Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Flow My Thoughts, The Blogman Said

Cd in Play: Fugazi, 13 Songs - Tricky, Nearly God.

I have been reading Philip K. Dick's Flow My Tears, Said The Policeman this past week. I am gradually approaching the end of the novel and finding that I have really enjoyed the work. I liked the ideas behind Man in the High Castle, but didn't think it was a great piece of literature overall. Maybe I need to read it over again, but the writing just seemed weaker. It was an earlier novel, true enough, but Dick's style just didn't do it for me. Tried to read Ubik as well, but couldn't get into it and never finished it.
As I have stated elsewhere on this blog, I have a tricky relationship with literature. Science fiction I usually very suspicious of. I have friends who devour the genre as greedily as piranhas in a feeding frenzy. One friend is about as discriminating as a piranha when it comes to science fiction. (sorry man) My friend Gavin is a different story. He's very serious, discriminating and passionate about the genre and that tends to loan more weight to his opinions. Anyhow, he has been pushing me to read up on Dick's books.
I have been writing a fair amount for myself about the inconsistencies in my memory lately. I seem to remember things differently. Not like how Homer Simpson remembers things or people in denial about their own assorted inadequacies remember things, but things that shouldn't be remembered incorrectly in such a short span of time. Stuff like the new tower going in on the corner of Granville and Dunsmuir. Last week Thursday, I seem to recall construction mainly going on around the ninth or tenth floors. Yesterday I looked up and the almost have all the windows in. They can't possible work that fast can they?
Then there were the shops that seemed to switch places. I could swear the Latin American knick-knack shop was on the north side of Audiopile on the Drive one day and had switched places with the linens shop two day later. Two days after that they were back in their current spots. When I talked to the owner of Audiopile he told me the Latin American shop was always on the south side.
There are other things, but they are too assorted and random to bother with right now. I mentioned this to Gavin and he told me to read Flow my Tears. Maybe it was this experience that allowed me to get into Flow My Tears... more than the other works. Of course, there are no drugs involved in my experiences nor am I schizophrenic as I have been told Dick was.
But hey, maybe this isn't the Earth I grew up on. Maybe it is but I have been living somewhere else and have only just returned. Hmmm....

*** The spell check employed by Blogger is completely useless. I had an extra "r" in piranhas and these are the words it comes up with (in order):
prank's, paranoiac, primness, prance, pranks, prank, paranoiacs, praying, pureness, firmness. (firmness?!)
It also failed to make the correct suggestion for "amout". I had meant to type in "amount" but the spell check didn't even come up with that.


Anonymous Trent said...

If that's a me jab, then I don't actually read all that much sci-fi. I read more fantasy( especially if it falls into that teen category; I've always had a soft spot for Children's lit: LOTR, Narnia, MacDonald, yes, but also Rowling and Oppal and Pratchett. (Speaking of Oppal; Airborne was a great read. It isn't about much of anything, when you scratch below the surface, but it takes a page out of those old "Boy's Own" stories. It's pulpy action adventure that's easy to read. It draws you into the story without doing the whole cliffhanger thing. A rollicking good read, and not that long.))

What I tend to read with utter abandon right now (sad to say) are work related books. Photoshop For Digital Photographers. Illustrator CS Most Wanted. Stuff like that.

Then again, coulda been Ken...

xeixun? Looks almost Chinese.

30 November, 2005 18:12  
Anonymous Gavin said...

Theodore Sturgeon said that one can forget the character of Alys as readily as one forgets a tatoo on the back one's hand, . . . .

(Alys, if you recall your tatoo, is the sister of the police chief, by he whom he had a son. Alys' drug habits are, well, I won't give away the end. A disturbing read, too.)

Personally, I found all of "Flow my Tears, the Policeman Said" to be like that. Now, I find the politics of that novel and "Radio Free Albemuth" to be disturbingly relevant. Shifting shop locations is one thing, the rapid emergence of an American police state is another.

30 November, 2005 19:49  
Blogger Magnus said...

Funny that, because the books take on the entertainment industry is quite anachronistic. But you are right about the politics of the book to some degree. Nothing here has moved quite as far as in the book, but it has seriously degraded.

30 November, 2005 21:44  
Blogger Geosomin said...

If you want high quality fantasy check out Guy Gavriel Kay - specifically Tigana - One of the best books I've ever read. The man is a master at complex characters and visual writing...all the characters "feel" right and the stories are very elaborate and detailed...ina good way. A friend of J's kept going on about Kay anD leant us a few of his books. Tigana is my favorite. The Lions of Alrasson is also great too - J's favorite I think. (and he's canadian...)
I'll admit that at times I have a bit of a blind spot when it comes to some sci fi...I suppose it comes from the oh so female female fluff fiction read to pass away a cold day under a blanket mood that hits me sometimes, but Kay really is some of the best I've read, period.
Read it - I.

01 December, 2005 14:09  
Blogger Magnus said...

Think I might try and re-read Ubik again. Interestingly, given my feelings of drifting dimensionally, that was the first novel by Dick that Gavin tried to get me to read. I couldn't get into it and didn't get very far. Now, however, I think I would get something out of it.

01 December, 2005 14:19  
Blogger Magnus said...

Another point about the spell checker. I typed in firmness, one of the suggestion it makes for my pirranhas goof, and the Blogger spell check didn't even recognise its own suggestion as a word!
Unless I have been spell checking in different realities...

01 December, 2005 14:25  

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