Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Dead Hand Of The Past

Outside the office window, a funeral cortege clip-clops past, headed by a carriage drawn by two black horses with black plumes affixed to their heads, drawing an open carriage in which the coffin lies inside a glass bier. Like the last resting place of Snow White. As William Faulkner once said, the past isn't dead; it isn't even past. Always useful for a science-fiction writer to be reminded of that.

Working on a short story. After finishing a draft, I realised that it had been so laborious because it started in the wrong place. Which is why it was mostly back-story instead of narrative. You'd think, after writing some eighty-odd short stories I'd know by now where one wanted to begin.

Lauren Beukes has assembled a reading gift guide from the recommendations of many of her interesting friends. I was very pleased to be able to recommend this wonderful collection of photographs. More here, and here.

It may be cheeky of me to recommend one of my own books, but why not try this e-book collection, at a suitably cheeky price?


Anonymous Ian Sales said...

I picked the Chaubin as one of my best books of 2011. Also good is Modernism Rediscovered by Julius Shulman. The full 3-vol set is £300, but the abridged version is much more affordable.

December 21, 2011 3:54 pm  
Blogger Paul McAuley said...

Have you read Gabriel Josipovici's Whatever Happened to Modernism? I haven't (yet) but am wondering if it could be a substitute for the Shulman. Or if they play off each other.

December 21, 2011 4:08 pm  
Anonymous Sergey said...

Paul, as always your sayings are wise:
"the ideal Christmas book contains mind candy that makes you think"
There is such kind of architecture in Russia. And it was really tied with ideas of Space, Future.
SF was really popular in the USSR.
Thank you for the link!cr

December 23, 2011 8:23 pm  

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