I'm still trying to figure out how I felt about this book. It gave me the same weird confused feeling I had while/concluding reading R.A. Lafferty's PI'm still trying to figure out how I felt about this book. It gave me the same weird confused feeling I had while/concluding reading R.A. Lafferty's PAST MASTER . This isn't a review, just an invitation to my friends (Patrick, Matt, Michael?) to put their two cents in. ...more
I have been meaning to read some Ursula K. Le Guin for years-pretty much since my brother started reading the Wizard of Earth Sea series when we wereI have been meaning to read some Ursula K. Le Guin for years-pretty much since my brother started reading the Wizard of Earth Sea series when we were kids. I managed to read a short story in high school, but that's about it. I don't know what took me so long, but this book was an excellent introduction. It concerns the re-arranging of reality via one lonely guy's dreams and the creepy, Ghost-of-Christmas-Present-type oneirologist assigned to treat his time/space-distorting malady.
It's really special to read along as the protagonist evolves from passive, shell-shocked, and drug abusing to harmonious and quietly heroic. Le Guin manages to create this character without him coming off as remotely hippie-dippie or smugly zen;his revelations and actions are quietly beautiful.
Oh yeah, and this book scared the crap out of me here and there. It's anxiety inducing but difficult to put down. I'm looking forward to reading The Dispossed next. ...more
I was delighted to find this elaborately titled book in a care package sent by a long distance friend last year. Short horror/science fiction story coI was delighted to find this elaborately titled book in a care package sent by a long distance friend last year. Short horror/science fiction story compilations are one of my favorite things to collect;one of my favorite examples is Wolf's Complete Book of Terror, a huge collection that offers its contents in reverse chronological order and represents all sorts spanning the horror spectrum-Shirley Jackson, Richard Mattheson, Lovecraft, Stoker, excerpts from Lautreamont's Maldoror,etc. Weirdies, Weirdies,Weirdies isn't as comprehensive, but it is a special book;the stories within aren't by the standard horror set most often represented (Joyce Carol Oates-blech), they are weird and disturbing without resorting to too many cliches, and they are accompanied by creepy,psychedelic wax relief illustrations. The most upsetting story in this collection is Patricia Highsmith's "The Quest For Blank Claveringi," a story about hubris and giant man-eating snails. I didn't even know Highsmith wrote horror! If you see this lying around,grab it. It's around two bucks on Amazon and the crazy illustrations alone make it worth keeping around. ...more
I don't know if this book actually deserves a four star rating, but it has been haunting the back of my mind since senior year of high school, when II don't know if this book actually deserves a four star rating, but it has been haunting the back of my mind since senior year of high school, when I had to read it for my "Literature of Science" class. Haunting me not because it is an amazing piece of literature (I recall it being awkwardly written ) but because it is so WEIRD. It's weird in that way that certain low budget movies you catch on t.v. late at night are weird. The progression of events and the unfolding of the story is weird. The character choices are weird (everyone in the "Riverworld" is a resurrected historical figure). It's just WEIRD. There is a lot of macho male wish fulfillment, what with all the naked babes running around and having sex with all the "ugly" guys, wooed by brute force (it would be like Heavy Metal if it weren't set in such a sterile environment with such polite historical figures) . And I'm not pointing that out in a negative way-the macho factor is like every factor in this fucking weird interplanetary afterlife pastoral dystopia-everything contributes to this crazy-man mentality you take on when you get sucked into it. Unfortunately, this is the first in a series, and when my science class ended, I couldn't find the rest of the books (or the first,for that matter) at the library. Now I'll never know what happens to the protagonist after he encounters the drag-queen overlords in their sterile sci-fi Mount Olympus. I'M NOT EXAGGERATING. ...more
I'm a dickhead, because I am giving this book a lukewarm review when I couldn't even get through it. And it's a book of SHORT STORIES. What's wrong wiI'm a dickhead, because I am giving this book a lukewarm review when I couldn't even get through it. And it's a book of SHORT STORIES. What's wrong with me? I know Philip K. Dick is supposed to be amazing, one of those science fiction writers it's "okay" to like. I have overheard several coffee shop conversations proceeding thusly: "I know, it's kind of embarrassing, but...I have a weakness for science fiction. " "Oh, really? Hahaha, that's so funny. You're CRAZY. Well, I love Philip K. Dick." "Oh my god, me too!" "Do you like J.G. Ballard?" "Why YES!" "Oh, so AMAZING." "Yes, I know, and by the way, Foucault this, Miranda July that, Wes Anderson,organic vegetables, my trip to Paris last year,blah blah blah blah."
I am wondering if I would have enjoyed his stuff more if I had grown up in a different era. For some reason or other, I just find the writing really corny. I have wanted to read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep for years now, and yesterday, after finally getting a hold of a copy and reading the first few paragraphs, my heart sunk a little. I'm going to read it, I'm just going to have to get over the goofy dialogue regarding fictional technology, etc.
This has a lot less jagged industrial imagery than other books I've read by J.G. Ballard. In fact, a lot of the stories revolve around seascapes, andThis has a lot less jagged industrial imagery than other books I've read by J.G. Ballard. In fact, a lot of the stories revolve around seascapes, and are softer yet a little more unsettling. These short stories read like Ray Bradbury without the optimistic endings or Shirley Jackson with more confirmed mind control and fewer ladies running around in high heels fretting. ...more