Interview 2 with Nir Yaniv


Where did the idea come from?

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry popped into my head one night and told me to do it.

How did the story change as you developed it?

This one didn’t change much. The idea popped in my head complete and well formed (I like it this way, though that’s not usually the case), and I hurried to write it before anything manages to distract me.

You know the advice “Sometimes you have to kill your darlings.” Was there a scene or line that it really hurt to cut, but cutting it made the story stronger? May we reprint that scene or line? Or link to a very old version so that we may marvel at how much it changed?


How is this story like your other work? How is it different?

Well, I tend to write short rather than long stories, though this one is shorter than most. Also, I usually apply a considerable amount of rhymes, word games and other language special effects – but I had not done so in this particular story, to the great relief of Lavie Tidhar, who had done me the kindness of translating it into English.

What writing projects are you presently working on?

I’ve some short stories in the making, and some ideas for longer one. Recently I became chief editor of Israel’s only pro speculative fiction magazine, Dreams in Aspamia, and I still have to find the right way to combine this with actual writing. Also I’m writing a soundtrack for an Israeli SF film.

Favorite book you’ve read recently?

Two books by Israeli historian Tom Segev: “1967”, about the year of the six-days-war, and “One Palestine, Complete”, about Jews and Arabs under the British mandate. Not only he explains necessary truths about what most Israeli people learn in school, but he’s also a wonderful, wonderful storyteller.

What fictional character would you love to drink tea with?

That’d probably be Dirk Gently. We could do stuff together, Dirk and I.

How long had you been submitting before you made your first sale?

Several months, I think. Maybe a year. It’s all in a haze…

How did you celebrate your first sale?

By eating something nice. I celebrate many happy occasions this way, including sunrise and sunset.

What is your darkest secret?

That, contrary to the evil reputation which I built for myself, I’ve no dark secrets.

If you had a working time machine what advice would you give a younger self?

I’m waiting for my older self to answer that question.

Favorite food?

As long as it didn’t come from the sea, it’s my favourite.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Someone who doesn’t have to work for a living, thus doing only what’s on his mind – in my case: writing and making music. I’m working on that.

What was the most fun you ever had?

Every time I go on stage to play music is the most fun I ever have.

If you have a day job, what is it? What do you like about it?

I spend my days camouflaged as a computer programmer. I’ve been doing that for many years now, so my co-workers, poor, trusting souls that they are, believe that I actually know something about computers.

Quiz: How many writers does it take to change a lightbulb? Please explain your answer:

Are you sure we’re actually outside the lightbulb? Because I’m not…

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Speculative fiction for a miscreant world

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