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Preview: The Pinocchio Theory

The Pinocchio Theory

"If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

Last Build Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2018 00:16:15 +0000


Monster Portraits (Del Samatar and Sofia Samatar)

Tue, 06 Mar 2018 23:35:30 +0000

Sofia Samatar is one of the most interesting of the new(er) generation of writers of speculative fiction. Her two novels, A STRANGER IN OLONDRIA and THE WINGED HISTORIES, radically rework the conventions of heroic fantasy, both in terms of race/ethnicity and gender, and in terms of narrative conventions and questions about literariness and about the … Continue reading "Monster Portraits (Del Samatar and Sofia Samatar)"

Bison/Bonobo/Kerala music video

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 02:19:56 +0000

This was rejected for publication, so I thought I might as well post it here. It is a discussion of the music video for “Kerala” (2016), a track by Bonobo (Simon Green), directed by Bison (Dave Bullivant). The music itself is midtempo electronica (125 bpm), fairly bright and relaxed. It’s an instrumental track, mostly strings … Continue reading "Bison/Bonobo/Kerala music video"

Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti series

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 00:35:01 +0000

Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti: The Night Masquerade (available on January 16 – I was lucky to get to read a pre-publication copy) is the third (and at least for the moment, final) installment in the series that began with Binti (2015) and continued with Binti: Home (2017). The three books individually are of novella length; though … Continue reading "Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti series"

Ken MacLeod – The Corporation Wars

Sun, 01 Oct 2017 23:19:01 +0000

Ken MacLeod’s Corporation Wars trilogy — which I just finished reading (the final volume came out this past week) — does well what MacLeod usually does well. It takes familiar science fiction tropes (here, robots, virtual reality, xenobiology) and subgenres (here, military fiction, which I am not a big fan of overall) and gives them … Continue reading "Ken MacLeod – The Corporation Wars"

Atopias, by Frederic Neyrat

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 14:17:16 +0000

Frédéric Neyrat is a French philosopher who has published extensively in French; but the first English translation of one of his books has only just appeared. ATOPIAS:MANIFESTO FOR A RADICAL EXISTENTIALISM is an important book, and a good short introduction to Neyrat’s ideas. I had the pleasure of being asked to write an Introduction to … Continue reading "Atopias, by Frederic Neyrat"

Jerry Lewis

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 17:28:40 +0000

Jerry Lewis is a figure who has haunted me — or, who has played a major role in my Imaginary — for most of my life. In 1963, when I was nine years old, my parents set up an extended vacation and took me and my brother on a cross-country tour. On a hot summer … Continue reading "Jerry Lewis"

Jeff VanderMeer’s BORNE

Sun, 09 Apr 2017 20:22:06 +0000

Borne is Jeff VanderMeer’s first new novel since his Southern Reach trilogy. I was stunned by reading it, and I am not sure that I can really do it justice. The novel is set in a post-apocalyptic landscape: a nameless city that was first transformed by a biotech enterprise known only as the Company, and … Continue reading "Jeff VanderMeer’s BORNE"

Tade Thompson, ROSEWATER

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 20:33:58 +0000

WARNING: numerous spoilers, since I cannot really discuss the novel without them Tade Thompson’s extraordinary new SF novel Rosewater is the second recent book I have read with the premise of extraterrestrials arriving in Nigeria. The first is Nnedi Okorafor’s Lagoon, equally wonderful, but in an entirely different way. Both novels go explicitly against the … Continue reading "Tade Thompson, ROSEWATER"

Favorite SF of 2016

Sat, 31 Dec 2016 19:57:43 +0000

I am usually not very good at top ten lists and the like; there is always too much stuff that I haven’t seen, read, or heard. But I think that I have done a lot better than usual with new science fiction / fantasy / horror / speculative fiction than usual. So here is a … Continue reading "Favorite SF of 2016"

Canavan on Octavia Butler

Wed, 28 Dec 2016 01:15:50 +0000

Gerry Canavan’s new book on Octavia Butler is smart and useful. It gives a good introduction to Butler for people who have never read her before, but it also provides much food for thought to those who (like me) have already read all of Butler’s published works, and know them well. This is the case both … Continue reading "Canavan on Octavia Butler"