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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Bounty Information | Wanted Dead or Alive: Mad Scientess Nanila
Deeds of Derring-Do | Full of Wild Inaccuracies and Exaggerations

Microlit, reprised [20050618|00:16]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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[the weather today is |quite dr0nk]

In Search of Nikola Tesla, F David Peat
FDP: Nikola Tesla made a lot of bold claims that his peers dismissed as wild and unsubstantiated. After the extensive investigation to which I have just subjected you, dear reader, I have come to the astonishing conclusion that, in fact, his claims were both wild and unsubstantiated.

Homage to Catalonia, George Orwell
GO: I spent three months at the Aragonese front fighting Franco's forces with a rusty Mauser. I got shot in the throat. When I returned to Barcelona I was accused of corroboration with the Fascists. Hey, can you guess where I got the idea for Animal Farm?

Anil's Ghost, Michael Ondaatje
MO: Ninety-nine point nine percent of my readers couldn't point out Sri Lanka on a map. Nevertheless, I will make them weep for my country. HA.

The Coronation of Haile Selassie, Evelyn Waugh
EW: Journalism produced hastily to meet deadlines propagates errors, and access to governmental events and affairs depends upon cronyism. Shocking, isn't it?

Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said, Phillip K. Dick
PKD: In 1975, I envisioned a future in which nuclear warheads were small enough to be implanted underneath the skin of someone's wrist, but phonograph records were still used in jukeboxes.
PKD: Um…at least I know how to write convincing dialogue?
PKD: Shit, I got nothing.*

* Disclaimer: I know this looks vicious so before I get crucified, I'd like to say that I enjoyed this book immensely. However, while I think PKD had some smoking ideas, I don't think he was so hot at the execution.
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Comments:
From: klig
2005-06-17 23:32 (UTC)
Any book ever written by PKD
PKD: A character based on myself will become very confused, do lots of drugs, become unstuck in time, and generally not know what's going on.
AUDIENCE: OMG PKD is God! OMG so daring and innovative.
PKD: I can churn out two of these every year. Sucked in!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-06-18 16:19 (UTC)
Don't forget the bit about having sex with strange women who deliver mysterious soliloquies but then die or are arrested before they can explain anything to the protagonist.
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[User Picture]From: scanner_darkly
2005-06-18 00:15 (UTC)
Ack, my favorite PKD book, too.

Ah well, I was warned.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-06-18 16:44 (UTC)
The first PKD book I read was Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? That one put me off reading any of the others until Marco prodded me into reading Flow My Tears... with the assurance that I'd enjoy the concept enough to change my initial impression. He was right.

I think nearly all authors have their great moments and their mediocre ones. I certainly don't love everything Vladimir Nabokov ever produced, but it hasn't prevented me from exploring as much of his work as I can get my hands on.
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[User Picture]From: scanner_darkly
2005-06-18 18:06 (UTC)
I also really like DADES. :) He has a huge load of crap -- including what other people think is his 'best' novel (VALIS) and some significant flaws in his writing, such as his complete inability to write a convincing female part. If you want really bad, go for Solar Lottery, which I as a PKD fan wasn't even able to get past the first 20 pages or so.

The guy was in a state of poverty for most of the 60's, churning out novels as fast as he could to support himself and his family (often poorly - he ate dog food for a while, to his great shame.) Nonetheless, you have great novels like Flow..., A Scanner Darkly, UBIK, etc...you also have stinkers like The Penultimate Truth, etc.

Mind you, there's a part that bothers me about your initial post on the subject -- look at any New Wave science fiction writers. Across the board they don't prognosticate the future, make assessments for every possible technology. And in fact, that's likely not the point. Ursula K. LeGuin states in the introduction to Left Hand of Darkness that science fiction, even if it doesn't intend to, is a commentary on the present and not the future -- it uses a mythic (so to speak) 'future-world' to speak of the time it's in.

It's also a shame that Dick's work isn't shown along with Theodore Sturgeon, Fritz Leiber, LeGuin above, and others of his time. Since his children essentially are much more canny about marketing his legacy into movies, than anyone else of his time, he becomes iconic of 'weird SF' when he was part of something bigger. But that's my personal gripe, don't mind me.
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[User Picture]From: scanner_darkly
2005-06-29 12:46 (UTC)
This was in the late 50's, so I'm not sure how available ramen was for people. In general people cooked full meals, and that included a meat portion. If you couldn't go to the butcher, you went to get dog food, as it was made from the parts of meat that were generally unfit for human consumption.

It wasn't the processed dog food we know today.
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[User Picture]From: behsharam
2005-06-18 04:49 (UTC)
Would you be willing to list some of your favorite authors? I'm curious.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-06-18 16:27 (UTC)
Some of them are in my profile, but here's a short list:

Jorge Luis Borges
Manuel Puig
Margaret Atwood
Anton Chekov
Roald Dahl
Dorothy Parker
Jonathan Swift
Angela Carter
Michael Ondaatje
J.D. Salinger
Vladimir Nabokov
Milan Kundera
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[User Picture]From: ironed_orchid
2005-06-18 05:26 (UTC)
Ah, these are great. Fortuitously I finished my coffee before scrolling to this post.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-06-18 16:37 (UTC)
Ooh, I thought of another one.

Too Loud a Solitude, Bohumil Hrabal
World At Large: Suicide is a selfish and incomprehensible act. Writers should never portray it as a romantic gesture imbued with personal and political significance.
BH: Sorry, I was miles away. Did you say something?
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[User Picture]From: ironed_orchid
2005-06-18 16:41 (UTC)
Haven't read that book. Should I?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-06-18 16:48 (UTC)
Yes. I discovered him, embarrassingly enough, through the Lonely Planet guide to Prague. I loved Closely Observed Trains as well.
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[User Picture]From: niugnep
2005-06-18 05:37 (UTC)
* Disclaimer: I know this looks vicious so before I get crucified, I'd like to say that I enjoyed this book immensely. However, while I think PKD had some smoking ideas, I don't think he was so hot at the execution.

You know that I'm HUGE PKD fan.

However, he clearly is not perfect... sometimes he really hits... sometimes he really misses. Some of his short stories are the best example of this (read We Can Remember It For You Wholesale, i.e. Total Recall).

Still... over-all, I think he's a genius. He did something that not a lot of people were doing with sci-fi, especially at the time... he was really writing about characters, not science... characters dealing with a sci-fi world...

I admire his writing greatly and hope to write as well as him one day... except for the ones that he completely missed on! heh...
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-06-19 10:52 (UTC)
Damn, I don't know if I could pull that off. That's uber-cyber. I like the goggles, too, although five pounds is a lot of weight to carry around on your head.
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[User Picture]From: smallfurry
2005-06-19 02:45 (UTC)
I love microlit!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-06-19 10:55 (UTC)
I do it to everything I read. It's a surprisingly effective mnemonic tactic, too!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-06-19 11:07 (UTC)
I first read Coming Through Slaughter on ladybug007's recommendation. I remember being blown away by the non-linear and yet entirely comprehensible narrative.

No, I haven't read Ahdaf Soueif. Bring your favorite the next time we meet?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-06-20 09:18 (UTC)
Oh no, we can't do that. Whatever will they complain about then?
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