Friday, May 14, 2010

Midnight in Don DeLillo

It's that time of the month again—wha?—yes, another Astral Weeks!

This month's column is sort of about a new anthology called The Secret History of Science Fiction, but really I just focus on "Human Moments From World War III," an amazing Don DeLillo short story from 1983 that I'd never read before. I also used it as an excuse to revisit Ratner's Star (one of his best)—

As though to change the subject, Cyril explained his assignment at Field Experiment Number One. He was part of a committee formed to define the word 'science.' The committee had begun meeting regularly long before a site had even been chosen for the structure itself. It was thought a definition would be agreed upon about the time ground was being broken. But the debate continued to drag on and the definition at present ran some five hundred pages.

— and to read his latest novel, Point Omega, which is perfect. I'm serious! (I.e., the reviews ar wrong.)

(One thing I didn't have a chance to talk about in the column was DeLillo's excellent recent story "Midnight in Dostoevsky," which appeared last November in The New Yorker. A DeLillo renaissance is underway!)



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