Grace L. Dillon (ed.): Walking the Clouds: An Anthology of Indigenous Science Fiction (2012)

22 September 2018, dusan

“In this first-ever anthology of Indigenous science fiction Grace Dillon collects some of the finest examples of the craft with contributions by Native American, First Nations, Aboriginal Australian, and New Zealand Maori authors. The collection includes seminal authors such as Gerald Vizenor, historically important contributions often categorized as “magical realism” by authors like Leslie Marmon Silko and Sherman Alexie, and authors more recognizable to science fiction fans like William Sanders and Stephen Graham Jones. Dillon’s engaging introduction situates the pieces in the larger context of science fiction and its conventions.

Organized by sub-genre, the book starts with Native slipstream, stories infused with time travel, alternate realities and alternative history like Vizenor’s “Custer on the Slipstream.” Next up are stories about contact with other beings featuring, among others, an excerpt from Gerry William’s The Black Ship. Dillon includes stories that highlight Indigenous science like a piece from Archie Weller’s Land of the Golden Clouds, asserting that one of the roles of Native science fiction is to disentangle that science from notions of “primitive” knowledge and myth. The fourth section calls out stories of apocalypse like William Sanders’ “When This World Is All on Fire” and a piece from Zainab Amadahy’s The Moons of Palmares. The anthology closes with examples of biskaabiiyang, or “returning to ourselves,” bringing together stories like Eden Robinson’s “Terminal Avenue” and a piece from Robert Sullivan’s Star Waka.

An essential book for readers and students of both Native literature and science fiction, Walking the Clouds is an invaluable collection. It brings together not only great examples of Native science fiction from an internationally-known cast of authors, but Dillon’s insightful scholarship sheds new light on the traditions of imagining an Indigenous future.”

Publisher University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 2012
Sun Tracks series, 69
ISBN 9780816529827, 0816529825
vii+260 pages
via Gioni

Reviews: Lindsey Catherine Cornum (Full Stop, 2012), Ileana Cerda (Southwestern American Literature, 2013), Amy Gore (Studies in American Indian Literatures, 2013).

Publisher
WorldCat

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Sher Doruff: Last Year at Betty and Bob’s: A Novelty (2017)

26 July 2018, dusan

Last Year at Betty and Bob’s: A Novelty is the first in a series of novellas emerging from a writing practice that taps the cusp of consciousness between dreaming and waking. A storyline, or genealogy, tinted a shade of RGB blue, is fashioned by thinking through the felt unthought of this between space. A fabulation, an anarchive of what passes through. Lucid dreaming of this type is rife with allusions to conceptual and material goings-on, manifesting in awkward imaginaries. The dream personas are rendered as complex character amalgams with nomadic ages, sexes, genders and phenotypes. Occurrences of lived ‘fact’ elide with a hallucinatory real as speculation.

In A Novelty, Bette B, an ageing quasi-academic artist researcher, and BØB, attuned urban rodent, are palindromic variants of a generic cast of Betty’s and Bob’s. The happenstance of their meeting on the super slick POMOC affects a trans-special contagion. These are the fact of the matter. The matters that come to concern both B’s are more slippery and elusive.”

Publisher Open Humanities Press, London, 2017
Immediations series
Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 License
ISBN 1785420461, 9781785420467
136 pages

Publisher
WorldCat

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Alexander Kluge: Temple of the Scapegoat: Opera Stories (2018)

7 May 2018, dusan

“Combining fact and fiction, each of the one hundred and two tales of Alexander Kluge’s Temple of the Scapegoat (dotted with photos of famous operas and their stars) compresses a lifetime of feeling and thought: Kluge is deeply engaged with the opera and an inventive wellspring of narrative notions. The titles of his stories suggest his many turns of mind: “Total Commitment,” “Freedom,” “Reality Outrivals Theater,” “The Correct Slowing-Down at the Transitional Point Between Terror and an Inkling of Freedom,” “A Crucial Character (Among Persons None of Whom Are Who They Think They Are),” and “Deadly Vocal Power vs. Generosity in Opera.” An opera, Kluge says, is a blast furnace of the soul, telling of the great singer Leonard Warren who died onstage, having literally sung his heart out. Kluge introduces a Tibetan scholar who realizes that opera “is about comprehension and passion. The two never go together. Passion overwhelms comprehension. Comprehension kills passion. This appears to be the essence of all operas, says Huang Tse-we: she also comes to understand that female roles face the harshest fates. Compared to the mass of soprano victims (out of 86,000 operas, 64,000 end with the death of the soprano), the sacrice of tenors is small (out of 86,000 operas 1,143 tenors are a write-off).””

Translated by Isabel Fargo Cole, Donna Stonecipher, and Martin Chalmers
Publisher New Directions Publishing, New York, 2018
ISBN 9780811227483, 0811227480
xii+193 pages

Reviews: Publishers Weekly (2018), Kirkus Review (2018).

Publisher
WorldCat

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