Tuesday, August 11, 2009

All Quantum Flux, All The Time

The Onion lets us in on the secret of writing best-selling science fiction. At last I know what I've been doing wrong, all these years.

(via Kim Newman)

Currently watching: Adam Curtis's It Felt Like A Kiss - a greatest hits compendium of the great chronicler's secret histories of the twentieth century (BBC iPlayer - not available outside the UK).

Currently reading: Thomas Pynchon's Inherent Vice - psychedelic PI mischief in LA in 1970.

Currently suffering from: an awesome cold. It isn't swine flu, but it'll do until swine flu comes along.


Anonymous Keith Talent said...

How's 'Inherent Vice', I've read half a dozen reviews of it all extremely positive, but the same was true of '2666' and the fourth part of that is turgid at best (though the first three are excellent and I'm delaying the fifth - one wonders whether some reviewers didn't read the fourth part).

Currently reading 'Gravity's Rainbow' when I get time, it's one of those books that would be better read in large blocks though rather than half an hour at a time.

August 11, 2009 4:26 pm  
Blogger George Berger said...

I read the Quantum Flux stuff right after having read the first 45 pages of 'The Quiet War.' After working through your details of future politics, Callistan marine biology, and the necessary personal and familial background information, I certainly won't buy the book under review. I am getting far more out of your careful, crystal-clear descriptions than I ever will from a book fueled entirely by one unexplained, magically invoked, deus ex machina.

August 14, 2009 9:00 am  
Blogger Paul McAuley said...

Hi Keith, Inherent Vice far from turgid. For Pynchon, it's as light as a breeze; although it bristles with his trademarks (punning acronyms, song lyrics, interlocking conspiracies driven by shadowy organisations), it's pretty true to its chosen genre, and it's playfulness is tinged by a fine fin de siecle melancholy. I liked it.

George - you might want to look at the source of the review again! That said, there's plenty of that kind of stuff around, on the shelves, so the satire cuts pretty close to reality ...

August 14, 2009 4:01 pm  
Blogger George Berger said...

Oh my goodness. I was taken in by a satire site, I guess. Well, it's not the first time that I fell for such a thing. I read somewhere online that the Guardian would solve its financial problems by somehow confining its articles to tweets, perhaps on Twitter itself. Not being familiar with Twitter, I got alarmed and alerted all the usual suspects about the coming, Guardian-Led, Decline of the West! That evening I noticed that it was April Fools Day and was appalled while laughing like mad. It's interesting that not one person to whom I sent the link told me about my gullibility. Were they too shy? Not some of them. Did they bother to read my urgent warning? Who knows. I like practical jokes when played on others, so I'll laugh now at my own idiocy. To be charitable towards myself, I did think that The Onion was a site for serious discussion of contemporary issues.

August 14, 2009 7:11 pm  
Blogger Ed Ecclesbert said...

Because of Quantum-footnote in one of the Discworld books

August 15, 2009 6:25 pm  
Blogger PeteY said...

I had the swine flu. It's a totally rubbish disease - any less and I'd assume it was a hangover. It was all over in less than a week, and the symptoms were mild.

August 16, 2009 5:07 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts