Listen to fiction / instead of in-depth reviews / enjoy my haikus

The City Quiet as Death by Steven Utley and Michael Bishop (via Story Podcast 9)

Don Horacio:
abandoned by God and Man,
mad as the old stars.

The universe reverberates in Horacio Gorrión’s ears, a grand clamoring neurosis of action, stasis, and scale. Counseled on one hand to find purpose through investment in the new physics of Genesis, and counseled on the other hand to accept the benevolent disinterest of a distant Prime Mover, Horacio ultimately succumbs to the briny discord of the squid in the locket.

Existential dread is the fundamental ingredient of Lovecraftian horror, and The City Quiet as Death delivers a compelling portrait of an aged bachelor overwhelmed by the incessant continuity of Creation. The well-realized setting of his Caribbean household provides plenty of calories – and the threat of tentacles is an appropriate garnish.

Morris and the Machine by Tim Pratt (via Drabblecast 150)

Today love grows cold –
travel back to set things right;
time is no arrow.

Morris is a tinker who has built something in the basement. His wife is become weary of his work and wary of his absences. Morris has made a great breakthrough, but it is a bittersweet victory. He returns from each test of his machine and of himself to find no progress towards his heart’s goal, which slips further away with each day.

Good story. Sad stories often are.

Biographical Notes To “A Discourse On The Nature Of Causality, With Air-Planes” By Benjamin Rosenbaum by Benjamin Rosenbaum (via Podcastle 90)

Aboard an airship,
the Plausible Fabulist asks
in whose plots we act.

Set in a fanciful alternate reality populated with zeppelins, assassins, and helpful mechanical Wisdom Ants animated by the Brahmanic field, this story’s endangered protagonist – a writer – considers how his protagonist – an inhabitant of a rational “materialist” world like ours – might reason his way out of such improbable peril. Through the lens of fiction, the fictional Benjamin Rosenbaum discerns a solution to his plight.

We, too, can view fiction as more than mere entertainment. Each story is a pattern; equipped with the memory of many patterns, more situations become recognizable and more challenges become tractable. This is how imagination enhances experience. (But don’t forget to vet intuition with reason.)

Posted on Saturday, February 13th, 2010. Tags: , , , , .

One Response to “Listen to fiction / instead of in-depth reviews / enjoy my haikus”

Posted by Dad on Sunday, February 14th, 2010 at 11:57 AM.

Choice words about words
promise like tasty hors d’oeuvres
meals worth waiting for