NG: I hope not to be in the mainstream. I expect there could be nothing worse than to be in the mainstream. I'm still a little bit uncomfortable with the fact that we're obviously no longer in the gutter. I absolutely like being in the gutter. Being in the gutter is great fun because people read you. They don't read you because they're meant to read you. They read you because they actually really like reading you and they tell their friends because they think their friends will enjoy it, not because they think their friends will think there's anything cool about it. You tend to get ignored by reviewers and critics. You tend to be completely outside the canon. And you tend to have an awful lot more fun. Even now what's nice is I kind of get to exist in my own little bubble. I guess I don't fit into any club anymore. The comics people know that I'm sort of one of them but then I've gone off and had enormous success as a novelist too so I'm not really one of them. The novelists know that I started in comics and could go back any time and occasionally do so I'm not really a proper novelist. The fantasy people are very proud that I'm there but still are not quite sure whether what I write is really fantasy or not. It's funny. American Gods won all the awards it could have won except the fantasy awards. It won the SF awards and the horror awards.
Meanwhile I just get to go off and write whatever I want to and I'm lucky and at least currently having a bunch of people around who will read it. I'm really a lucky author. I don't know that fantasy is the literature of the future or SF is the literature of the future or any of that kind of stuff because I think at the end of the day what matters is not what is current and what is fashionable. What matters most of all is what lasts. There's nothing more scary and salutary for an author than going back and looking at the best-seller lists of previous decades, year by year, look at what the best-selling novel was in 1964, or in 1948, and the only rule is that maybe with a couple of exceptions that have hit the canon, and they're very, very thin on the ground, the only books that were best-sellers whose names you even remember, got filmed at some point, and you vaguely remember the film, but apart from that, it's a succession of forgotten books, and you realize that popularity tends to bring with it oblivion.
There was a time when The Bridges of Madison County was the best-selling book for years in America and now people barely remember it. There was a time when the poetry of Rod McKuen was the most popular thing around. There was a time when Jonathan Livingston Seagull sold more books in a three or four year period than anything else, then its time was over and it was completely gone. The wonderful thing about fantasy is that the books that have been popular may not have been popular on a huge "best-selling when they came out" level, but the ones that have been popular have lasted, they stay in print, they get talked about.
Насчет последнего пункта - совсем не уверен; но судьба "Ливингстона" радует. Знаю, что нехорошо злорадствовать, - а радует. Еще бы Catcher in the Rye в ту же яму – но, боюсь, это несбыточно.