I spent half an hour going through the book this afternoon, looking for the key word - although it took a while to find the Googlebooks edition. (There's a Scribd one, but it doesn't seem searchable.) I have some juicy quotations, and found even more when I searched for another word. I like my quotes.

The trick now is to make sure the texts I'll be writing about fit them.

I can't help but feel it's the wrong way round...
There's been something percolating for years, and it involves estrangement and the uncanny. And I keep thinking that there's something to be said for throwing an incredulity against metanarratives (© JF Lyotard) in the general direction of cognition, especially as I noticed the phrase cognitive mapping (© Fredric Jameson).

The way I tend to work is that I convince myself that there is a connection between a and b, and then do the the research to prove it, finding everything slotting into place. It can take years. It makes abstracts high risk articles of faith.

My hinge for a current article (which I shouldn't write yet, but I need a CFP abstract, and will deliver a forty minute version in March) is a certain four letter word, which I've seen quoted from a classic work by a well-known continental philosopher. Only the quotations either lacked page numbers, or didn't match up. The book is on Google books, but I realise its pages don't match the real book. There are two editions - and possibly therefore two translations, albeit by the same person. I have been largely failing to locate the four letter word in the physical version, but have found some suggestive lines on [redacted].

At some point I need to read the same author's book on the uncanny (and other issues).

I cheated, by getting a book on the given philosopher, whose title contains the four-letter word, and the conceit I am wishing to use, except that the latter is being used in a different sense from the way I am using it, although I think the two will connect up. And connect to the uncanny. And I think it only appropriate. But he's taken a hundred pages to cover the ground from Hegel to my man, large discussing people I've never heard of and using words like symploke.* I feel another digression coming on before he gets there. I am not heartened by the lack of times he uses the four-letter word I am looking for, either....

I may at the end of this have a new general theory of science fiction, but don't start holding your breath just yet.

Of course, I need to read a pile of novels to apply the ideas. Details....

* The combination of anaphora and epistrophe, as eny fule kno.
faustus: (Default)
( May. 18th, 2011 10:44 am)
The 50 SF Books You Must Read @ Forbidden Planet
Think you know SF? Sure? Our experts have picked the top 50 SF books that you absolutely have to read! Challenging? Confusing? Contentious? Conforntational? Then comment!


I can't access this on my computer, bloody modem, but can on my phone and 49th on the list is Zoo City - but can you guess what the other three books by women are? Given the inability to spell confrontational, can they spell each of these three titles correctly?

And another list of fifty that can't count.
faustus: (seventies)
( Jan. 22nd, 2011 09:37 pm)
A listing, I fear, and I'll add to this if I recall anything else...

CXXXVI: John Brunner, The Shockwave Rider
CXXXVII: John Brunner, The Jagged Orbit
CXXXVIII: Susan L. # Aberth, Leonora Carrington - Surrealism, Alchemy and Art
CXXXIX: Stefan van Raay, Joanna Moorhead and Teresa Arcq, Surreal Friends: Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo and Kati Horna
CXL: Robert Holdstock, Eye Among the Blind
CXLI: Garry Kilworth, In Solitary
CXLII: Robert Holdstock Garry Kilworth, The Night of Kadar
CXLIII: Len Deighton, SS-GB

I'm sure there's more...
The Anifest kept me indoors for most of Saturday, aside for a brief period of reading on the balcony of Albatross House and an hour in Caffe Nerd, so I was afraid the weather would be against me on Sunday. As things turned out, it stayed clear, and I headed east, pausing for a discount brand store. I fancied Widders Bel, but the coffee is better in The Ram, and I was at the mercy of whichever bus turned up first.

They came at the same time - but Widders Bel was a better bet, transport wise. Up north we went, and there is indeed an original for Bollock Stones, outside Horney Boy. I was thinking about potential for walking - but if I went to Reakys Over I'd have to go back as well. Next time. Eventually I ended up in Widders Bell.

The tide, fpor once, was in, but no swimming gear. Ho hum. Browsed the market, had an ice cream, hit the cheese shop. An Ashmore Cobble and a local Brie, and a lovely goats cheese. Yum. I clearly have a pusher there. Then the bookshop - nothing I wanted, thankfully - and a walk down the high street to the second hand shop. Yes, the very Quintan Jardine I bought on Friday and a pound cheaper. Damn. No more, though. A John Connolly I don't have, but I'll need to wait for a book tidy to track down where the intervening volumes I've yet to read are. And thence to Costa, for a coffee and a read in their garden. Bliss.

But a shame just to sit - so I set out along the Saxon Shore Way, past Peter Cushing's house, across the golf course and over the railway. A tad inland. All too soon half an hour was up, after about thirty minutes in fact, and I turned off the way to Joy Road and past Valkyrie Avenue to discover a bus stop which would take me back to Cambry.
I forgot to crosspost this

CXXXII: Kate Wilhelm, The Clewiston Test (1976) )

CXXXIII: Richard Brautigan, The Abortion: An Historical Romance 1966 (1971) )

CXXXIV: Richard Brautigan, Dreaming of Babylon: A Private Eye Novel 1942 (1977) )

CXXXV: Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities (1972) )

CXXXVI: Barry Malzberg, The Day of the Burning (1974) )

CXXXVII: David Gerrold, Space Skimmer (1972) )

CXXXVIII: Doris Piserchia, Earthchild (1977) )

CXXXIX: Ernest Callenbach, Ecotopia (1975) )

CXL: Robert Silverberg, The Book of Skulls (1972) )

CXLI: Charles Platt, The City Dwellers (1970) )

CXLII: Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, The Mote in God's Eye (1974) )

CXLIII: Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, Lucifer's Hammer (1977) )

Okay, so there seem to be a whole number of 1970s sf narratives about asteroids/comets/meteors hitting or nearly hitting the Earth (Rama, Lucifer's Hammer, In the Ocean of the Night, The Hermes Whatsit, Meteor, among others). Why then? The dinosaurs wiped out by asteroid theory (Alverez et al) appears to be 1980, and there's already tracking agencies by the mid-1960s. But what triggered all these stories (albeit not the first, but a rash of them)? Was it a meteor visible above the US in August 1972? Tunguska publicity?

CXLIV: Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow (1973) )
I appear to have forgotten to do this for July. Ooops.

Ah well.

That To Read List )

I'm cheating on Gravity's Rainbow - I have 80 pages to go, and coffee to drink this am. Is it just me, or does this look doable? The madness sets in.

Drum roll:

91200 / 120000 words. 76% done!

I've done a little bit of trimming, as the chapters are still coming in long even after losing a whole chapter, so I have written more than that would suggest. There's a fluidity created by the bibliography, so I'm not doing deep trimming yet. But there are some stark choices when I realise that I only have 900 words for Doctor Who, 700 for Blake's Seven and I still have to deal with Anderson (I've squeezed in an obscure series, if only because it has a character named Blake... I am still convinced there is a link from William to Roj, but I haven't spotted it yet.) Darling of the Month: "The UNIT narratives provided Britain with a role in world affairs without anyone having to go overseas (although occasionally they did get to leave the planet)."

Meanwhile I will have to write up the Leuven paper for the collection, discover whether I'm still doing another chapter for a new companion and need to sort out some comedy research.

Into deeper time: there is a potential book contract for next year if I sit down and do a proposal (next week?) and I appear to have had the idea for the next book, something which has been hovering around my head since about 2003, and which is not on comedy. If I'm smart I'll work out how to do articles which would be the building blocks of it, although I can see how the so-what may well come into play for sections. I definitely need to sit down and down a comedy article. Meanwhile I spy three areas that would repay articles from the seventies materials unused. No rest for the idle.
faustus: (seventies)
( Aug. 19th, 2010 01:07 am)
Or, getting real.

87300 / 120000 words. 73% done!

I seem to have written 2,500 words today, mostly on Vietnam.

Edging towards a darling: "Why Are We in Vietnam? asks Norman Mailer. Because we were always already there."

Unused citation of the day: “Trees are trees in their own right."

What were they thinking quotation of the day: "[the novel] might have been put together by a committee composed of Ursula Le Guin, Anne McCaffrey and Joanna Russ, with a little help from Ms Delany.” I think I count three knives there, but I may misunderestimate.

I've also been dividing the remaining chapters into chunks with word counts to try and keep chapter word counts to six thousand. (What I really need to hope is that I've overestimated the bibliography word count, because stuff can go in.) It's scary how little will fit in, especially given how long the reading list still is. The Where Next For the New Wave looks like it will be a male-only ghetto; Pamela Zoline's timing seems likely to be off, Carter would be specially pleading; is this where Emma Tennant ends up? But she needs to be after feminism is dealt with. Le Guin and Russ already have homes elsewhere, so I can't bring them in, although the free pass (but small word count) given to Ellison and Malzberg doesn't limit me to New Worlds. Trawl through the New Writings again. Hey, looks at the Andromeda anthologies for women... The first has a Naomi Mitchison story in. The other two... male only preserves.

Meanwhile, I need to select reading for between 24 August and 9 September - and am pondering a pile of doorsteps I'm unlikely to read unless there's nothing else on hand, with the thought that I could leave them behind. Probably to write a hundred words on each. Maybe this is the time I finally read Gravity's Rainbow. Need to dig out the to-get list:

Arthur Byron, Autumn Angels
Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
George Alec Effinger, What Entropy Means to Me
Richard A. Lupoff, Sword of Demon
Larry Niven, Ringworld Engineers
Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, Inferno
Robert Silverberg, The Book of Skulls
Robert Silverberg, The Stochastic Man

There's more, of course, Bryant's The Kin of Ata are Waiting for You. Whichever ever one of T'City I don't have, making having the other two pointless (I think I have two Multifaces). More Kate Wilhelm. City of Cain, The Infinity Box, The Clewiston Test, Fault Lines. A Saxon (I think I'm missing Group Feast and The Weltenschuung of Ms Amelia Whatsit. Ah that's a subtitle of Vector for Seven) The Mortonhoe sequel. I thought there was a wikipage for 1970s sf novels (there's one for film).
faustus: (seventies)
( Aug. 15th, 2010 09:17 pm)
Avoidance of the first person is something which has caused academic writing to be felt overly abstract. Cases may be objected to, but the objection seems free of any concrete agency. Such a passive tone is not to be encouraged. Much overinflation, tautology, repetition, overwordiness which is to be avoided by careful writers is fostered, encouraged, reinforced, created, imposed by the disconnection between the subject and the verb, not to mention the means by which or in which or of which the verb connects to or with an object that relates to and connects with the verb is not necessarily the most lucid of grammatical opinations. It is not that it is said that meaning has to be expressed by reference to the person who has produced meaning, rather some people have argued that a concrete placement within a specific communities of speakers, communicators, critics, researchers, writers and utterers allows for a clearer generation of meaning within the reader, audience, addressee, auditor or receptor.
I have been reading, just not the books on this list... Three down. I'm hoping two days in Chichester will help the count, but actually four of those are Octavia Butler's work, not on the list...

Reading list
cut for sanity )

76200 / 120000 words. 64% done!

CXIII-CXIV: Suzy McKee Charnas, Walk to the End of the World / Motherlines )

Thinking aloud: Is it because I am a man that I never quite find representations of separatism comfortable? I wonder if I feel it's a cop out? I don't think it's a fear of a loss of my power, but then I cannot see entirely beyond white male privilege. I can see why women-only spaces are desirable, which is big of me, I know, although the intricacies of sex and gender may undercut these. Turn about is fair play.

I've been rereading Larry Townsend's 2069 (1969) in preparation for the rest of the trilogy which is from the 1970s, and the anti-woman stuff is appalling, as he describes a more homophile universe. I suspect representations of separatism replicate patriarchy's essentialism, albeit with a shift of agency. Motherlines does it better than The Wanderground, but is more of a traditional novel.
faustus: (seventies)
( Jul. 19th, 2010 03:44 am)
Forgot two:

CX: Leigh Brackett, The Hounds of Skaith
CXI: Leigh Brackett, The Reavers of Skaith

Two late novels, the conclusion of the Eric John Stark (or is it John Eric Stark?) trilogy begun with The Ginger Star. I can't say this science fantasy/planetary romance does much for me.

CXII: Barry Malzberg, Phase IV )

I have put flour and stuff in the breadmaker, in the hope of having a breakfast to sleep through.
faustus: (seventies)
( Jul. 18th, 2010 05:14 pm)
Catch up time (and not necessarily in this order or a complete listing):

XCI: D.G. Compton, Chronocules
XCII: D.G. Compton, A Usual Lunacy
XCIII: Michael Coney Sysygy
XCIV: Michael Coney Mirror Image
XCV: Michael Coney Brontomek!
XCVI: Michael Coney Charisma
XCVII: Christopher Priest, A Dream of Wessex
XCVIII: Christopher Priest, Fugue for a Darkening Isle
XCIX: K.W. Jeter, Seeklight
C: K.W. Jeter, The Dreamfields
CI: K.W. Jeter, Morlock Night
CII: Suzette Haden Elgin, The Communipaths
CIII: Suzette Haden Elgin, Furthest
CIV: Suzette Haden Elgin, At the Seventh Level
CV: Suzette Haden Elgin, Star-Anchored, Star-Angered
CVI: H.G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau
CVII: Brian Aldiss, Moreau's Other Island
CVIII: Barry Malzberg, The Sodom and Gomorrah Business
CIX: Barry Malzberg, Revelations


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