Fred Hoyle: An Online Exhibition

Hoyle the Writer

Opinions About Writing

In 1975 Hoyle was invited to participate in an evening discussion event alongside science-fiction author Ray Bradbury. They took the stage together for “The promise of science fiction: prophetic or profane” on Wednesday 26 February 1975 at the California Institute of Technology.

In his opening remarks, Hoyle gave vent to his opinions on science fiction writing, claiming that:

“There’s a simple recipe for writing science fiction stories, which I’m quite ready right now to give to you for free. Start by copying any ordinary terrestrial story; however, transplant it to another planet, more or less like the earth, give the humans peculiar names like Atorjak or AJKL; refer to physical devices like the automobile or electric switch or radio by similarly peculiar names, add a few more devices whose mode of operation you don’t understand yourself, and you have a science fiction story. This unfortunate thing, I think, is a fair description of quite a lot of the science fiction books you find if you take the trouble right now to drive down to LA airport and look in the book racks.”

Into Deepest Space | Whodunnit? | Opinions About Writing

Flyer advertising a discussion evening with science-fiction authors Fred Hoyle and Ray Bradbury

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