Transcript: Imprint season 12 episode 17 | Jan 24, 2001

Tina Srebotnjak stands in a studio with pieces of art in red and orange hanging in the background.
She’s in her late thirties, with short chestnut hair and bangs. She’s wearing a long gray blazer over a beige shirt.

She says I'M TINA
SREBOTNJAK.
TONIGHT ON “IMPRINT” THE
SHAKEDOWN AT CHAPTERS.

In a clip, the CEO of Chapters says
IT IS NOT OFTEN YOU GET
TO PUT TWO COMPANIES
TOGETHER AND END UP WITH
THREE NUMBER ONE RETAILERS
BUT THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT IT IS.

Tina says THE COURTSHIP
BETWEEN CHAPTERS AND FUTURE SHOPS.
WILL INDIGO SHUT DOWN THE DEAL.

Another clip shows a woman in her seventies signing a book.

Tina says URSULA LeGUIN, ONE OF THE
PIONEERING WOMEN IN SCIENCE
FICTION.

In an interview, Ursula says WE ALL JUST KIND OF
BARGED IN.
AND SAID MOVE OVER BOYS,
HERE WE ARE.
AND THEY MOVED OVER, MOST OF
THEM.

Now another clip shows Gerald L’Ecuyer talking to a man in his thirties.

Tina says AND ONE OF THE BRIGHTEST
GUYS IN SCIENCE FICTION
SPIDER ROBINSON ON HIS
EXTRAORDINARY LUCK.

Spider says I HAD A CAREER FULL OF
DUMB LUCK THAT JUST DOESN'T
SEEM TO STOP.
EVERY TIME I'M CONVINCED THE
WOLF IS OUTSIDE THE DOOR
ANOTHER WEEK I WILL HAVE PUT
ON A NECKTIE AND TYPE UP A
RESUME OF LIES AND GO WITH
THE DAY JOB, SOMETHING
ALWAYS SEEMS TO FALL OUT OF
THE SKY.

Theme music plays as the opening sequence rolls.
Fast clips show books and maps in hues of orange and red.

Back in the studio, Tina says A LOT OF INTRIGUE
IN THE BOOK WORLD.
FIRST FUTURE SHOPS and
CHAPTERS ANNOUNCE THEY ARE
GOING TO JOIN FORCES.
A MARRIAGE MADE IN HEAVEN
CALLED BY LARRY STEVENSON.

A clip shows Larry Stevenson speaking. A caption reads “Larry Stevenson. CEO, Chapters.”
Larry is in his late fifties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair.

He says IT NOT OFTEN YOU PUT TWO
STORES TOGETHER AND END UP
WITH THREE FWHUNL RETAILERS,
NUMBER ONE RETAILER OF BOOKS,
OF ALL THE PRODUCTS THAT
FUTURE SHOPS CARRIES, AND
ALSO THE NUMBER ONE E TAILOR
IN CANADA.

Tina says WELL, HOLD ON.
ON THE WEEKEND JERRY
SCHWARTZ, HUSBAND OF INDIGO
HEAD HEATHER REISMAN
RETALIATED.
HE UPPED HIS HOSTILE BID TO
TAKE OVER THE CHAPTERS CHAIN
LEAVING THE DECISION IN THE
HANDS OF THE SHAREHOLDERS.
SO WHICH WILL IT BE.
FUTURE SHOP OR INDIGO AND
WHAT WILL IT MEAN FOR READERS.
HERE TO MAKE SENSE OF THIS,
SCOTT ANDERSON FROM QUILL
AND QUIRE AND BRIAN MILNER
FROM “THE GLOBE AND MAIL,”
HELLO, GENTLEMEN.
LAST WEEK IT LOOKED LIKE
FUTURE SHOP AND CHAPTERS
WOULD BE HAPPILY MAKING A DEAL.
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE
MEANTIME.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Brian Milner. Business Columnist, The Globe and Mail."
Brian is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short curly brown hair.

He says WELL, I THINK THAT IN THE
MEANTIME JERRY SCHWARTZ
LOOKED AT HIS OPTIONS,
PRIMARILY WHETHER TO SELL
INDIGO OR TO TRY AND SAVE
IT.
AND HE DECIDED THAT IT WOULD
BE MORE FUN TRYING TO SAVE
IT AND TAKE ON LARRY
STEVENSON.

Tina says SCOTT, WERE YOU SURPRISED
SCHWARTZ MADE A COMEBACK.

The caption changes to "Scott Anderson. Editor, Quill and Quire."
Scott is in his thirties, with short brown hair and a trimmed beard.

Scott says NOT REALLY.
I THINK THERE IS A LOT
RIDING ON THIS BOTH
PROFESSIONALLY AND
PERSONALLY FOR JERRY
SCHWARTZ AND HEATHER REISMAN
BECAUSE HE HAS HAD TWO
FAILED TAKEOVER BIDS BEFORE,
WANTS TO MAKE IT WORK AND
PERSONALLY I THINK REISMAN
AND STEVENSON HAVE A RIVALLY
GOING WAY BACK AND HE
DOESN'T WANT TO LOSE THIS
FOR THAT REASON.

Tina says SO WHEN ALREADIEE
STEVENSON LOOKED SO EUPHORIC
GOING WITH FUTURE SHOP WAS
PART OF IT THAT IT WASN'T
JERRY SCHWARTZ SITTING
BESIDE HIM.

Brian says THAT IS THE MAIN THING.
I THINK HE ALSO THOUGHT IT
WAS A BETTER DEAL FOR
HIMSELF AND THE SHAREHOLDERS
BECAUSE THE PRICE WAS
BETTER.
BECAUSE FUTURE SHOP WAS
TALKING ABOUT EXPANDING
CHAPTERS RATHER THAN
SHRINKING IT BUT REALLY WHEN
YOU LOOK AT THE CORE OF THIS
PROBLEM IT IS REALLY LARRY
STEVENSON VERSUS HEATHER
REISMAN.
THEY DON'T LIKE EACH OTHER.
HE WANTED NOTHING TO DO WITH
THE BID NO MATTER HOW HIGH
IT WAS AND I SUSPECT HE WILL
SAY THE SAME AGAIN.

Tina says SCOTT, WHAT DO YOU
THINK.
DO YOU THINK JERRY SCHWARTZ
IS ACTUALLY GOING TO GET IT.

Scott says HARD TO TELL.
WE HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE WHAT
HAPPENS.
BUT I THINK JERRY HAS DEEP
POCKETS AND YOU KNOW, WHEN
YOU COMPARE FUTURE SHOP AND
INDIGO AND ACTUALLY ASK WHO
IS MORE LIKELY TO CARRY IT
THROUGH I SIDE WITH JERRY.
I THINK HE HAS THE
WHEREWITHAL TO DO IT.

Tina says NOW WHAT WERE THE
FIT, BRIAN.
BECAUSE WHEN FUTURE SHOP AND
CHAPTERS WERE TALKING ABOUT
THEIR PERFECT MARRIAGE OF
E.BUSINESS AND ALL THAT, IS
IT A GOOD FIT.
ON THE SURFACE IT LOOKS ODD.

Brian says THIS TALK OF ALL THESE
SYNERGIES AND -- I'VE NEVER
UNDERSTOOD HOW SOME OF THIS
IS GOING TO WORK BECAUSE
THEY TALKED ABOUT -- THEY
DIDN'T TALK ABOUT BOOKS BY
THE WAY WHEN THEY WERE
TALKING ABOUT -- THEY WERE
TALKING ABOUT CONTENT AND
BOXES.
AND SOMEHOW THE BOOK PART
WAS THE CONTENT AND THE
BOXES ARE THESE OTHER THINGS
AND THEY CAN SELL EVERYTHING
TO EVERYBODY.
AND REALLY WHEN YOU LOOK AT
SOME OF WHAT OTHER CHAINS
HAVE TRIED TO DO, IT IS NOT
A GOOD FIT IF THE CUSTOMER
MIXES DIFFERENT THAN THE
PEOPLE WITHOUT BUY BOOKS ARE
JUST NOT THE SAME PEOPLE
THAT DAY WHO ARE GOING TO
RUSH OUT AND BUY A COMPUTER
WHEN THEY GO GET THEIR
NOVEL.
IT DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY.

Tina says I COULDN'T EVEN IMAGINE
SCOTT WHAT THE STORES WOULD
LOOK LIKE.
WERE THEY TALKING ABOUT
LEAVING THE STORES ENTIRELY
SEPARATE.

Scott says THAT IS NOT CLEAR.
IT IS INTERESTING THAT BOOKS
WERE REALLY NOT TALKED ABOUT
AT THE CONFERENCE RECENTLY.
I THINK YOU COULD POSSIBLY
PUT IN A CONSUMER
ELECTRONICS SECTION INTO A
CHAPTERS STORE AND THEY VERY
WELL MIGHT DO THAT.
BUT I CAN'T REALLY ENVISION
A BIG BOOK SECTION IN THE
FUTURE SHOPS.
AS BRIAN SAID I DON'T THINK
THE PEOPLE GOING INTO THE
FUTURE SHOP ARE REALLY THERE
IN ANY SENSE TO BUY BOOKS.

Tina says SO FOR READERS THAN,
BRIAN, IS INDIGO JUST A
BETTER FIT.
I MEAN IF YOU LIKE THE
CAPPUCCINO BAR, QUIET,
LOVELY JAZZ MUSIC IN THE
BACKGROUND SHOULD WE BE
VOTING FOR INDIGO.

Brian says INDIGO HAS BEEN A MORE
PLEASANT PLACE TO SHOP, THE
COLOURS ARE BETTER, THE
ARCHITECTURE IS BETTER AND
PEOPLE SEEM TO BE MORE
RELAXED THERE ANYWAY.
MY PROBLEM WITH INDIGO IS
THAT EVERY TIME I WENT TO
BUY A BOOK THERE WOULD BE
COFFEE STAINS ON PAGE 3 20.
I THOUGHT OH MY GOD,
SOMEBODY ELSE HAS BEEN
READING THIS HERE.
AT CHAPTERS IT IS MORE OF AN
IN AND OUT PROCESS EVEN
THOUGH THEY HAVE STARBUCKS.

Tina says THEY MAKE YOU BUY
THE BOOK BEFORE YOU CAN GO
INTO STARBUCKS.

Brian says THEY CERTAINLY WANT TO
YOU BUY THE BOOKS.
THEY ARE MORE AGGRESSIVE.
INDIGO IS A LOT MORE FUN BUT
MAYBE THAT IS ONE OF
INDIGO'S PROBLEMS IT IS NOT
SELLING ENOUGH OF THESE
THINGS.
IT IS JUST ENCOURAGING
PEOPLE TO HANG AROUND.

Tina says SO IS INDIGO IN
REAL TROUBLE, SCOTT.
IF JERRY SCHWARTZ DOESN'T
GET THIS BID IS INDIGO GOING
TO GO UNDER, DO YOU THINK.

Scott says THAT IS AN INTERESTING
QUESTION.
AND I THINK -- I QUESTION --
I WONDERED THE MOTIVATION
FOR THIS BID BECAUSE I THINK
IT IS AN OPEN SECRET THAT
INDIGO IS LOSING MONEY WHEN
YOU CONSIDER THE ON-LINE
OPERATIONS AND YOU KNOW HOW
MUCH MONEY IS BEING DRAINED.
CHAPTERS IS LOSING A LOT OF
MONEY THROUGH ON-LINE SO I'M
SURE INDIGO IS AS WELL.
AND I THINK THEY MAYBE SAW
THIS AS A SOLUTION.
JERRY SCHWARTZ AND HEATHER
REISMAN, JUST BUY CHAPTERS,
MERGE THE TWO, GET RID OF
SOME OF THE STORES AND TURN
IT INTO A PROFITABLE
OPERATION.
IF IT DOESN'T HAPPEN, THAN I
THINK THEY COULD USE A
FAILED BID AS A WAY OF
GETTING OUT OF THE BUSINESS
ALL TOGETHER AND SAYING WE
CAN'T MAKE IT WORK, WE ARE
SHUTTING THEM DOWN.

Tina says WHAT DO YOU THINK, BRIAN.

Brian says OR CONVERSELY, REALLY
SHUT IT DOWN ANYWAY ONCE
THEY BUY CHAPTERS KEEPING
THE BEST LOCATIONS FROM BOTH
COMPANIES.
THE CLEAR INTENT OF DOING
THIS DEAL AT SOME POINT
REGARDLESS OF WHAT IS GOING
ON NOW WITH THE FEDERAL
COMPETITION PEOPLE IS TO
HAVE ONE CHAIN AT THE END OF
THE DAY.

Tina says AND FEWER STORES,
RIGHT.
WHICH IS IN FACT HASN'T
Mr. SCHWARLTS ALWAYS SAID
THAT RIGHT FROM THE START.

Brian says IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN SAID
IF THEY SHUT DOWN SOME OF
THE MORE UNPROFITABLE
LOCATIONS, ABOUT TEN STORES
OR SO THAT THEY CAN MAKE
MONEY OUT OF THIS.

Tina says SCOTT, WHAT DO YOU
THINK, IT IS INTERESTING,
THOUGH, TO SEE BOOKS BE SUCH
BIG BUSINESS, WHETHER WE
CALL THEM BOOKS OR THE
DREADED CONTENT.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IT SAYS
ABOUT THE BOOK BUSINESS.

Scott says WELL, I THINK IT IS A
REFLECTION OF WHAT HAS
HAPPENED OVER THE PAST FIVE
YEARS WITH THE SUPERSTORES
COMING OUT AND BOOKS HAVE
BEEN KIND OF CENTRAL, THEY
HAVE BECOME SEXY.
PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT
THEM IN THE MEDIA AND I
THINK IT IS ALSO PARTLY A
REFLECTION OF THE FACT THAT
THE PEOPLE IN THE MEDIA ARE
INTERESTED IN BOOKS AND
IDEAS AND IN THE CULTURAL
WORLD SO YOU SEE THIS PLAYED
OUT IN THE NEWSPAPERS A LOT
THAN SAY TWO SUPERMARKETS
WERE GETTING TOGETHER.
SO I THINK IT IS A SIGN THAT
PEOPLE ARE REALLY INTERESTED
IN WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE
BOOK BUSINESS.

Tina says IS IT A SIGN THOUGH
THAT YOU CAN MAKE MONEY IN
THE BOOK BUSINESS.

Brian says NO, IT IS.

Tina says SO WE ARE SEXY BUT
NOT VERY PROFITABLE, WE
CAN'T HAVE EVERYTHING.

Brian says BORDERS DOESN'T MAKE
MONEY, BARNES and NOBLE
DOESN'T MAKE MONEY, THE
BIGGEST CHAINS IN EUROPE
DON'T MAKE MONEY.
THEY REALLY HAVEN'T FIGURED
IT OUT.
THEY CREATED A MUCH MORE
INTERESTING ENVIRONMENT TO
BUY THE PRODUCT BUT HAVEN'T
FIGURED OUT HOW TO MAKE
MONEY.

Tina says THAT SEEMS LIKE A PRETTY
MAJOR DRAIN.

Brian says WELL, UNLESS YOU HAVE
SOMEBODY WHO WANTS TO BUY A
CHAIN FOR THEIR EGO THE WAY
PEOPLE USED TO BUY MOVIE
STUDIOS, IT IS AN INDUSTRY
THAT HAS TO FIGURE OUT HOW
TO BASICALLY CHANGE THE WAY
IT DOES BUSINESS, BOTH THE
PUBLISHING END AND THE SALES
END.
AND RIGHT NOW IN CAB DA AS
JERRY SCHWARTZ HAS MADE
CLEAR WE HAVE FAR TOO MAY BE
STORES FOR TOO SMALL A
MARKET.

Tina says WE WILL SEE WHAT
HAPPENS IN THE NEXT FEW
DAYS.
THANKS VERY MUCH.

Scott says THANK YOU.

Brian says THANK YOU.

Now an animated book on a bar countertop reveals a clip of Ursula LeGuin, followed by a snippet of Gerald L’Ecuyer interviewing Spider Robinson.

Tina says LATER, URSULA
LeGUIN, FIRST LADY OF THE
SCIENCE FICTION UNIVERSE IS
AND NEXT, A TRIP TO A SCI-FI
BOOK STORE WITH CANADIAN
WRITER SPIDER ROBINSON.
ITS HE HARD TO BELIEVE NOW
BUT FOR A WHILE SPIDER
ROBINSON WASN'T SURE HE
WANTED TO BE A WRITER.
HE HAD ALREADY BEEN A
DISHWASHER, NIGHT WATCHMAN,
PAINTER, CARTOONIST, MODEL
AND MUSICIAN BEFORE HE
SETTLED INTO WRITING SCIENCE
FICTION FOR A LIVING.
20 BOOKS LATER HE IS ONE OF
THE MOST POPULAR SCI-FI GUYS
ON THIS PLANET.
HIS CALLAHAN SERIES FEATURES
BAR OWNER JAKE STONEBENDER
IS A RUNNAWAY HIT.
“IMPRINT” GERALD L'ECUYER
STOCK SPIED TORE BAKKA,
TORONTO'S PREMIER BOOK STORE
FOR SCIENCE FICTION FANS.

In a clip Gerald and Spider Robinson walk into Bakka.
Gerald is in his thirties, clean-shaven, with short blond hair. Spider is in his late thirties, with long brown hair and a stubble.

Spider says ALL RIGHT.

Gerald says WOW!.

Spider says HERE WE ARE.

Gerald says SCIENCE FICTION BOOK STORE.

Spider says THIS IS MY FIRST TIME IN
THE NEW LOCATION BUT I CAN
ALREADY TELL I'M HOME.

Gerald says BAKKA, THIS IS THE STORE.
AND WHY DO YOU FEEL HOME HERE.

Spider says WELL, I CAN JUST SEE THAT
EVERYTHING I NEED FOR A GOOD
AFTERNOON IS HERE.
ALL THE PARTS OF THE OTHER
LOCATION THAT MATTERED HAVE
BEEN SUCCESSFULLY
TRANSFERRED HERE.
YOU CAN TELL AT A GLANCE.
YOU CAN TELL BY INHALING THE
PRINT.

Gerald says BEFORE YOU WERE PUBLISHED
DID YOU USED TO DREAM ABOUT
COMING INTO A BOOK STORE AND
SEEING YOUR BOOK ON DISPLAY.

Spider says I WISH COY SAY YES.
NO, IT EVER EVER OCCURRED TO
ME IN MY LIFE THAT HE I
MIGHT BECOME A WRITER EVEN
AS I WAS MAILING OFF MY
FIRST STORY MANUSCRIPT I
DIDN'T THINK, I DIDN'T HAVE
ANY REALISTIC HOPE OF
SELLING THE THING.
MY PURPOSE WAS TO COLLECT
REJECTION SLIPS.
ONE NIGHT I WAS SO BORED I
PICKED OUT A STORY TO KEEP
FROM GOING INSANE AND THE
NEXT MORNING I THOUGHT MAYBE
I CAN TRADE THIS FOR
REJECTION SLIPS AND THAN I
DO IMPRESS WOMEN.

Gerald says YOU HAD A DIFFERENT MOTIVATION.

Spider says THE TRAGIC FIGURE OF A
MAN, THE FAILED ROMANTIC
WRITER AND I WENT TO THE
LIBRARY AND FOUND OUT WHO
PAID THE MOST FOR SCIENCE
FICTION STORIES, MAILED MY
MANUSCRIPT OFF TO ANALOG AND
THEY SENT ME A CHEQUE FOR 400 bucks.
SO IT WAS AT THAT MOMENT FOR
THE FIRST TIME THE LIGHT
BULB APPEARED IN THE AIR
OVER MY HEAD, WHY, MAYBE I
COULD ACTUALLY DO THIS.
UNTIL THEN WRITERS HAD BEEN
THE GODS.
IT HAD NEVER OCCURRED TO ME
TO TRY TO COUNTERFEIT ONE.
I KNEW THAT THEY WERE ON
SOME HIGHER EVOLUTION
AIRPLANE THAN ME.
BUT THERE WAS SOMETHING
ABOUT A CHEQUE FOR CASH
MONEY THAT CHANGES YOUR MIND
REAL QUICK.

Gerald says YOUR CLIMB FROM OBSCURITY
TO FAME AND PUBLICATION HAS
BEEN ENTIRELY --

Spider says A MATTER OF DUMB LUCK.

Gerald says BUT ALSO MUCH MORE
DIFFICULT THAN I THINK
PEOPLE WOULD IMAGINE.
PEOPLE JUST -- PEOPLE SEE
THE AWARDS, THEY SEE WHEN
YOU SPEAK AT CONVENTIONS
THEY SEE THE SUCCESS.

Spider says IN A COLOMBO EPISODE IF
THE CHARACTER IS A WRITER HE
IS ALWAYS PORTRAYED AS
DRIVING A MERCEDES AND
LIVING IN A MANSION OR
PALACE WITH THE LATEST
COMPUTER.

Gerald says HOW IMPORTANT IS HUMAN
ILITY TO WHAT YOU DO.

Spider says EXACTLY, EXACTLY.

Gerald says DO YOU FIND YOU HAVE TO
STAY THERE IN A WAY TO KIND
OF --.

A caption reads “Spider Robinson. Callahan’s key.”

Spider says THERE USED TO BE THIS
CARTOON SERIES THAT THE
ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE PEOPLE
DID MORE OR LESS WITH THEIR
HEADS CALLED GEORGE OF THE
JUNGLE.
GEORGE WAS A TARZAN TYPE WHO
WAS SO MORE ONIC HE WOULD
SWING INTO TREES AND CALLED
HIS GIRLFRIEND STELLA AND
INTELLECTUALLY OUTCLASSED BY
HIS FRIEND, AN APRIL.
BUT SOMEHOW IN EVERY EPISODE
GEORGE WOULD COME OUT OF THE
MUD SMELLING LIKE A ROSE.
AND WHEN REPEATEDLY ASKED
HOW HE PULLED IT OFF HE
WOULD SPEAK AND SAY GEORGE
OF JUNGLE HAVE SECRET WEAPON,
DUMB LUCK.
YOU ARE LOOKING AT THE
GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE OF THE
SCIENCE FICTION FIELD.
A CAREER FULL OF DUMB LUCK
THAT JUST DOESN'T SEEM TO
STOP.
EVERY TIME I'M CONVINCED THE
WOLF IS RIGHT OUTSIDE THE
DOOR AND ANOTHER WEEK I WILL
HAVE TO PUT ON A NECKTIE AND
TYPE UP A RESUME OF LIES AND
GO LOOK FOR A DAY JOB,
SOMETHING ALWAYS SEEMS TO
FALL OUT OF THE SKY.
YOU KNOW, I STARTED OUT I
WAS A HARDHEADED
MATERIALIST.
I DIDN'T BELIEVE IN LUCK OR
KARMA OR ANY OF THAT STUFF.
BUT BOY, IT IS STARTING TO
GET ERIE.

Gerald says SO YOU ARE VERY
CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT
THINGS.

Spider says ABOUT EVERYTHING.

Gerald says BUT YOU -- WRITE ABOUT
HOPE AND HOPE IS THE -- IS
IN YOUR WRITING.

Spider says -- IT WAS SAID THAT THAT
WAS THE LAST THING
THAT-TO-COME OUT OF PANDORA'S
BOX, GLEAMING HOPE.
AND THAT IS THE THING I HANG
ON TO.

Gerald says WELL, ONE OF THE WAYS IN
WHICH I WENT IN READING CALL
HAND'S KEYS, THE NEW BOOK,
HOPE TO ME IS IN THE
CHILDREN.
I MEAN THERE IS A CHILD IN
IT WHO IS THIS TODDLER WHO
IS WISE BEYOND HER YEARS TO
SAY THE LEAST.
AND ARE CHILDREN WHERE YOU
SEE THE POST HOPE IN THE
WORLD.

Spider says WHERE ELSE, YEAH.
THE ONGOING WAVE OF
EVOLUTION TAKES PLACE
THROUGH CHILDREN AND WITHOUT
THEM WE'RE SUNK.
I JUST -- DEEP DOWN I FEEL
LIKE des PRAYERING PEOPLE
SOLVE NO PROBLEMS.
ONCE YOU DECIDE IT IS
HOPELESS, IT BECOMES A
SELF-FULFILLING PROVE FEE --
PROPHECY AND THERE IS SOME
STUFF ON THE HORIZON LOOMING
AHEAD OF US THAT THAT ISN'T
GOING TO MAKE IT.

Gerald says DO YOU THINK THAT IF YOU
DIDN'T HAVE JAKE STONEBRENNER
TO CHANNEL YOUR VIEWS, IF
YOU DIDN'T HAVE WOULD YOU BE
MORE DISPEARING YOURSELF.

Spider says I PROBABLY WOULD.
IT IS A PAZING THE AMOUNT OF
FEEDBACK THAT COMES FROM
THESE SILLY STORIES.

Gerald says SILLY?

Spider says WELL, THIS MORNING AN
E-MAIL COMES IN, HERE I AM,
I'M OUT OF TOWN.
I DON'T KNOW HOW THE GUY
FOUND MY E-MAIL ADDRESS BUT
SOMEONE JUST WROTE TO SAY
THANK YOU, YOUR CALLAHAN
STORIES REACHED ME JUST AT
THE TIME I FOUND OUT MY
STEPFATHER WAS A SECRET
ALCOHOLIC AND I LEARNED I
HAD EP REP SEE AND THEY GOT
THREE -- EPILEPSY AND THEY
GOT ME THROUGH SOME HARD
TIMES.
YOU SIT THERE AND FEELED
HUMBLED AND AWD THAT YOU
WERE ABLE TO HELP SOME
STRANGER YOU WILL NEVER MEET
JUST BY SITTING IN A ROOM
SOMEWHERE, WITH PIECES OF
PAPER.
I'M A LUCKY MAN.
I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HAVE
SOME POSITIVE EFFECT OUT
THERE LIKE THE GUYS WHO
REALLY GO OUT ON THE LINE,
YOU KNOW, PARAMEDICS OR
TEACHERS IN THE INNER CITY
OR SOMETHING ONLY I GOT TO
DO IT SITTING IN A CLIMATE
CONTROLLED ROOM.

Gerald says AND YOUR MUSIC -- THERE
ARE SONGS IN THE BOOK.
THIS IS A SCIENCE FICTION
BOOK WITH MUSICAL LYRICS.

Spider says I'M A FAILED MUSICIAN.
WHAT I WANTED TO BE IS A
MUSICIAN AND I DIDN'T MAKE
THE CUT.

Gerald says WE WILL GIVE YOU YOUR
CHANCE.
WHY DON'T YOU PLAY FOR US.

Spider says OH, I WOULD LOVE TO.

Gerald says OH, THAT WAS SO FAST.

Spider says I'M EASY.
TWIST MY ARM.

He sits on a table and sings
WELL, DIED, AND I RECEIVED
100,000 dollars FROM THE WILL.
A FRIEND AND I DECIDED
TO CONVERT IT INTO LIQUID
FORM
WE STARTED IN NEW YORK
CITY
HAD A DRINK IN EVERY
LITTLE GIN MILL, REALLY
QUITE A FEW
THAN A CABBIE IN HARLEM
TOOK US ACROSS THE RIVER
INTO Brooklyn WHERE HE JOINED US FOR A BREW.
IT WAS NOTHING TO THE
WEAVING THAT WE DID AS WE
WAS LEAVING
AND FROM TIME TO TIME IT
GOT A LITTLE WORSE
NOTHING LIKE DRINKING UP A
WIND FALL, BABY.
WE WERE DRUNKER THAN A MONKEY
SO GOD DAMN DRUNK IT WAS
SINFUL, AND I THINK I AIN'T SOBER YET.

Gerald says HOW DOES THE FAMILY THAT
YOU WRITE ABOUT IN JAKE
STONEBENDER'S FAMILY AND
YOUR OWN FAMILY, HOW DOES
THE DIALOGUE GO BETWEEN THEM.

Spider says AS JAKE'S FAMILY PROSPERS,
MY FAMILY EATS REGULAR.

Gerald says MEANING?

Spider says WELL, THE MORE BOOKS SELL
THE LESS CHANCE I WILL HAVE
TO PUT ON A NECKTIE AND GO
WORK FOR A LIVING WHICH AT
MY AGE WOULD BE
EMBARRASSING.

Gerald says STILL A FEAR YOU LIVE WITH.

Spider says OH, YEAH, EVERY WRITER
DOES, I DON'T CARE IF YOU
ARE STEPHEN KING, YOU STILL
LIVE WITH THE FEAR THAT ONE
DAY EVERYBODY MAY WAKE UP
AND DECIDE THEY HAVE HAD
ENOUGH OF THIS NONSENSE AND
BUY SOMEBODY ELSE'S BOOK.
THEY DON'T HAVE UNEMPLOYMENT
FOR WRITERS, NO PENSION PLAN
FOR WRITERS.
ALMOST ON MY OWN, THE ONLY
HOPEFUL NOTE ON THE HORIZON
IS MY DAUGHTER IS WORKING
FOR PARTA STEWART MAGAZINE
AND MAKING MORE MONEY THAN I
AM.
MAYBE I CAN MOOK OFF HER IN
MY OLD AGE.
HI, DEAR.

Gerald says THERE IS A PHOTOGRAPH,
THIS IS YOU, I THINK.

He shows Spider a black and white picture of a young Spider Robinson sitting next to a woman in her fifties.

Spider says TOAST MASTER AT THE WORLD
SCIENCE FICTION CONVENTION
IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA.
IF I HAD TO GUESS I WOULD
GUESS IT WAS '93 BUT THAT IS
PURE GUESS.
WELL, THE EXPERTS BEHIND THE
CAMERAS TELL ME IT WAS 1991.
I BEG YOUR PARDON.
THAT IS ME WITH A TOP HAT,
RESPECTABLY DRESSED TO BE
THE MASTER OF THE TOAST.

Gerald says SO WHAT WERE YOU THINKING.

Spider says I WAS THINKING GOD, I
HOPE I DON'T BLOW MY LINES
IN FRONT OF 5,000 SCIENCE
FICTION FANS.
I WILL NEVER HEAR THE END OF
IT NO, I WAS THINKING THIS
IS MY FAMILY, THIS IS MY
COMMUNITY.
WE ONLY SEEM TO GET TOGETHER
ONCE A YEAR AND I DON'T
ALWAYS MAKE EVERY GATHERING
BUT MOST OF THE PEOPLE I
KNOW, LOVE AND RESPECT IN
THE WORLD ARE IN THIS ONE
ENORMOUS HOTEL COMPLEX.
I HOPE I DON'T MAKE A FOOL
OF MYSELF.

Gerald says YOU WRITE ABOUT COMMUNITY
IN YOUR WORK BUT ALSO THE
SCIEN FICTION WORLD IS A
COMMUNITY IN ITSELF.

Spider says IT IS.
AND I HAVE THIS GREAT
AMBIGUOUS SPLIT PART OF ME
YEARNS FOR COMMUNITY AND THE
OTHER REST IS THAT WOULD
JUST A SOON STAY AT HOME AND
SHUT THE PHONE OFF.
GO FIGURE.

Gerald says THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Spider says MY PLEASURE.
WE HAVE TO START MEETING
LIKE THIS.

Gerald says ALL RIGHT, WE HAVE TO
START MEETING LIKE THIS.
ALL RIGHT, LET'S DO THAT.

Spider sings
NOTHING LIKE DRINKING UP
A WIN FALL
WE WERE SO GOD DAMN DRUNK
IT WAS SINFUL
AND I THINK I AIN'T SOBER
YET
NOTHING LIKE DRINKING UP
APRIL WINDFALL
WE WERE DRUNKER THAN A
MONKEY WITH A TINFUL
SO GOD DAMN DRUNK IT WAS
SINFUL
AND I THINK I AIN'T SOBER YET.

Back in the studio, Spider’s book appears briefly. The cover shows a drawing of a satellite sending a laser beam to a key hanging from a cat’s neck.

Tina says CALLAHAN'S KEY IS
THE LATEST BOOK BY SPIDER
ROBINSON.
IT IS PUBLISHED BY BANTAM
BOOKS.
SPIDER ROBINSON ISN'T
THE ONLY WRITER WHO LIVES IN
FEAR OF THE REJECTION SLIP.
WE ASKED SOME OTHER AUTHORS
FOR THEIR ADVICE ON HOW TO
HANDLE THE THANKS BUT NO THANKS.

Now an animated slate reads “Any advice for budding writers on how to handle rejection?”

In a clip, W.P. Kinsella says
SEVEN COPIES OF YOUR WORK
TYPED IN ADVANCE.
THE SECOND IT COMES BACK YOU
TAKE THE REJECTION SLIP OFF
AND PUT IT BACK IN THE MAIL.

Val McDermid says DUST YOURSELF OFF AND
START ALL OVER AGAIN.
THE FACT THAT ONE PERSON
DOESN'T LIKE YOUR BOOK
DOESN'T MEAN THERE ISN'T
SOMEONE ELSE THAT WILL LOVE IT.

Elisabeth Harvor says I THINK IT IS A GOOD IDEA
TO HAVE WRITER FRIENDS OR
FRIENDS WHO ARE SYMPATHETIC
TO YOUR WORK.
I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT NOT
TO KEEP IT ALL TO YOURSELF,
ESPECIALLY SOMEONE WHO WILL
MOCK THE PEOPLE WHO ARE
REJECTING YOU.

Malachy McCourt says WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO IS
TURN AROUND, SAY IF THEY
REALLY COULD SEE MY
BRILLIANCE, THEY WOULD BE
BLINDED.
SO YOU HAVE TO MAKE SURE
THEY ARE NOT BLINDED.

Francine Prose says GET USED TO IT.
GET USED TO IT AND GET OVER IT.

Alan Twigg says WELL, MAYBE REJECTION IS
A GOOD THING.
AND THAT YOU ARE BEING
REJECTED FOR GOOD REASON.
AND TO NOT -- DO NOT OPERATE
UNDER SORT OF VEIN GLORIOUS EGO.
I KNOW YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND A
LOT OF PEOPLE WILL BELIEVE
IN YOU IF YOU HAVE THE
AUDACITY TO BELIEVE IN
YOURSELF AND A LOT OF PEOPLE
GO FAR WITH THAT KIND OF
AUDACITY BUT I COME FROM THE
OTHER FLIP SIDE OF IT.
AND YOU KNOW, THE HUMAN
ILITY AND SHAME, THESE
ARE -- FAILURE, THESE ARE
GOOD MOTIVATORS.
SO I THINK WHEN PEOPLE
REJECT YOU, DID YOURSELF WHY.

A.B. McKillop says DON'T TRY TO IMPRESS,
WRITE FOR YOURSELF.

Candace Bushnell says YOU JUST HAVE TO KEEP GOING.
DON'T PAY ATTENTION AND
DON'T LISS EP TO WHAT
ANYBODY SAYS.
IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE A
WRITER, YOU WILL BE A
WRITER.

Lemony Snicket says DRINK THE POISON OF YOUR
CHOICE AND CURSE THE WORLD
AND BE PROPPED UP BY PEOPLE
WHO BELIEVE YOU TO BE TALENTED.

Emma Donoghue says JUST REMEMBER THAT EVERY
PUBLISHED NOVELIST HAS A
DRAWER FULL OF REJECTION
LETTERS.
ARE YOU NOT ALONE.

Back in the studio, Tina says
ONE WRITER WHO DOES STAND
ALONE IS URSULA LeGUIN.
SHE IS CONSIDERED AN ICON IN
SCIENCE FICTION CIRCLES.
ONE OF THE FEW WOMEN WRITERS
WHO DARED TO ENTER THE WORLD
OF INTERSTELLAR SPACE AND
ALIEN LIFE FORMS.
LeGUIN WROTE ABOUT STRONG
WOMEN AT A TIME WHEN FEMALE
CHARACTERS IN SCI-FI LEANED
MORE TOWARDS THE HELPLESS
BLOND BIM BO.
WE TALKED TO URSULA LeGUIN
ABOUT HER LONG CAREER AND
HER LATEST BOOK, THE TELLING.

A clips plays of Antanas Sileika interviewing Ursula LeGuin. Antanas is in his forties, with short gray hair and a goatee. Ursula is in her sixties, with gray hair in a very short bob.

Antanas says URSULA LeGUIN, WELCOME TO “IMPRINT.”

Ursula says THANK YOU.

Antanas says YOU HAVE BEEN WRITING
SCIENCE FICTION FOR OVER 30 YEARS.
I WONDER IF YOU COULD
DESCRIBE FOR US WHAT THE
WORLD OF SCIENCE FICTION WAS
LIKE WHEN YOU STARTED.

Ursula says WELL, IT WAS A LOT SMALLER.
AND EXCEPT FOR A COUPLE OF
GREY IMMINENCES LOOMING
ABOUT IT WAS A LOT YOUNGER.
BECAUSE A WHOLE LOT OF US
KIND OF CAME IN TO SCIENCE
FICTION AT ABOUT THE SAME
TIME IN THE EARLY '60s.
AND IT WAS QUITE EXCITING.
AND THERE WEREN'T VERY MANY
WOMEN.
BUT A LOT OF IT JUST KIND OF
WANDERED IN.

Antanas says LET'S TALK ABOUT WOMEN IN
SCIENCE FICTION.
YOU WERE KIND OF A PIONEER
FOR WOMEN IN SCIENCE
FICTION.
YOU KIND OF HELPED OPEN UP
THE DOORS FOR WOMEN.
HOW DID YOU EVEN DARE TO DO
THAT.

A caption reads “Ursula k. LeGuin. The Telling.”

Ursula says I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IT.
PARTLY I THINK BECAUSE I
SOLD MY FIRST SCIENCE
FICTION SALE WAS TO A WOMAN
EDITOR AT AMAZING STORIES.
AND SHE WAS ONE OF THESE
SHARP EDITORS WHO SHE DIDN'T
CARE WHAT SEX YOU WERE, SIZE,
COLOUR, SPECIES, YOU KNOW,
IF YOU WROTE A GOOD STORY
SHE WOULD BUY IT.
I CAME IN ALONG WITH QUITE A
FAW OTHER WOMEN.
WE ALL KIND OF BARGED IN.
AND SAID WELL, MOVE OVER
BOYS, HERE WE ARE.
AND THEY MOVED OVER, MOST OF
THEM.

Antanas says IN AN INTERVIEW AS WELL
YOU SAID THAT YOU KEPT ON
THE SECOND WAVE TO KEEP ON
WRITING.

Ursula says THAT WAS LATER.
I GOT TO A POINT WHERE I
SORT OF HAD TO -- I WAS WELL
A CAREER, I WAS GETTING
MIDDLE-AGED AND I HAD TO
SAID AIN'T I A WOMAN.
HOW COME I'M WRITING ALL
ABOUT MEN.
AND I SORT OF HAD TO RELEARN
HOW TO WRITE.

Antanas says WHY IS THAT.

Ursula says BECAUSE THE MALE WORLD
IS -- THE WORLD AS PERCEIVED
THROUGH A MAN'S EYES IS
SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT THAN THE
WORLD PERCEIVED THROUGH A
WOMAN'S EYES.
IT TOOK A LITTLE NERVE,
ACTUALLY TO PUT WOMEN AT THE
CENTRE OF AN ADVENTURE STORY
BECAUSE IT HADN'T BEEN DONE
VERY MUCH.
AND A BUNCH OF US WERE DOING
IT AND HAVING A LOT OF FUN
DOING IT AND FINDING THAT
THE READERS WERE HAVING FUN
JOINING US IN DOING IT.
SO OUR COURAGE PAID OFF.

Antanas says I WOULD LIKE TO TALK
ABOUT YOUR NEW NOVEL ABOUT
THE TELLING IT.
YOU DEPICT THE WORLD IN
WHICH A WAY OF THOUGHT, A
VIRTUAL RELIGION HAS BEEN
BANNED.
AND THIS REMINDED ME OF
CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES IN
REAL LIFE, REMINDED ME OF
CHINA AND RUSSIA.
IS THAT WHAT YOU WERE
REFERRING TO.

Ursula says YEAH.
I THINK THE PARABLE THERE IS
PRETTY CLEAR THAT SOMETHING
HAS HAPPENED IT IN MY INVENTED
WORLD WHICH IS PRETTY
SIMILAR TO THE CULTURAL
REVOLUTION IN CHINA.
A GOVERNMENT TURNING SOCIETY
UPSIDE DOWN AND IN THE
PROCESS OF COURSE HAVING TO
OPPRESS A GREAT DEAL OF WHAT
THE OLD SOCIETY THOUGHT AND
BELIEVED AND SAID AND DID.
THERE IS AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT
OF PLOS ACCOMPANYING A
SOMEWHAT DUBIOUS GAIN.
I THINK MAO DESTROYED MORE
OF CHINESE CULTURE THAN
HITLER DESTROYED OF EUROPEAN
CULTURE BY FAR.
PROBABLY IRREP ARABLY, AND
THIS IS SCARY AND I FIND
MYSELF BROODING ABOUT IT.
SO AS I SAID MY WAY OF
COMING AT IT IS TO TRY TO
WRITE A BOOK ABOUT IT.

Antanas says IN THE WORLD YOU DEPICT
IN THE TELLING THE NEW
CULTURE IS ONE THAT IS
DOMINATED BY REASONS, BY
TECHNOLOGY, BY COMMERCE.
SO WHAT ARE YOU SAYING ABOUT
THE WORLD WE LIVE IN B OUR
HIGH-POWERED, HOUR HIGH --
OUR HIGH-TECH, OUR GLOBAL
ECONOMY.

Ursula says IT IS THE MYTHICAL THAT
IF YOU WILL -- IF YOUR
SOCIETY, CULTURE, WHATEVER
DOESN'T KEEP GROWING IT
DIES.
THAT IS THE MYTH OF
CAPITALISTS.
IT IS THE MYTH OF CERTAIN
TYPE OF TECHNOLOGY.
IT IS NOT TRUE, IT IS NOT
RATIONAL.
I DON'T THINK HUMAN SOULS OR
MINDS KEEP GROWING JUST BY
BEING FORCED -- FORCE FED
NEW INFORMATION.
AND I FIND THIS INCREASINGLY
IRRATIONAL, AND INCREASINGLY
DANGEROUS.
AS THE TECHNOLOGIES EXHAUST
THE EARTH'S INCREASINGLY.
WE REALLY HAVE TO FIND A WAY,
MAYBE NOT TO STOP BUT TO
SLOW DOWN AND SAY OKAY, WHAT
DO WE REALLY NEED.

Antanas says BUT THIS IS NOT AN ATTACK
ON TECHNOLOGY IN GENERAL, THEN.

Ursula says I DON'T WANT TO BE
ANTI-TECHNOLOGY.
WE USE TECHNOLOGY TO MEAN HIGH-TECH.
AND I HAVE TO KEEP REFUSING
THAT AND SAY DON'T SAY THAT
I'M ANTI-TECHNOLOGY BECAUSE
I'M NOT, AND YOU KNOW, I
LOVE MY COMPUTER.
I'M VERY FOND OF MY LITTLE
NOT BOOK EVEN WHEN IT FIGHTS ME.
BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN I HAVE
TO IRRATIONALLY SUPPORT ALL
TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES AS
BEING WISE OR USEFUL OR EVEN SANE.

Antanas says ONE LAST QUESTION THAN
FOR OUR READERS.
YOU SAID THAT WHEN PEOPLE
READ THEY ARE SOMEHOW INSANE.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN ABOUT THAT.

Ursula says I THINK WHEN PEOPLE ARE
READING, I'M FASCINATED
ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS ACTUALLY
WHEN PEOPLE READ HOW ACTIVE
A PROCESS READING IS AND HOW
MUCH OF THE STORY THE READER
INVENTS GIVEN SOME CLUES BY
THE WRITER.
BUT THE INSANITY PART I
SUPPOSE MEANS THAT WHILE I'M
READING WAR AND PEACE, I
GUESS I DO BELIEVE I'M
PRINCE ANDRE OR PIERRE OR
NATASHA, YOU KNOW.
WHICH SERIOUSLY SPEAKING IS
SORT OF NUTS.
BUT IT IS ALSO THE MENTALLY
ENLARGING TO THE MIND AND
SOUL TO BE NATASHA AND ANDRE
AND PIERRE AND FIGHT THE WAR
AND SO ON.

Antanas says URSULA LeGUIN, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Ursula says THANK YOU.

Back in the studio, Tina says THE TELLING BY URSULA
LeGUIN IS PUBLISHED BY
HARCOURT INC.
AND THAT WRAPS UP OUR
PROGRAMME FOR TONIGHT.
NEXT WEEK THE SHOW WE
PROMISED YOU LAST TIME, WE
WILL MEET SAND RAP GULL-AND-.
AND THREE POOKS OF POETRY
FROM JOY COGA WA, JANE
URQUHART AND PATRICK LANE,
NEXT WEEK ON “IMPRINT.”

Theme music plays as the end credits roll.

Special Thanks, International Festival of Authors, Bakka The Science Fiction Book Store, Courthouse Chamber Lounge and Market Grill.

Imprint. C/O TVOntario. P.O. Box 200. Station Q, Toronto, Ontario. M4T 2T1.

Fax: 416-484-2780.

E-mail: imprint@tvo.org.

Website: www.tvo.org/imprint

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 2001, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Imprint season 12 episode 17