I’ve often written that science fiction doesn’t try to predict the future but rather offers a significant distortion of the present. And what I mean is that a lot of people, when they hear the words science fiction, the first thing they assume is that this is a story or novel that’s going to tell them what’s going to happen sometime tomorrow or the day after. And I just don’t think that’s what science fiction writers are really interested in doing. I think we sit around and we look at what we see around us, and we say, “How could the world be different?”
The cities that I had in mind for the site of the dialogue that my novel Dhalgren represents are New York, Los Angeles, Cincinnati. I can’t think of a major American city where half the city has not been in a ruin. In fact, the term “inner city,” which at this point is an American term. Is the term for that burnt out section of your city where the general functions of urban life go on at a very depressed rate.
David Horvitz is an artist from Los Angeles. Sometimes he goes to the beach. Sometimes he looks at the sky. Sometimes he disappears from people. Sometimes he hides seahorses in people’s pockets. Sometimes he makes the sound of ocean waves. Sometimes he throws away his photographs. Sometimes he loses watercolors in airports. Sometimes he rings bells. Sometimes he turns off lights. Sometimes he follows foxes. Sometimes he steals spoons. Sometimes he sends mail to the moon. Sometimes he changes the time. These are some of the things he does.