Friday, February 11, 2011

Megatext me

My final Astral Weeks column is now up at the Los Angeles Times site. It's a review of The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction, which I highly recommend. A taste:

There are gems from giants. Encountering "Fondly Fahrenheit" (1954), Alfred Bester's robots-and-murder meditation, for the first time, I reread a stretch of it over and over, thinking that surely a printing error had been made. By collapsing the first-person voice — aggressively mingling two "I" points of view — Bester flouts the rules of narrative to show a meltdown of authority between a master and his android. It's a joy to find Philip K. Dick's 1966 "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale," the basis for the Arnold Schwarzenegger film "Total Recall," in all its brisk, blunt glory: I love both the carpet-pulling, memory-versus-implant plot and the doofus-y futuristic touches like the robot taxicab driver who says "Yes, sir or madam," the fashionably topless receptionist and a drug called "narkidrine."

My first column appeared in April 2007, so it's been nearly four years. Thanks to my editors and readers!

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