CRK is an artist I have grown to love over the past year or two. Her recent collection “Two Worlds and In Between” shows her remarkable strength writing in shorter format.
The collection includes “Riding the White Bull,” which I just finished this evening. I am simply amazed by how this intensely dense tale retains a poetic grace while still being jammed with details, plot points and descriptions. The rawness of Dietrich’s whole predicament as a Blade Runner-esque special agent who has been to the edge of the abyss, quite literally, and looked over, is truly powerful stuff.
I have no problem bringing my influences to picture this story as it unfolds in multiple times, spaces and dreams. Even if the author owes nothing to Blade Runner or Alien in conjuring such riveting fiction, these crutches helped and only reinforce the weight of emotion and loneliness.
One place where they author does acknowledge her influence is with a chilling quote from Charles Fort about the unlikely nature of contact with an alien race:
Of course, there’s nothing to that mystery if we don’t take so seriously the notion – that we must be interesting. It’s probably for moral reasons that they stay away – but even so, there must be some degraded ones among them.
And she knows that there are things, things in THIS world, that are so horrifying that any attempt to understand them will drive you beyond the point of madness, and you will be forever shunned by society.
The book is A Murder of Angels, and I’m at the 18% mark. It is utterly unrelenting and its not even near her best work.
Thanks to the wonderful Charlie Jane Anders at io9, I have just learned that Samuel R. Delany, the iconic author of my most favoritest novel Dhalgren, has a major work coming out in February 2011. And, to whet your appetite, there is an excerpt now in circulation through Boston Review.
For me, Dhalgren was the literary equivalent of 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is a massive tome that has puzzled readers since its publication in 1975. Up to that point, Delany had shown considerable talent in cranking out VERY engaging space operas and other sci-fi, but with Dhalgren, the view is turned inward. Reality is constantly shifting as the main character travels through a dream-city that crashes back-and-forth between chaos, love, violence, sex and apocalypse.
Now, “Through The Valley of The Nest of Spiders” is heading toward imminent release (February 1) and it appears that the master has another vast work with which to challenge us. I can hardly wait.
This is a young writer that I heard about through Scalzi’s Whatever. He got his start by publishing for free as an online writer. Now he’s become a nice big deal. de Bodard, like many others, has done the same thing in an effort to get exposure for her considerable talent.
‘Ragers and Weepers was written in 2007 and, though brief, it packs a PUNCH. Click the link below at your own risk. And don’t be turned off by the fact that it’s speculative fiction. The sci-fi merely give the author a slightly safer way to explore some of the more horrifying aspects of human existence.
I’m definitely looking forward to more.