22 September 2009

Shock, But No Awe

Futureshocks Futureshocks by Lou Anders

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
The book fulfills part of its mission. The introductory essay is called "The Business of Lying," and Anders quotes U.K. LeGuin who writes, "Science fiction is not predictive; it is descriptive....Prediction is the business of phophets, clairvoyants, and futurologists. It is not the business of novelists. A novelist's business is lying."

The collection definitely succeeds in being descriptive. Each writer's prose gives me a clear picture of the world of each story. I was disappointed that most of this clarity came by way of exposition and in more than one case, shameless infodumping--2-3 pages worth.

But that's not its worst failing.

The central question, emblazoned at the top of the cover, is "What Terror Does Tomorrow Hold?" My question was "Terror for whom?" To be sure, I wouldn't want to live in some of the tomorrows presented in this anthology. But when I ask myself what terror tomorrow holds for ME, with respect to this anthology, I'd answer: very little, provided I don't make the mistakes or manage to avoid the situations in which a lot of the characters of these stories find themselves.

That is, with one exception. "Absalom's Mother" by Louise Marley stands out head and shoulders above the rest of the stories! It's the only story where I cared about the characters. I was afraid for them and afraid of their world. Their emotions connected me to that world in a way that I wasn't to any of the other worlds presented. If the rest of the stories in the anthology did that, I might truly be afraid of tomorrow.

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19 September 2009

"Too many voices in my head"

2009-09-19 Mix

I can see the mystery in your eyes
Your voodoo just may fool the other guys
You can write your destiny
But between the lines I read
It's all in what your victims will believe
-Bill Champlin, "Tuggin' On Your Sleeve"
All the energy we spend on motion
All the circuitry and time
Is there any way to feel a body
Through fiber optic lines
-Cassandra Wilson, "Right Here, Right Now"

06 September 2009

Tough Love

...will return in two weeks. Because it's been hellish at the dayjob and I think I deserve to enjoy the holiday weekend, such as it is--I don't get a third day off.

So instead of busting my ass to get something done to get vivisected, I'm chilling out, watching US Open tennis, and a little later, I'm gonna drive out to a cookout with some friends to have, what Laura Nyro calls, a "Stoned Soul Picnic."

Speaking of, Nyro's a singer/songwriter I'm discovering again for the first time. Apparently, I've been listening to her songs for years, as covered by Blood, Sweat & Tears and other bands on rotation in my playlists. I kept seeing the name "Laura Nyro" come up as the composer--it's a kind of name that jumps out at you. So I looked her up and now I'm binging on her music!

But I digress. You'll have to excuse me. I got very little sleep last night and I'm finding myself struggling to gather the energy to get to the cookout that I'm blowing off crit group to go to.

[Edited to add] The day after I wrote this, I found out that I've been living in the same town as Nyro's brother and have seen the group he conducts, Vitamin L, perform several times!