Future daze

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Double/dual Oblivion review (there should be more dual-reviewing – better chance at broader perspective). Quotable:
How then to tell stories when the language you must use is so thoroughly
inflected by artificial discourses, however authentically you manage to portray
the inauthentic?
The second review (The Nature of the Container) is more pertinent I believe, but both offer fair reactions to the work. I might have to put my bland language/greater characterisation angle up online; am I the only one with this angle?

Time for more generic quotes:

The Great Hyperlobic Omni-Cognate Neuron Wrangler,’ said Deep Thought thoroughly rolling the rs, ‘could talk all four legs off an Arcturan Mega-Donkey — but only I could persuade it to go for a walk afterwards.’ (Douglas Adams)

‘I don’t know why, I call him Gerald’ (Syd Barrett)

‘I went down to the beach and saw Kiki She was like all "ehhhh" And I was like "whatever!"’ (Liam Lynch) (I don’t know why but I like it)
William Gibson, Idoru

The obsessive, ad-absurdism of future celebrity manufacture and dismantling; the universal data collection and marketing mass of future internet (data protection and privacy take on way new meaning); the equally absurd reductio of a culture steeped in image-fascination-über alles. Way beyond brand fetish. Gibson draws together streams of contemporary technology (for eg internet meetings, chat culture, wirelessness and GPS) and skilfully plugs in his own future take, getting ever closer, one feels, to a reasonably accurate view of how our future will function and appear – the prescient feeling is then that at some point Gibson’s narrative technology and current reality will intersect and merge indifferent. Gibson’s futuristic pulp is honing in on our future with precise acuity; far more advanced than any other near-future sci-fi writer I can think of (because I haven’t read many), focusing the earlier Neuromancer-scope, filtering it down through the lens of a rebuilt-but-familiar Tokyo. The band Lo/Rez occasionally, disturbingly, reminded me of the duo in Rushdie’s lame Ground Beneath Her Feet (tangent topic: the difficulty of effectively representing music and bands in contemporary literature). Nice use of sub aqua tropes, occasional ghosts or nodes in the machine. Nice mystery/street thriller feel, nice and pulpy-bendy paperback, nice inner-city hyper-hipness. List: gadget-mania, retro-mania, image-context-mania, media/celebrity-mania, virtuality-mania. That peculiar techno-alienation mixed with media-saturated ennui. The peculiar chaos of hyper-modernity, rendered highly-readable.

posted by rino breebaart  # 1:01 pm
The Oblivion reviews have been pretty savage in some quarters. One "reviewer" compared Wallace to a Dr Mengele of fiction. Hhhmm. I think we all know insistent mediocrity in fiction kills the form, rather than difference, however effortful or misguided an individual reviewer would believe that experimentation to be.

Or, put another way: "I want you to go find afucking soul!"

Here's to you, Mr. Hicks, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
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Alternatively, read about it at: The Slow Review or the long blog. Or even Nurture Health

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