Thursday, April 25, 2013

What to Read Next - 25 April 2013

Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany

It's been a long time since I had read this book, and the last time I didn't actually make it all the way through it.
I almost didn't make it through this time, but I really don't like giving up, so I pressed on, and I'm pretty sure that I'm glad I did.

Delany is never a quick, breezy kind of read, and Dhalgren is about as dense as anything of his that I've read (I'll leave the Tales of Neveryon aside - that's been reviewed separately below.). When I hit the part at the end with multiple streams of narrative on the page, I wondered how long I could keep at it, but it did settle down to a readable amount.

Anyway, I really hadn't realized just how much this book had influenced my writing in A Rune With A View (2012, Grand Teuton Press). Much of the mysterious aspect of  how Jerry doesn't really know what's going on around him - while his companions seem to have a bit more of a clue - is at least atmospherically related to the way Kid drifts around Bellona in Dhalgren.

Still, unlike Delany, at least I let everyone in on what had been going on by the time the book ended; and the climactic scene in my book owes much more to Charles Williams than to Delany. In fact, it was that scene, and its very conscious debt to Williams, that was the whole point of writing the rest of the book.

But, back to Dhalgren:
I'm not sure I can recommend the book to other readers (there are simply too many bizarre and quite disturbing scenes and actions in there), but if you've read others of his books, but not this one, then you really ought to add it to your reading list.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Can anyone explain to me

why the Federal government is involved in the M1 Rail project?

Here's a 3.3 mile loop of streetcar rail along Woodward that doesn't even cross a city's boundaries, let alone any State borders.

Why does the federal government have anything to do with a 3 mile bit of rail that goes from one part of town to another and back?