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Showing posts from June, 2015

"Only the mockingbird sings at the edge of the woods"

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My favorite speculative fiction of all time is Michael Cunningham's Specimen Days which I read back in 2012, while the very first science fiction I read was Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. I read these books only a few months apart and I was forever changed because of them and this change has definitely got me interested to venture on acquiring and experiencing more of what the science fiction genre has to offer as much as I could. Eleven more sci-fi books later, I remained insatiable, more so after finishing this one. The very first thing that struck me while in the middle of consuming this novel by Walter Tevis is that it was unmistakably a majestic blend of both the dystopic landscapes featured in Huxley's book, and written in the same nostalgic manner of aching, melancholic sensibility and spiritual contemplation very much alive in Cunningham's work. With that, I couldn't help but find myself deeply embedded in the pores of this haunting tale of Mockingbird.
Li…

Profundities of isolation and dislocation

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I've had the longest fascination about war and the military lifestyle whether in historical books or works of fiction in general. There's just something deeply stirring about men and women giving up their lives in service of country or a government system even when that kind of loyalty demands death, destruction and bitter endings. I have great respect and admiration for this kind of people even if those things are mixed with pity and sadness as well. My enjoyment for reading, watching and learning about wars throughout histories is a double-edged one; on one hand, it does break my heart to know about such fragile and empty lives being sacrificed as people in such compromising positions have to face the sharpest consequences. On the other, I often view the bloodshed and deaths during war-times (fictional or not) to be the most thrilling and exciting stories ever told. To have literature grant me access and safe passage inside the heads of the people who were part of it, and tr…

Not a single tear flowed or was shed by me

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This .GIF image perfectly captures the range of distinct reactions that Philip K. Dick's Flow my Tears, the Policeman Said got out of me in the expanse of reading it in the last four days. There was bafflement--then disbelief--then mild disgust--and, finally, karmic relief. Don't get me wrong, it's not a badly written book. Of course fucking not, it's PHILIP K. DICK! His outstanding Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep will forever destroy me in this world and in another parallel existence because asdfghjklmalfunctionerror10101...

Anyway, that being said, something along the way went wrong as I peruse through the two hundred and four pages of this novel; I can't really pinpoint exactly where, but all I know is that I couldn't help but alternate between confusion and rage as I went on. Originally, around eighty pages or so, I was going to rate it with four stars because, right from the get-go, I was just enjoying the brisk, no-nonesense yet highly engrossing pac…

A Chronodiegetic Schematic of the Elastic Present

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Enter the following data:
META (search for definition) SCIENCE FICTION (search for definition) TIME TRAVEL (search for definition)
Computing... Trajectory locked.
To find the only way to exit a time loop, please refer to Appendix A of this manual (How To Live Safely Inside a Science Fictional Universe)

+++ When it happens, this is what happens: By reading Charles Yu's incomparably original work of fiction, I'm realizing, have realized and will have realized that I've lived and I am still living inside a box that travels backwards in time when I'm supposed to propel myself forward into the unknown future of my own makings. We are all time machines, he claims, but most people's machines are broken that they get stuck or get looped or get trapped. Our greatest anxiety is the box we live inside of--everyone's personal TARDIS, if you may--and it's something we use to evade the present, re-create the past, and deal with the future. We are required to move ahead and yet m…