Without introduction, McCaffery notes Disch’s love of opera. Disch names Wagner and says the poetry, narrative and singing help produce the “largest aesthetic charge.” He compares the group effort of opera to the way that elements of a story work together, and McCaffery comments that readers may not understand and appreciate the conventions and “artifices” of science fiction, Disch’s main genre. Disch says that no one has ever studied what happens in peoples’ minds as they read and write, saying, “The best writers are the ones whose mental canvas is the most extensive and . . . best edited.” Disch discusses taste in painting and allusions, and the expansion of technology. McCaffery asks about Disch’s poetry. Disch discusses this and his book The Roaches. They agree that Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis is also comic. About novels, Disch says, “How much can you bring to bear on a metaphor? That is the art of writing a novel,” adding, “it’s all a matter of load-bearing capacity.” They discuss Catholicism and are talking about where to live as the tape ends. These subjects continue on side 2. Disch discusses the book The Sand Pebbles, then American anti-intellectualism. They talk about Disch’s use of music, American education, and Disch’s book Torturing Mr. Amberwell. McCaffery talks about interviewing Raymond Carver, and Disch discusses how circumstances of life affect writing. McCaffery asks why Disch wrote science fiction, and Disch says he “had the knack” and he could “earn a living at” writing in this genre. Disch speaks of wanting “to do something surprising” rather than meeting readers’ expectations. ”Surprise is what you remember,” Disch says, and “violating expectations” requires strategy.