In praising Disch and the New Wave writers Harrison also asserts that they enjoy writing, that readers can sense the pleasure experienced by New Wave writers as they compose their work. This sounds like boilerplate ad copy that the reader is free to accept or reject as he sees fit, but Harrison goes a step further, claiming that lots of SF stories are hack work produced by people who don't even like what they are doing:
There is also more than a touch of authorial pleasure in their [the New Wave writers'] writing, an ingredient that is missing from all too much of science fiction. If a writer is not writing for his own pleasure or interest the fact is immediately obvious to all except the most cynical of editors and dimmest of readers. The vacant interstellar spaces of SF contain far too much of this; less than an atom of interest per cubic meter.Who is Harrison talking about here? What SF writers (and he seems to think there are many of them) were active in the '60s and early '70s who could be credibly accused of not enjoying their work? Is Harrison talking about big name writers whose politics he didn't like, like (I'm guessing) Heinlein, Anderson, and E. E. Smith, who glorified businesspeople and fighting men? Or prolific writers of straightforward adventure stories like Edmond Hamilton, E. C. Tubb, Ken Bulmer and Lin Carter? I've read all those writers, and even when I didn't like something they did, I felt they were doing it with enthusiasm. (Maybe I am one of the "dimmest of readers.") If Harrison is talking about minor figures, people almost forgotten today, like John Glasby and Lionel Fanthorpe, then I think he may have been overstating his case.
Readers are invited to nominate candidates for Harrison's rogues gallery of dusty dinosaurs and uninterested hacks in the comments, based on knowledge of Harrison's other criticism or pure conjecture, in the comments.