of a kennel in Cincinnati. In 1980, the writer returned to SF with the Soul Eater and the story of Nicobar Lane, professional galactic hunter, a recurrent reference in his texts (Imaginaires sans frontières, 2002). Or with his trilogy Santiago, whose eponymous title (Présence du futur, 1993) transfers the eponymous western universe into space with a bounty hunter as its hero and will become part of the best-seller galaxy when it was released in 1986. He will also publish more ” about forty anthologies from 1992 and texts for the magazine Jim Baen’s Universe.

His passion for African history and cultures has also sparked several fictions, in mind Kirinyaga (1982, translated by Denoël “Présence du futur” in 1998) and Ivory (1988, translated in 1991 at PdF). He had gone to Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Kenya. The Resnick couple were very familiar with Worldcon (the oldest SF convention) since 1963. Mike Resnick considered himself a fan and was guest of honor in 42 conventions. His favorite writers were both authors of the genre, such as Robert Sheckley, Ray Bradbury, Cliff Simak or Raymond Chandler and Edward Whittemore. When asked by a surfer who asked him what pseudonyms he had used in the past, Mike Resnick had – or rather not really – answered: “Sorry, but there were over 150, and they will go with me to the grave.”


Frédérique Roussel

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