Monday, June 18, 2012


For the first time in about a month, I had a whole weekend with nothing planned. Cool weather called us outside: Saturday Phil and I biked to the park, and Sunday I read an dozed in the hammock. With two reading days, I finished The New Yorker's science fiction issue (June 4 & 11, 2012). I enjoyed the reflections of contemporary authors on s/f; my favorite story was Jennifer Egan's "Black Box." Having encountered the "problem" of fictional aliens being described as human-like in the introduction to some collection of short stories I gobbled down one teenaged summer (in my memory, Ursula K. LeGuin made the observation - or maybe it was a collection of her stories?; either way, I associate having my eyes opened to that point by her), I enjoyed revisiting the topic in "The Cosmic Menagerie," by Laura Miller.

Many of the personal reflections touched on the ghettoizing of s/f. William Gibson, shows how important it was for him; an implicit cry not to discount any reading. He recalls science fiction authors he read seeming to flow naturally to Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs: "... my own Golden Age of Science Fiction came, in some sense, to an end, the otherness of my adolescence joining up with the wider tributary of all literature, the mother of all otherness. Had science fiction not found me when it did ... I suspect I might not have found that river. Or else, finding it, I might not have recognized it, and turned away."

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